1. Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State
     Published by The New York Times on 2014-12-18 at 07:25:17

The governor’s administration concluded that hydraulic fracturing, which was heavily promoted as a source of economic revival for depressed communities, could contaminate the state’s air and water.

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2. U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility
     Published by The New York Times on 2014-12-18 at 07:32:47

The U.S. will open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half century after the release of an American contractor held in prison for five years, officials said.

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4. Alamo Drafthouse In Dallas/Fort Worth To Show ‘Team America’ Instead Of ‘The Interview’
     Published by Huffington Post on 2014-12-18 at 09:31:00

Sony may have pulled "The Interview" in wake of hacker threats, but at least one movie theater isn't letting North Korea off the hook. The Alamo Drafthouse is planning to run "Team America: World Police" in its place at its Dallas/Forth Worth location. 

...

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5. Pope Francis celebrates 78th birthday with mass tango – in pictures
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 01:22:25

Thousands of people sang Happy Birthday and performed a mass tango in St Peter’s Square to celebrate the pope’s birthday. The Argentinian pontiff was born in the birthplace of the tango and previously admitted to being a fan of the erotic dance Contin...

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6. U.S. Said to Find North Korea Ordered Cyberattack on Sony
     Published by The New York Times on 2014-12-18 at 04:36:31

American intelligence officials have concluded that the government of Kim Jong-un was “centrally involved” in the attacks on the film company’s computers.

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7. Obama and Raúl Castro thank pope for breakthrough in US-Cuba relations
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 01:27:34

Surprise breakthrough came after 45-minute phone call between President Obama and Raúl Castro finalised the release of US prisoner Alan GrossLive updates: Obama to announce sweeping changes to US-Cuba relationsRaúl Castro hails improved US-Cuba relation...

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8. Anger and grief as Pakistan buries students massacred at school
     Published by Yahoo on 2014-12-18 at 03:15:46

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan on Wednesday began burying 132 students killed in a grisly attack on their school by Taliban militants that has heaped pressure on the government to do more to tackle an increasingly aggressiv...

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9. The US and Cuba are now on equal terms for the first time in history
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 02:38:00

Pope and envoys played acknowledged roles in healing breach, focusing on Guantanamo bay and humanitarian issues Continue reading...

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10. Kevin Andrews defies report to argue for more control of welfare recipients’ cash
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 16:55:08

Social services minister says income management would succeed if only it was applied more rigorouslyKevin Andrews says he supports greater levels of income management for welfare recipients, despite a government report released on Thursday showing little ...

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11. Swiss central bank introduces negative interest rates – business live
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 16:55:08

The latest business and finance news, as SNB takes fresh measures to weaken the franc following the Russian rouble crisisSNB imposes negative rates to weaken the francQ&A: Negative rates explainedWhat the experts say 11.19am GMT After a rocky start, G...

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13. US executes fewer prisoners, but deaths are more brutal: report
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 16:55:08

An increase in botched executions highlight a year that had a sharp drop of state-sanctioned deathsWhen students of the US death penalty look back on the year 2014 they are likely to remember it as one of the most grotesque on record, punctuated by a seri...

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14. Chinese Android phones contain in-built hacker ‘backdoor’
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 16:55:08

Smartphones made by Coolpad on sale in Britain and the US have a major security flaw that lets hackers steal private dataSmartphones from a major Chinese manufacturer have a security flaw that was deliberately introduced and allows hackers full control of...

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15. The US embargo is disappearing; so, too, must Cuba’s dictatorship
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 16:55:08

Supporters of the Castros have long argued that a transition to democracy is made impossible by US hostility. That excuse may no longer holdThe US embargo against Cuba is nothing less than an act of vindictiveness and spite; the fact it is finally crumbli...

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16. Syria: where modern and medieval warfare combines
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 16:55:08

The conflict in Syria is the defining humanitarian crisis of our time. We need more aid and pressure on both sides to relieve the sufferingMore aid is reaching more people inside Syria, but escalating violence across the country has left more people than ...

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17. Senior cleric: Iran has knowledge to build a nuclear bomb
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 16:55:08

The Islamic republic has reached the expertise to enrich uranium not just to the 5% and 20% levels required for civilian uses but to higher levels required for a bomb, says Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami An official site belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Gu...

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18. New autopsy claims Albert Ebossé was stabbed and beaten to death in Algeria
     Published by The Guardian on 2014-12-18 at 16:55:08

• Official report said Cameroonian hit by object thrown from stands• Pathologist believes JS Kabylie striker killed by ‘brutal aggression’A new autopsy has claimed that the Cameroonian footballer Albert Ebossé was stabbed and brutally beate...

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20. Sony Pictures Cancels Holiday Release of ‘The Interview’ After Threats
     Published by The New York Times on 2014-12-18 at 07:18:15

Multiplex chains that control more than 19,200 screens in North America decided not to release the film, ending any prospect of a serious theatrical release.

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