US, Cuba to normalize relations  The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday.

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Oprah's network postpones Sam documentary

Updated: Saturday, May 17, 2014 |
(AP) - The planned documentary by the Oprah Winfrey Network on Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, has been postponed.

Erik Logan, president of the network, says Friday that the postponement will allow Sam "the best opportunity to achieve his dream of making the team."

As a seventh-round draft pick, Sam will face hefty challenges just to make the St. Louis Rams. Being the subject of a TV documentary could have been a major distraction for the defensive end from Missouri.

So after meetings with the Rams on Friday, OWN decided to delay the project.
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Business News

Last Update on December 18, 2014 08:45 GMT

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates, 10 a.m.

Conference Board releases leading indicators for November, 10 a.m.

SONY HACK-NORTH KOREA

NEW YORK (AP) -- A U.S. official says North Korea perpetrated an unprecedented act of cyberwarfare against Sony Pictures that exposed tens of thousands of sensitive documents and escalated to threats of terrorist attacks that ultimately drove the studio to cancel all release plans for "The Interview," the film at the heart of the attack.

Federal investigators have now connected the Sony Pictures hack to the isolated communist nation, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to openly discuss an ongoing criminal case.

Earlier in the day, the besieged company said it was canceling the Christmas Day release of "The Interview." It cited the threats of violence against movie theaters and decisions by the largest multiplex chains in North America, one after another, to pull the film from its screens.

The attack is unprecedented and possibly the costliest for a U.S. company ever, says Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at research firm Gartner.

UBER-SAFETY

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Taxi alternative Uber is responding to public concerns that its drivers are not adequately screened for past criminal convictions by promising to focus on rider safety.

Uber's head of global safety wrote in a blog post Wednesday that in 2015 the company will "build new safety programs and intensify others."

The initiatives will include new ways to screen drivers and the creation of teams that can rapidly respond to safety-related reports.

The blog referenced a case in India in which a driver was accused of raping a passenger. It didn't mention a lawsuit filed by California prosecutors which says the company's safety checks of drivers fall short.

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