Security guards stand behind bicycle rails at the entrance of United Artists theater during premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los Angeles, California December 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

North Korean hackers win; Sony cancels 'The Interview'

LOS ANGELES - Sony Pictures canceled the release of a comedy on the fictional assassination of North Korea's leader, in what appears to be an unprecedented victory for Pyongyang.   Full Article | Video 

U.S. jobless claims point to firmer labor market 8:52am EST

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Putin talks, but has no real economic remedy

MOSCOW - President Putin said Russia's economy would inevitably rebound after the ruble's dramatic slide this year but offered no remedy to a deepening financial crisis.  Full Article 

An explosion following an air strike is seen in central Kobani in Syria, November 17, 2014. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

U.S. allies increasingly absent from Syria strikes

WASHINGTON/DUBAI - As U.S. fighter jets pound Islamic State targets in Syria, Washington's coalition allies appear increasingly absent from the air war.  Full Article 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) greets fracking protesters outside his office in New York December 17, 2014.  REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

New York bans fracking after health report

ALBANY, NY/NEW YORK - New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks.  Video | Full Article 

Cubans, and cigar-lovers, cheer prisoner swap

Reuters Chief Cuba Correspondent Daniel Trotta reports that crowds of Cubans have taken to the streets of Havana to celebrate the return of three men jailed in the U.S., which cigar and run aficionados can look forward to soon enjoying Cuban liquor and tobacco.