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Many Americans looking forward to 2015...Hacker group criticized...NKorea slurs Obama

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A recent poll finds Americans looking with some optimism toward 2015. The Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll finds that nearly half predict a better year for themselves in 2015 while only 1 in 10 think it will be worse. Opinions on the top news of 2014 is about evenly divided among the rise of the Islamic State group, protests over the killings of black men by police and the Ebola outbreak. A separate survey of news directors and editors picks the police killings.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Other hacker groups have condemned Christmas cyberattacks on Sony's play station network and Microsoft's Xbox Live service by a group of self-proclaimed hackers called Lizard Squad. Sony's PlayStation network continues to struggle while Xbox live is mostly up and running today.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has once again slurred President Barack Obama as it blames the U.S. for a takedown of the country's Internet service. The row started with the hack on Sony Pictures over the film "The Interview," which incensed Pyongyang. The U.S. blamed the hack on North Kora but Pyongyang denies it. North Korea now calls Obama a "monkey" and says he's behind the release of the movie.

NEW YORK (AP) — The funeral for New York City Police officer Rafael Ramos will be held today with thousands expected to attend. He and his partner were killed in a daylight ambush by a gunman who later killed himself. At a wake yesterday, Ramos was described as a selfless, caring and compassionate man.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police say a woman shot in a parking structure pointed a gun at an officer before he opened fire, hitting her in the leg. Police say the woman had fought with another female. Diamond Vargaswas booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer. She's in stable condition at a hospital.

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