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AP Top U.S. News At 3:25 a.m. EST

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle clues in the hacking tools left behind and the involvement of at least one computer in Bolivia previously traced to other attacks blamed on the North Koreans....

Companies' data security in question after Sony hack
ATLANTA (AP) -- Companies across the globe are on high alert to tighten up network security to avoid being the next company brought to its knees by hackers like those that executed the dramatic cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment....

Weird weather lingers in Alaska's largest city
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A week before Christmas, Alaska's largest city should look like a postcard wonderland, and the last place you'd expect to see equipment making snow....

China's wealth finds home in Washington state
MEDINA, Wash. (AP) -- Savvy Seattle-area real estate agents have gained an advantage by paying attention to the growing connections between China and Washington state....

Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013
BOSTON (AP) -- Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings....

Colorado vows to defend pot law against states' challenge
DENVER (AP) -- Colorado's top law enforcement official promises to vigorously defend the state's historic law legalizing marijuana after Nebraska and Oklahoma asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional, saying the drug is freely flowing into neighboring states....

US agriculture has big appetite for Cuba trade
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- U.S. agriculture has a big appetite for freer trade with Cuba. From wheat to rice to beans, the industry stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of President Barack Obama's plan to ease economic and travel restrictions imposed against the communist-ruled island....

Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence
NEW YORK (AP) -- Federal prosecutors sued New York City on Thursday to speed the pace of reforms at the Rikers Island jail complex and address what a Justice Department investigation found was a "deep-seated culture of violence" toward young inmates....

Bondage 'master' convicted in plot to kill wife
DETROIT (AP) -- A Detroit-area man was convicted Thursday of murder in a plot to kill his wife so he could devote himself to a life of bondage and domination in an upper-class suburb with women who called him "Master Bob."...

'Prison Houdini' set to make his 1st legal escape
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Had Mark DeFriest just waited a couple of months to collect his inheritance, he never would have gone to prison. Had he just behaved while he was there, he would have been released more than 30 years ago....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
US Video
Interactives
A year after the Gulf oil spill, problems remain
Local governments spent BP money with abandon
Civil War celebrations stir controversy
States' attempts to resist health care reform
A look at extremist attacks on the U.S. government
Gun law changes across the U.S.
A look inside the Statue of Liberty
A look around the Statue of Liberty
A look at Guantanamo's history
Up to the Minute
Sheriff to cede immigration-enforcement foothold

Poll: Americans skeptical of commercial drones

EPA expected to treat coal waste like garbage

Weird weather lingers in Alaska's largest city

China's wealth finds home in Washington state

Hearing set for restrictive NYC jail dorm

US agriculture has big appetite for Cuba trade

Federal judge considering Oklahoma's death penalty

Dog saves man from Sacramento home fire

Sides 'far apart' in West Coast port negotiations