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Official: Sony hack ties to North Korea...Moving forward with Cuba

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A security professional with knowledge of the breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment and threats against theaters showing the movie "The Interview" says federal investigators have strong circumstantial evidence and technical commonalities pointing to North Korea. That's confirmed by a U.S. official. The film is a comedy about an assassination plot against the regime's leader. Sony has pulled the movie, which had been set to open Christmas Day.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says it won't happen overnight, but the U.S. and Cuba are moving toward improved relations. Obama says a policy of engagement will help the people of Cuba move into the 21st century. The effort follows 18 months of secret talks between the longtime foes that included a series of meetings in Canada and the personal involvement of Pope Francis at the Vatican.

WASHINGTON (AP) — American subcontractor Alan Gross, who spent five years in a Cuban prison, is thanking President Barack Obama and supporters for working to free him. Gross, who lost more than 100 pounds and developed health problems, says he never grew angry at the Cuban people.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is cutting short prison time for eight drug convicts under a new policy designed to reduce harsh sentences under outdated guidelines. They're the first commutations under a new administration policy designed to reduce the nation's bulging prison population and grant leniency to nonviolent drug offenders sentenced to double-digit terms.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Fifty-four soldiers in Nigeria have been sentenced to death for mutiny, assault, cowardice and refusing to fight Islamic extremists. They were accused of refusing to deploy to recapture three towns seized by Nigeria's home-grown Boko Haram in August. Troops regularly complain that they are outgunned by Boko Haram, they are not paid in full and they are abandoned on the battlefield without enough ammunition or food.

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