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  • ‘The Interview’ jeopardizes overseas movie villains

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood loves its overseas villains. Evil forces from Russia, China and North Korea have tirelessly menaced our big-screen heroes in recent years. But, in the wake of the startling cancellation of “The Interview,” an entire species of movie baddies might be in danger of extinction. One film already bit the dust.…

  • IMF withholds bailout money for Cyprus

    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it won’t release $108 million (88 million euros) in rescue money for bailed-out Cyprus after the country’s parliament voted to hold a key foreclosure law from taking effect at the end of December. An IMF statement said the month-long suspension of the law contravened the…

  • Judge may toss 4 guilty pleas in inside-trade case

    NEW YORK (AP) — A judge said Thursday he’s leaning toward tossing out four guilty pleas in an insider-trading case, the latest fallout from a recent appeals court ruling criticizing prosecutors’ tactics. U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. notified attorneys of his plans in separate proceedings for five defendants. He said he believes it’s…

  • Hellman’s maker Unilever drops suit over ‘Just Mayo’

    Hellman’s mayonnaise maker Unilever has withdrawn its lawsuit against the maker of “Just Mayo.” Unilever filed suit against Hampton Creek earlier this year claiming the name of the small California company’s product amounted to false advertising. The consumer-products giant, whose U.S. arm is based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, had said that “Just Mayo” has…

  • Government selling last stake in Ally Financial

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is selling the last of its shares in Ally Financial Inc., the former financing arm of General Motors that was bailed out during the financial crisis. Detroit-based Ally said Thursday that the Treasury Department is selling its remaining 54.9 million shares. That amounts to about an 11 percent stake in…

  • Land, water rights needed for Nevada nuclear dump

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The federal Energy Department will need to acquire water and land rights before it gets approval to entomb the nation’s most radioactive waste beneath a mountain in the Nevada desert, according to a report released Thursday by an the agency being asked to license the project. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission report…

  • Oregon high court says injured snowboarder can sue

    SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday a ski resort’s broad liability waiver cannot prevent a paralyzed snowboarder from suing. The justices ruled that the liability waiver was “unconscionable” and contrary to public policy, potentially opening the door for more people injured in recreational activities to file successful lawsuits. Myles Bagley was…

  • California power regulator doesn’t address claims

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s chief utility regulator finished the last meeting of his 12-year tenure by calling himself a man who got things done. However, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey made no mention Thursday of two scandals that marred his time in the post. One was a deadly gas pipeline explosion in…

  • China pledges to speed entry of US pharmaceuticals

    CHICAGO (AP) — China is promising to streamline a regulatory process that has held up imports of pharmaceuticals and medical devices from the United States. The country also pledges to enforce its anti-monopoly laws equally among Chinese and foreign companies. The agreements were announced Thursday at an annual trade meeting in Chicago. Assistant Minister of…

  • Uber suspends operations in Portland for 3 months

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Less than two weeks after the ride-hailing app Uber launched in Portland without officials’ approval, the company said it is suspending operations for three months to work out its differences with the city. General manager Brooke Steger wrote in a blog post Thursday that Portland is working to update its regulations…

  • Montana ex-billionaire jailed for contempt

    BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Embattled real estate mogul Tim Blixseth was taken away in handcuffs on Thursday after a federal judge ordered the onetime billionaire jailed until he accounts for millions of dollars he owes his creditors. Blixseth’s lawyers said they were uncertain how long it would take for them to come up with the…

  • Will artists skip studio support after Sony scandal?

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony’s decision to cancel “The Interview” in the face of terrorist threats is already affecting the way Hollywood does business. It has outraged artists, killing their faith in studios to release edgy content. But it’s also inspired a rare hush across a usually chatty industry as everyone from moguls to makeup…

  • Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

    HAVANA (AP) — The restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States unleashed expectations Thursday 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, many Cubans expressed hope that it…

  • US regulators label MetLife as potential financial threat

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators have labeled insurer MetLife as a potential threat to the financial system, a designation that brings stricter government oversight. MetLife said Thursday that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated the company as “systemically important.” As a result, MetLife must increase its cushion of capital against losses, limit its use…

  • Group challenges timber producer’s ‘green’ label

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A watchdog group is challenging the environmentally friendly “green lumber” certification for Plum Creek Timberlands, one of the nation’s biggest landowners and timber producers. The Center for Sustainable Economy, based in Lake Oswego, Oregon, filed the complaint Thursday with a nonprofit group that verifies whether timber producers follow standards for…