• 'Interview' ordeal at Sony just its latest crisis

    Yesterday

    TOKYO (AP) — How do you say "damage control" in Japanese? Sony Corp. is sealed within a hermetic cone of silence as executives try to prevent the slow motion train wreck at Sony Pictures from damaging the rest of the sprawling business empire. Sony's miseries with its television and smartphone businesses were bad enough. Now its American movie division, a trophy asset, is facing tens of millions of dollars in losses from leaks by hackers that attacked the company over a movie that spoofs an assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The studio's reputation is in tatters as embarrassing revelations spill from tens of thousands of leaked emails that could damage its relationships with stars and give other studios an ad

  • Cloudy Thursday in central Oklahoma with a high near 46

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    Temperatures will be in the 40s again Thursday in central Oklahoma. Skies will be cloudy.

  • Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable

    Yesterday

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder. Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a lengthy criminal history, burst into a downtown Sydney cafe on Monday wielding a shotgun, taking 17 people hostage. The siege ended 16 hours later when police stormed into the cafe to free the captives, two of whom were killed in a barrage of gunfire, along with Monis. "This has been a horrific wake-up call," Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Macquarie Radio.

  • Oklahoma City residents worried about Lake Hefner oil drilling proposal bring concerns to water trust

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Several residents worried about an oil company’s proposal to drill on the southern shore of Oklahoma City’s Lake Hefner turned out Tuesday to a regular meeting of the city’s water trust.

  • Citing 'tremendous need,' Kentucky-based company plans to build 72-bed mental health hospital in Oklahoma City

    By Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    The Oklahoma City Council on Monday approved the planned unit development for Springstone Behavioral Hospital.

  • Man charged in connection with Oklahoma City emergency room attack

    By Matt Dinger, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Keith Bain, 58, of Valliant, was charged Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court with five felonies, including two counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery upon an emergency medical care provider and malicious injury and destruction of property.

  • Idabel man is charged with murder in girl's death

    By Matt Dinger, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Dakota Lane Williston, 19, was indicted Tuesday in Muskogee federal court, accused of killing Payton Cockrell, 2, by child abuse on Indian land.

  • US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations — a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters that separate the two nations. President Barack Obama's dramatic announcement in Washington — seconded by Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana — was accompanied by a quiet exchange of imprisoned spies and the celebratory release of American Alan Gross, a government contract worker who had been held in Cuba for five years. The shift in U.S.-Cuba policy was the culmination of 18 months of secret talks between the longtime foes that included a series of meetings in Canada and the personal i

  • Sony cancels 'The Interview' amid terror hack threats

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation's largest multiplex chains pulling the film from their screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the Dec. 25 release of the Seth Rogen comedy "The Interview." The cancellation announced Wednesday was a startling blow to the Hollywood studio that has been shaken by hacker leaks and intimidations over the last several weeks by an anonymous group calling itself Guardians of Peace. A U.S. official said Wednesday that federal investigators have now connected the Sony hacking to North Korea and may make an announcement in the near future.

  • Tax cut gets green light for 2016

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Revenue projections are sufficient to trigger a cut in Oklahoma’s top state income tax bracket beginning in 2016, state Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger announced Wednesday.

  • NYC premiere of Rogen film canceled as threats fly

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The blow that the hacking attack has dealt Sony is spreading beyond the entertainment corporation itself to theater chains and movie goers alike. And the financial toll is adding up too. Threats of violence against movie theaters. The New York premiere of "The Interview" canceled. Leaks of thousands more private emails. Lawsuits by former employees that could cost tens of millions in damages. The fallout from the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack that began four weeks ago exploded Tuesday after the shadowy group calling themselves Guardians of Peace escalated their attack beyond corporate espionage and threatened moviegoers with violence reminiscent of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

  • AP Exclusive: Sydney hostage planned daring escape

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — The siege at the Sydney cafe had been going on for more than five hours and 82-year-old John O'Brien had become convinced the gunman was insane and they would likely all end up dead. And so he made a decision, one he knew came with a cost: he was going to try to escape. O'Brien — a former professional tennis player who played at Wimbledon — looked at the gunman who was at the other end of the cafe, barricaded behind tables and chairs. The man had forced two or three young women to stand in front of him as human shields, so police snipers couldn't take shots at him. O'Brien glanced up at Stefan Balafoutis, a lawyer, who was standing, as ordered, with his hands against the window. The younger man had h

