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In this Dec. 2, 2014 file photo, cars enter Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters in Culver City, Calif. Hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 released another round of data leaks, including ominous threats against the premiere of Sony Pictures' film "The Interview," in which the group references the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The blow that the hacking attack has dealt Sony is spreading beyond the entertainment corporation itself to theater chains and movie goers alike. And the financial toll is adding up too.

File photo of Markus Kaarma during an afternoon break in Missoula County Court in Missoula MontanaMISSOULA, Mont. (Reuters) - A jury found a Montana homeowner guilty of deliberate homicide on Wednesday in the shooting death of a German high school exchange student who entered his garage in a case that tested the state's version of a "castle doctrine" self-defense law. Markus Kaarma, who prosecutors painted as an armed aggressor who lured a would-be burglar to his death, was charged in connection with the April death of Diren Dede, 17, of Hamburg, who authorities say was killed while "garage hopping" at night in Missoula in a possible search for alcohol. ...

Cuba releases American Alan Gross as U.S. prepares to overhaul Cuba policyThese moves represent the biggest shift in U.S. policy toward the island in decades.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cuba has released American aid worker Alan Gross after five years in prison, a U.S. official said on Wednesday amid reports of a prisoner exchange that heralds a major overhaul of U.S. policy toward Cuba. The U.S. official said Gross was released on humanitarian grounds. CNN reported a prisoner exchange that also included Cuba releasing a U.S. intelligence source and the United States releasing three Cuban intelligence agents. U.S. President Barack Obama was to make a statement at noon on Cuba, the White House said. ...
By Jom Forsyth SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A Texas woman convicted of killing her 4-year-old foster child by force-feeding him an overdose of salt has been released on bail after an appeals court said there were sufficient questions in her original prosecution to warrant a new trial. Bond for Hannah Overton, 37, was set at $50,000, which was posted by friends of the Corpus Christi woman, and she was released from prison on Tuesday after serving about seven years behind bars. Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka did not respond to a request for comment. ...

Pakistani students pray during a ceremony for the victims of Tuesday's school attack, at a school in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Pakistan mourned as the nation prepares for mass funerals Wednesday for over 140 people, most of them children, killed in the Taliban massacre in a military-run school in the country’s northwest in the deadliest and most horrific attacks in years, officials said. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)The nation begins burying the 142 victims, most of them children, of the school attack.

City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado speaks with journalists in Little Havana in MiamiBy Zachary Fagenson and David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - Some Cuban exiles rejoiced at the prospect of easier access to their relatives. Some swelled with guarded optimism over the prospect of thawing relations between the United States and the communist island. And some were simply "ecstatic." News on Wednesday that the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half century rippled through the 1.5-million-strong exile community in the United States, many of them lifelong opponents of communist rule. ...

Handout photo of Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric WilliamsBy Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas jury on Wednesday sentenced to death a former justice of the peace convicted of murdering a suburban Dallas prosecutor's wife in a revenge plot, with the judge saying he acted like some of the most notorious killers in recent U.S. history. The same jury that convicted Eric Williams, 47, on Dec. 4 of murdering Cynthia McLelland sentenced him to death after deliberating for less than four hours. ...

The move comes amidst reports that U.S. will try to normalize relations with Cuba.

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