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Sony defends 'Interview' decision...Pakistan hangs 2 militants...Lava flow

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NEW YORK (AP) — Sony Pictures Entertainment is defending its decision to halt the release of "The Interview." President Barack Obama said during a press conference Friday that Sony "made a mistake" when it pulled the movie. The studio fired back, saying the cancellation happened only because the country's top theater chains pulled out, adding: "This was their decision." Sony says it has been "actively surveying alternatives" to release the film on a different platform.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan has hanged two convicted militants in the country's first executions in years. Meanwhile, Pakistani warplanes and ground forces have been pounding insurgent hideouts in a northwest region bordering Afghanistan — part of a stepped-up response to the Taliban slaughter of scores of schoolchildren. Before the hangings, the Taliban threatened to kill more children if executions were carried out.

SYDNEY (AP) — An Australian woman has been arrested for murder in the killings of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own. Queensland Police say the 37-year-old woman is recovering in a hospital from stab wounds and speaking with investigators. She has not yet been charged. Police haven't said how the children died, but they say they are examining several knives in the home that may have been the weapon used.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Prosecutors say a San Francisco sheriff's deputy has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a hospital patient in an emergency room and then lying in a police report to say the man attacked him. The deputy has been charged with four felonies, including perjury and filing a false police report, and misdemeanor battery for the Nov. 3 incident. Prosecutors say video of the incident shows the deputy assaulting the man and placing him under arrest. It doesn't show the victim threatening the deputy.

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava flowing in a rural Hawaii town continues to slow down and it's estimated it will reach a shopping center in about eight days. Hawaii County officials say the estimate is based on the current rate of advancement and could change. Most merchants in the Pahoa Marketplace have either closed or are preparing to close.

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