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American freed in Cuba...Homeland Security sees no sign of plot...Stocks open higher

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Alan Gross is headed home. A senior Obama administration official says Cuba has released the American who's been imprisoned for five years. The official says Gross has departed Cuba on a U.S. government plane bound for the United States. According to the official, Gross was released on humanitarian grounds by the Cuban government at the request of the United States.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security says there's "no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters." But that hasn't stopped theaters from canceling showings of the new film "The Interview," a comedy about a CIA plot to kill the leader of North Korea. A shadowy group is warning that it will escalate its attacks against Sony beyond computer hacking -- and that theaters showing the movie could be targeted with violence.

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is opening modestly higher ahead of a key policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. Fed policymakers conclude a two-day meeting this afternoon. Traders will be watching for any signs that the Fed is considering raising interest rates.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The latest storm in a string of wet weather has been hammering Southern California overnight, unleashing heavy rain and triggering a mudslide that blocked a freeway and stranded motorists. Flash flood warnings are in effect for many areas as the system moves inland. The second of back-to-back storms brought thunderstorms to the greater Los Angeles area and several inches of snow to the mountains.

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police have used pepper spray to disperse a crowd of people waiting in line for a shoe sale at an Ohio mall. Multiple media reports say dozens of people were gathered before 6 a.m. at Franklin Park Mall in Toledo to get tickets allowing them to buy the Nike Air Jordan shoe later this week. Reports say police moved in when the crowd began to get unruly. One 19-year-old who was waiting in line told The Blade newspaper that police fired pepper spray three to four times.

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