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'The Interview' is now available for viewing...Mayor appeals for calm...Stocks edge higher

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — People who want to see the Sony Pictures film "The Interview" won't have to wait until Christmas. It is now available for rental on a variety of digital platforms -- including Google Play and YouTube Movies. It was just a few days ago that tomorrow's scheduled release of the movie in theaters was canceled in the aftermath of a hacking attack on Sony and terrorist threats against theaters. But the satire about an assassination plot against North Korea's leader is now scheduled for a limited release in theaters tomorrow -- for those who don't want to watch it online.

BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) — The mayor of the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley, Missouri is appealing for calm, after a white police officer fatally shot a black 18-year-old who police say had pointed a gun at him. The shooting touched off renewed protests in the community near Ferguson, where Michael Brown was shot and killed in August. Officials say the police officer involved in last night's shooting is on administrative leave pending an investigation.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have finished the day mostly higher a day after the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 18,000 for the first time. Trading ended early today ahead of the Christmas holiday. Traders were encouraged by the latest positive news on the U.S. economy. The government reported this morning that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is the lowest it's been in almost two months. That's a good sign for the job market. The Dow rose six points. The S&P 500 was flat, and the Nasdaq composite gained eight.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge in Los Angeles is denying director Roman Polanski's latest bid to have his 1977 sex case dismissed. The judge's order says Polanski's claims of judicial misconduct and his bid to dismiss the case cannot be addressed because he remains a fugitive outside the country after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977. It says Polanski has other options, including returning to California to pursue his claims.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Zoo in Washington is reassuring fans of the panda cub Bao Bao that she's doing fine after spending the night in a tree. Members of the public can watch a live feed online of the zoo's pandas. When they saw that Bao Bao was in a tree overnight and still there this afternoon, they voiced their concerns on the zoo's Facebook page. The zoo explained that Bao Bao climbed the tree after touching a "hot wire" used for animal containment yesterday afternoon. Zookeepers say Bao Bao's reaction was predictable and she's "perfectly fine."

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