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AP Top News at 1:39 p.m. EST

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing executive emails. One month later, the Obama administration confirmed what many had suspected: The North Korean government was behind the punishing breach. U.S. officials are promising a response, unspecified so far.


A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US
HAVANA (AP) - Daniela Martinez long figured that someday she would leave the struggles of daily life in Cuba and join her uncle in the United States, but after the events of the last few days, the 18-year-old medical student thinks exile may not be her only choice. "He always tells me things are better there," Martinez said, gesturing with her chin toward the sea leading to Florida. Dangling her legs over the edge of the Malecon, the iconic concrete seawall where entertainment-starved young Havanans gather each evening, she said, "I think things are going to get better."


N. Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of "serious" consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack. The proposal was seen by analysts as a typical ploy by the North to try to show that it is sincere, even though it knows the U.S. would never accept its offer for a joint investigation.


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Cubans imprisoned in US appear before parliament
HAVANA (AP) - Members of the Cuban parliament gave a standing ovation Saturday to three men convicted of spying in the United States who were released as part of a historic agreement to restore relations between the two long-hostile countries. The three men, long regarded as heroes in Cuba, appeared before the National Assembly along with family members. Seated behind them in the audience was Elian Gonzalez, the young Cuban rafter who in 2000 was at the center of a bitter custody battle between relatives in Miami and his father in Cuba.


Burying the dead after Pakistan's school massacre
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - One of the gravediggers at Peshawar's largest graveyard has a rule. He says he never cries when he buries the dead. He's a professional, he says. But as the dead bodies - mostly children - started coming in from a school massacre this week that killed 148 people, he began to weep.


After turbulent year, Obama aims for quiet Hawaii getaway
KAILUA, Hawaii (AP) - A tumultuous year all but behind him, President Barack Obama set off for his annual winter getaway in Hawaii hoping for one thing: Quiet. Air Force One touched down late in the evening at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, with the president, first lady Michelle Obama, their daughters and two dogs on board. On Saturday, the family was to begin their roughly two-week retreat from the hubbub in Washington on the lush island of Oahu.


Immigrants build document trails to remain in US
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Electricity bills. Speeding tickets. Dentist records. Money order receipts. The search for documents is on for immigrants who may qualify for a work permit and reprieve from deportation under measures President Barack Obama announced last month. Applicants must prove they were in the country continuously since Jan. 1, 2010 - a tall order for many accustomed to avoiding trails. For critics, conditions are ripe for fraud.


Tick-tock: Tips for last-minute shoppers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The clock is ticking, and your holiday shopping list isn't complete. Don't fret - you aren't alone.


Christmas 1914: The day even WWI showed humanity
PLOEGSTEERT, Belgium (AP) - With British and German forces separated only by a no-man's land littered with fallen comrades, sounds of a German Christmas carol suddenly drifted across the frigid air: "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" ("Silent Night, Holy Night"). Then, during that first Christmas Day in World War I, something magical happened.


Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future
MIAMI (AP) - One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action. It's a prospect welcomed by Cubans desperate for economic growth yet deeply concerning for environmentalists and the tourism industry in the region.