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BC-AP Americas Digest

December 19, 2014

TOP STORIES:

SONY HACK-US RESPONSE

WASHINGTON — Suspicions that North Korea was behind a destructive hacking attack against Sony Pictures and a threat against movie theaters are intensifying calls for tougher U.S. steps to cut that country’s access to hard currency and declare it once more as a state sponsor of terrorism. By Matthew Pennington and Eric Tucker.

AP Photos.

CUBA-HOPES AND FEARS

HAVANA — The restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States unleashed expectations of even more momentous changes on an island that often seems frozen in a past of classic cars and crumbling Art Deco buildings. By Peter Orsi and Andrea Rodriguez.

AP Photos.

DRONES-POLL

WASHINGTON — Americans are skeptical that the benefits of the heralded drone revolution will outweigh the risks to privacy and safety, although a majority approve of using small, unmanned aircraft for dangerous jobs or in remote areas, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. By Joan Lowy and Jennifer Agiesta.

AP Photos.

BRAZIL-BATTLING IMPUNITY

RIO DE JANEIRO — An aggressive crackdown on corruption by Brazil’s rich and powerful is raising a once unfathomable question: Is this the beginning of the end for the South American nation’s entrenched culture of impunity?

AP Photos

COLOMBIA-PEACE TALKS

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s government rebuffs a unilateral truce declared by the country’s largest rebel group, saying the guerrillas’ conditions are unacceptable until a peace deal is reached. By Libardo Cardona.

AP Photos.

MORE ON CUBA:

CUBA-US SPY

HAVANA — When convicted spy Rolando Sarraff Trujillo failed to call home from prison, his parents went to the jail to see if their son had fallen ill. Officials told the elderly couple not to worry, saying only that he was better off. By Andrea Rodriguez.

AP Photos.

US-CUBA-LATIN AMERICA

CARACAS, Venezuela — Latin America is welcoming the renewal of ties between Cuba and the United States, but the rapprochement may complicate matters for Havana’s chief ally, Venezuela, which has been moving in the opposite direction, becoming more stridently anti-American. By Hannah Dreier and Fabiola Sanchez.

AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

SONY HACK-COMPANIES ON ALERT

ATLANTA — Companies across the globe are on high alert to tighten up network security to avoid being the next company brought to its knees by hackers like those that executed the dramatic cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment. By Mae Anderson.

AP Photos.

US-CHINA TRADE

CHICAGO — China promises to speed up imports of pharmaceuticals and medical devices from the United States and enforce its anti-monopoly laws equally among Chinese and foreign companies. Those commitments were announced at an annual trade meeting between the two countries that took place in Chicago. By Jason Keyser.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

TV-COLBERT REPORT

NEW YORK — After nine years, Stephen Colbert has left the Comedy Central satirical-news “The Colbert Report” show, retiring the mythical character who served as host — a pompous, conservative scold also known as Stephen Colbert. By Frazier Moore.

AP Photo.

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