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AP Top News at 3:45 a.m. EST

Spy's parents search for son after Cuba-US deal
HAVANA (AP) - The parents of convicted spy Rolando Sarraff Trujillo feared the worst when their son failed to call home from prison and they were told he had been taken away at dawn. But officials assured the couple that their son was now better off. Sarraff was publicly identified by a former intelligence official in the United States on Thursday as the unnamed spy traded for three Cuban intelligence agents jailed in the United States, one who U.S. President Barack Obama hailed as one of Washington's most valuable assets.


Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US
HAVANA (AP) - The restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States has 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. On the first full day after the surprise announcement Thursday, many Cubans expressed hope that it will mean greater access to jobs and the creature comforts taken for granted elsewhere, and lift a struggling socialist economy where staples like meat, cooking oil and toilet paper are often hard to come by.


Hack attack spurs call for more NKorea sanctions
WASHINGTON (AP) - 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. At first glance, U.S. options for responding to the hacking attack are limited. Bringing the shadowy hackers to justice appears a distant prospect. A U.S. cyber-retaliation against North Korea would risk a dangerous escalation. And North Korea is already targeted by a raft of sanctions over its nuclear weapons program.


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Companies' data security in question after Sony hack
ATLANTA (AP) - 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. The hack, which a U.S. official has said investigators believe is linked to North Korea, culminated in the cancellation of a Sony film and ultimately could cost the movie studio hundreds of millions of dollars. That the hack included terrorist threats and was focused on causing major corporate damage, rather than on stealing customer information for fraud like in the breaches at Home Depot and Target, indicates a whole new frontier has emerged in cybersecurity. Suddenly every major company could be the target of cyberextortion.


Pakistan: 67 militants killed after school massacre
ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistani jets and ground forces killed 67 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said Friday, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people - most of them children - in a school massacre. Meanwhile, a Pakistani prosecutor said the government will try to cancel the bail granted to the main suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks - a decision that outraged neighboring India and called into question Pakistan's commitment to fighting militancy.


8 children killed, mother stabbed, in Australia
SYDNEY (AP) - Eight dead children and a woman suffering from stab wounds were found inside a home in a northern Australian city on Friday, police said. Police believe the 34-year-old woman with wounds to the chest is the mother of seven of the children, and the eighth child is believed to be one of her relatives, Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said. She was receiving treatment for her injuries and was in stable condition at a hospital.


Poll: Americans skeptical of commercial drones
WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 a 2-1 margin, those who had an opinion opposed using drones for commercial purposes. Only 21 percent favored commercial use of drones, compared with 43 percent opposed. Another 35 percent were in the middle.


In Lebanon, Syrian newborns risk statelessness
BEIRUT (AP) - Nearly 30,000 Syrian children born as refugees in Lebanon are in a legal limbo, not registered with any government, exposing them to the risk of a life of statelessness deprived of basic rights. It is a problem that is replicated, to varying degrees, in nations across the Middle East where more than 3.3 million Syrians have found safe haven from the intractable civil war in their homeland.


Stephen Colbert retires his 'Report' and the host he played
NEW YORK (AP) - Stephen Colbert is dead. Stephen Colbert is immortal?


Brazil graft cases: Beginning of impunity's end?
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - A federal investigation into a kickback scheme at Brazil's state oil company has, so far, ensnared 30 executives. In Sao Paulo, prosecutors accuse 33 businessmen of running a "cartel" to profit from the city's subway system. And in perhaps the most stunning turn of all, the oil and mining tycoon who once was Brazil's richest billionaire is on trial for something that, until recently, was not even seen as a crime: profiting from inside information.