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

Sony attack a practice run?

SEOUL - The hacking attack on Sony Pictures may have been a practice run for North Korea's elite cyber-army.   Full Article 

Asia stocks boast biggest rise in 15 months, BOJ brightens 12:16am EST

SYDNEY - Asian shares enjoyed their best day in 15 months on Friday, after Wall Street boasted its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 amid relief the Federal Reserve was in no rush to withdraw stimulus from the U.S. economy.

An anti-Castro Cuban exile holds a Cuban flag during a protest after the announcement of restoring diplomatic ties between Cuba and United States, at an area knows as 'Little Havana' in downtown Miami, Florida December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Inside the U.S.-Cuba backchannel

Reuters Diplomatic Editor Warren Strobel breaks down the secret evolution of U.S.-Cuba ties under the Obama administration culminating in Wednesday's prisoner swap.  Video | Full Article 

A man holds a placard as he attends a candlelight vigil in Islamabad across the Red Mosque for students killed in Peshawar School attack, December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

U.S. finds few inroads with Pakistan

WASHINGTON - The United States has tried virtually every strategy available to persuade Pakistan's army to take the threat of militancy more seriously, but 12 years and $28 billion in aid later, all the American approaches are widely viewed as having failed.  Full Article 

An employee counts Russian ruble banknotes at a private company's office in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Putin: Ruble crisis? What ruble crisis?

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin assured Russians that the economy would rebound after the ruble's dramatic slide this year but offered no remedy for a deepening financial crisis.  Full Article | Commentary 

A woman with an umbrella walks along the shoreline of Lanikai Beach during a brief sunrise sunshower in Kailua, Hawaii. REUTERS/Lucy Pemoni

The best places to retire

Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire. Learn how to use our interactive tool to help you determine the cities and towns that meet your criteria.  Video | Graphic 

Rough Cut
Crowds still flocking to Sydney's floral tribute for siege victims

Crowds of people are still flocking to the scene of Sydney's deadly cafe siege to lay floral tributes for the two civilian victims. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).