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US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list
HONOLULU (AP) - President Barack Obama says the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism as Washington decides how to respond to what he calls an "act of cybervandalism," not one of war, against a movie company. Sony Pictures Entertainment, which said it canceled the theatrical release of "The Interview" after distributors refused to show it, pledged to find a way to get the film out. "How it's going to be distributed, I don't think anybody knows quite yet," a Sony lawyer said. The comedy involves a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader.


How do you joke about the Sony hacking? A little carefully
How do you joke about the Sony hacking story? After all, it was an attempt at comedy that launched this whole sobering mess. If you're Chris Rock, you joke about it cleverly but carefully. Promoting his new movie "Top Five" this week, he noted an added bonus: "My movie's very Korean-friendly. There are no jokes about North Korea in `Top Five.' If you're Korean, go out and see `Top Five.' You will enjoy it."


2 cops ambushed, fatally shot in car; gunman kills himself
NEW YORK (AP) - The warning came just moments too late: A man who had shot his ex-girlfriend a few hours earlier had traveled to New York City and vowed online to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. Minutes before a wanted poster for Ismaaiyl Brinsley arrived in the NYPD's Real Time Crime Center, he ambushed two officers in their patrol car in broad daylight, fatally shooting them before killing himself inside a subway station.


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Pope's role in Cuba deal fractures Cuban-American flock
MIAMI (AP) - The key role Pope Francis played encouraging talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro left fractures among his flock in South Florida, where many older Roman Catholics equate the Castro brothers with the devil. Many Catholics worldwide have expressed pride in seeing Francis stirring hopes of progress in communist Cuba, but some Cuban-Americans say their spiritual leader betrayed them.


2014 frustrates US hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace
WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry is ending 2014 much in the same way he started it, frustrated in efforts to push Israel and Palestinians toward peace. With a diplomatic showdown looming this past week over Arab plans to force Israel from occupied Palestinian lands within three years, Kerry prepared for a quick trip to Jordan in hopes of finding a calmer alternative.


Nigerian Islamic uprising poses regional threat
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) - Thousands of members of Nigeria's home-grown Islamic extremist Boko Haram group strike across the border in Cameroon, with coordinated attacks on border towns, a troop convoy and a major barracks. Farther north, Boko Haram employs recruits from Chad to enforce its control in northeastern Nigerian towns and cities.


Tent city sprouts in shadow of downtown Detroit
DETROIT (AP) - Bankruptcy behind it, Detroit's atmosphere swirls with the promise of better days. Charles Floyd Jones can only hope that the city's good fortune trickles down to him and the 10 other residents of a tent city that's sprouted in the shadow of a resurgent downtown where rental occupancy is close to full and restaurants and shops are doing brisk business. Jones and others in this makeshift community of seven tents - believed to be the only tent city in Detroit - say they have nowhere else to go.


States trying to lure lawyers into rural practice
CORSICA, S.D. (AP) - By landing a steady job in a hopping metropolis, Jake Fischer achieved the dream of many who finished law school during the Great Recession. Then, he left the big-city life and moved to a small South Dakota town, lured by a program that seeks to boost the number of rural attorneys. Although federal grant money for decades has been available for doctors, nurses and dentists willing to relocate to sparsely populated areas, the South Dakota program is believed to be the first of its kind to similarly compensate lawyers.


NYC subways slowly upgrading from 1930s-era technology
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City's subways - the nation's biggest mass transit network - serve more than 6 million daily riders who depend largely on a signal system that dates back to the Great Depression. Antiquated electro-mechanics with thousands of moving parts are still critical to operations. Dispatchers still monitor most trains from 24-hour underground "towers," and they still put pencil to paper to track their progress.


Sierra Leone urges safe burials to stem Ebola
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) - The radio announcement is chilling and blunt: "If I die, I want the deaths to stop with me." Dr. Desmond Williams continues: "I want to give my family the permission to request a safe and dignified, medical burial for me."