  • Pakistan buries victims of school massacre

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — As they buried their children Wednesday, the families spoke of their dreams. One boy had just gotten high marks on his midterm and hoped to become a pilot. A 13-year-old wanted to become a doctor. Another kid just loved playing video games with his cousins. At cemeteries across the Pakistani city of Peshawar, families lowered the rough wooden coffins of young boys and their teachers into the cold ground and gathered under funeral tents or at home, trying to comprehend the militant attack a day earlier on a school that killed 148 people, almost all of them young students. The Pakistani government and military vowed a stepped up campaign aimed at rooting out militant strongholds in the country's trib

  • Russians flock to stores to pre-empt price rises

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian consumers flocked to the stores Wednesday, frantically buying a range of big-ticket items to pre-empt the price rises kicked off by the staggering fall in the value of the ruble in recent days. As the Russian authorities announced a series of measures to ease the pressure on the ruble, which slid 15 percent in the previous two days and raised fears of a bank run, many Russians were buying cars and home appliances — in some cases in record numbers — before prices for these imported goods shoot higher. The Swedish furniture giant IKEA already warned Russian consumers that its prices will rise Thursday, which resulted in weekend-like crowds at a Moscow store on a Wednesday afternoon.

  • Obama: As a black man he's been mistaken for valet

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — He may be president now, but Barack Obama says he's a black man who has been mistaken for the valet and worries his daughters could face stereotypes. "There's no black male my age, who's a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn't hand them their car keys," Obama told People magazine in an interview out Wednesday. That happened to him, he said. First lady Michelle Obama said her husband also once was mistaken for a waiter at a black-tie party and asked for coffee. She said even when she went to Target as first lady, a fellow shopper asked her to get something from a shelf. "I think people forget that we've lived in the White House for six years

  • Napster co-founder to invest in allergy research

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Napster co-founder Sean Parker missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods. Now that the former Facebook president is the father of two small children who have a genetic basis to develop allergies, he says he wants to help find a lasting cure to allergies. Parker announced Wednesday that he is donating $24 million over the next two years to establish an allergy research center at the Stanford University School of Medicine. "We have been applying Band-Aids for decades by using antihistamines to treat symptoms instead of going after the root cause of allergies," Parker said.

  • Country singer Boyd crowned 'The Voice' champion

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) — Country fans have spoken again. Craig Wayne Boyd, the country rocker from Blake Shelton's team, was named the winner of "The Voice" Tuesday. Boyd is the third country singer to win the NBC sing-off. The father from Nashville, Tennessee, was up against three finalists from Adam Levine's team: Runner-up Matt McAndrew, Chris Jamison, who took third place and Damien Lawson, who nabbed fourth. This is the fourth win for country star Shelton. "We went into this thing with the odds stacked against us," Shelton said Tuesday during a post-finale news conference.

  • Monaco's Charlene: royal twins born by cesarean

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    PARIS (AP) — Princess Charlene of Monaco has revealed that the royal twins born last week were delivered by cesarean section — two weeks before they were due, and she hopes to be out of the hospital by Christmas. The South Africa-born new mother of two has given her first interviews to French media since the Dec. 10 births — 15 days early — that captivated the tiny principality. Charlene, 36, told Paris Match magazine "First of all I was happy to hear their first cries." "I'm recovering from the cesarean and the little ones that came a bit prematurely are doing well," Charlene said. "They're growing each day and gaining weight. It's quite a classic procedure in this situation to be monitored in the hospital for

  • AP sources: NFL employees turn over phone, email records

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Nearly 500 employees at NFL headquarters in New York turned over phone and email records to investigators looking into how Commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff pursued and handled evidence in the Ray Rice case, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation won't be made public until former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III releases his report. The report is expected to be completed this month, one of the sources said.

  • Church of England appoints first female bishop

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — The Church of England on Wednesday named the first female bishop in its 500-year history, promoting saxophone-playing, soccer-loving vicar Libby Lane to bishop of Stockport. The announcement came five months after the church ended a long and divisive dispute by voting to allow women to serve as bishops. Lane, who called her promotion "an unexpected joy," made her first act as bishop leading a prayer for the victims of the Taliban school massacre in Pakistan. "I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment," she said.