National / International News

VIDEO: The parents who never expected to see their child in a nativity play

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 15:10
The 49 children who made it to an unlikely nativity

EU leaders focus on investment boost

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 15:05
EU leaders are to consider ways to unlock billions of euros of investment and policy on Russia, at a Brussels summit.

Newcastle consider emergency keeper

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 14:55
Newcastle want to sign a goalkeeper on emergency loan ahead of Sunday's derby against Sunderland, says boss Alan Pardew.

In pictures: US-Cuban relations

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 14:53
Cuba's relationship with the US in 16 images

Dujardin sets second world record

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 14:36
British double Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro perform the "ride of our lives" to set another world record.

Death penalty for Nigerian soldiers

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 14:26
A Nigerian court martial in the capital Abuja sentences 54 soldiers to death for refusing to fight Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Making a Christmas special 'special'

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 14:24
Making a Christmas special 'special'

VIDEO: 'Buddhist bug' art explores difference

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 14:19
Performance artist Anida Yoeu Ali's Buddhist bug series aims to answer questions about religion, identity and difference

VIDEO: Record 32 penalties in 100 seconds

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 14:07
Watch the record FA Cup shootout between League One side Scunthorpe United and non-league Worcester City in their second-round replay.

Worcester City 1-1 Scunthorpe United

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 14:01
Non-league Worcester City's FA Cup run ends as Scunthorpe win 14-13 in the longest penalty shootout in FA Cup history.

Sony cancels The Interview release

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 13:23
Sony cancels the release of The Interview, a film about a fictional plot to kill North Korea's leader, after major cinemas decide not to screen it.

What is behind the US-Cuba thaw?

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 13:15
After the announcement of a "historic shift" in US-Cuba relations, how will the lives of Cubans change and how will the changes be received in Cuba and the US?

Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 13:12
Liverpool secure a much-needed victory as Raheem Sterling scores twice in a League Cup quarter-final win over Bournemouth.

Armitage banned for abusing fans

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 13:11
Toulon's Delon Armitage is banned for 12 weeks for using foul and abusive language towards Leicester Tigers fans.

Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Newcastle United

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 13:07
Four-time winners Tottenham move into the League Cup semi-finals with an emphatic win against Newcastle United.

Two charged over NI dissident terror

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 13:01
Another two men are charged with terror offences as part of an undercover police investigation into dissident republican terrorism in Newry, County Down.

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

NPR News - Wed, 2014-12-17 12:53

For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has lead to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.

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Sony cancels 'The Interview'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-12-17 12:51

Sony Pictures Entertainment scrapped its Christmas release of the "The Interview" Wednesday. The move comes after several major theater chains decided not to run the film in response to threats hackers who launched a major attack on the studio over the past month.

Just as Sony officially announced it wouldn't release "The Interview," several news organizations reported that North Korea was behind the hack, citing unnamed sources close to the U.S. investigation.

In a statement Tuesday coupled with another mass of leaked emails, the hackers referenced Sept. 11 and warned people to stay away from theaters showing "The Interview," which North Korea has previously condemned.

The comedy is about a TV host and producer recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Sony has been battered for weeks by continuous leaked emails, internal documents, financials, social security numbers and more.

The Seth Rogen and James Franco film, with a modest $45 million budget, is relatively small fare for Sony.

"It's not your typical 'X-Men'  type of blockbuster where there are endless commercial tie-ins," says Jennifer Holt, a professor of film and media studies at the University of California.

Holt says Sony will take a hit, but it was far riskier for the entire movie business if it was screened during Christmas.

"The Christmas season is a huge time for the movie business, and it's a time where they bring out all of their marquee films, so this is a very big revenue period," says Holt.

Eric Wold, analyst with B. Riley & Co., estimates movies will bring in about $2.5 billion in revenue during the last quarter of the year. "The Interview" potentially represented just 2 percent of that, Wold says, while representing an outsize threat to theater chains' bottom line.

"If moviegoers themselves are concerned that something could happen, even if they are not planning to see that movie, they may skip going to the theater altogether to see 'The Hobbit' or some other movie coming out," says Wold.

Theaters can easily replace Sony's film with one of the big Christmas movies being released next week, and likely avoid a financial hit, says Wold. For that reason, he says, it makes sense for exhibitors to pull out of screening "The Interview."

But Jason Squire, a film professor at USC and editor of "The Movie Business Book," says the implications go far beyond this one film.

"This is really going to have a negative impact on what is an artistic business venture," Squire says.

Because of the Sony hack, movie studios are likely to become more cautious about the content of their films in the future, he says.

Farc rebels declare unilateral truce

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 12:50
Colombia's Farc rebels declare a unilateral ceasefire for an indefinite period of time, but the government is yet to respond to the move.

Crolla has surgery after attack

BBC - Wed, 2014-12-17 12:37
Anthony Crolla has surgery after being attacked by burglars, suffering a fractured skull and a broken ankle.

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