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'The Interview' to show at select theaters on Christmas Day

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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In the ever-changing saga of the Sony computer hack and the fate of the controversial movie "The Interview," it appears now that Sony is agreeing to authorize screenings of the film to select independent theaters around the U.S.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV in Atlanta report The Plaza Theatre announced via Twitter Tuesday it would be one of a few movie houses in the country to show the controversial film. 

Actor Seth Rogen, one of the stars of "The Interview" tweeted Tuesday: "The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn't give up! The Interview will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!"

Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema which has 20 locations around the country, tweeted: "Breaking news:  Sony has authorized screenings of THE INTERVIEW on Christmas Day.  We are making shows available within the hour. #Victory"

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton confirmed to CNN Tuesday afternoon "we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day."

Lynton did not specify the exact number of theaters showing the film.

The Dallas Morning News reported sources say Sony is also going to make the movie available to theaters at a reduced rental rate, as well as put it on a streaming service (not yet named) and video on demand by no later than Christmas. 

Sony Pictures Entertainment initially pulled the satirical movie about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after the movie company’s email accounts were hacked and embarrassing missives were made public. Theaters also said they would not show the movie because of hackers’ threats of violence against them and their patrons.

On Monday, the independent theater trade organization Art House Convergence (AHC) created a change.org petition to Sony Pictures’ Lynton and Amy Pascal, requesting that Sony let them screen The Interview in some form.

One of the loudest critics of the film's shelving — President Barack Obama — hailed Sony's reversal.

"The president applauds Sony's decision to authorize screenings of the film," said Obama spokesman Eric Schultz. "As the president made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression. The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome."

The FBI has said North Korea was responsible for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer network last month, crippling the network and stealing almost 38 million files. The damaging and embarrassing stolen files have since shown up on file-sharing websites.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information.

Report: Sony emails show U.S. officials blessed Kim Jong-Un killing in 'The Interview'

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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According to multiple media reports Wednesday, emails indicate the Sony CEO showed a rough cut of “The Interview” to U.S. government officials before moving ahead with the movie’s release.

The Daily Beast and Reuters claim to have seen several emails that reveal two U.S. officials in June screened and OK’d the movie in which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is assassinated. Sony was the victim of a massive computer system hack and the hackers have been releasing sensitive emails on the Internet.

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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.

According to the Daily Beast, the claim that the State Department played a role in the decision to include the film’s death scene is likely to further upset Pyongyang. The Daily Beast is reporting it has seen emails between Sony CEO Michael Lynton and a security consultant that appear to suggest the U.S. government saw "The Interview" as a useful propaganda tool against the North Korean regime.

Speculation about a North Korean link to the Sony hacking has centered on that country's angry denunciation of the film. Over the summer, North Korea warned that the film's release would be an "act of war that we will never tolerate." It said the U.S. will face "merciless" retaliation.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that there is no credible intelligence to indicate a threat, but is still investigating the message.

Read the full Daily Beast story

Ebola caregivers named Time Persons of the Year

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The Ebola caregivers were named Time's Person of the Year Wednesday morning.

Earlier in the week, Time Magazine editor Nancy Gibbs announced the shortlist of people being considered for Time‘s Person of the Year 2014.

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Appearing on the “Today Show” Gibbs narrowed the list to these eight names:

• Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.

• Taylor Swift, singer

• Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL

• Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

• The Ebola caregivers

• The Ferguson protestors

• Masoud Barzani, President of Iraqi Kurdistan

• Jack Ma, the founder of the Alibaba Group

Previous winners of the title were Pope Francis in 2013 and Barack Obama in 2012.

Gibbs said Swift, the lone entertainer on the list, was deserving to be included for her impact as a businesswoman in 2014 for her decision to pull her music off of the streaming service Spotify.

Iconic Budweiser Clydesdales reportedly being replaced for hipper ad campaign

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Have we seen the last of the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales?

According to a Wall Street Journal report,  Anheuser-Busch (properly known as AB InBev) will look to connect with a younger generation which means commercials featuring the Clydesdale horses are likely to be replaced by a hipper advertising campaign.

The Wall Street Journal reports that means the company "will not trot out the traditional Budweiser Clydesdales for this year’s holiday advertising. It means February’s Super Bowl ads will feature something more current than last year’s Fleetwood Mac. It means less baseball and more raves with DJ group Cash Cash."

The Clydesdales have been showcased in Bud ads since 1987 and have been particularly visible in holiday and Super Bowl television commercial spots.

This holiday season, however, Budweiser’s commercials will feature 20-somethings "looking directly into the camera and calling out friends’ names as a narrator asks 'If you could grab a Bud with any of your friends these holidays, who would it be?' "

The Wall Street Journal also reports that AB InBev will be sponsoring food festivals in the hopes of identifying with 21- to 27-year old "foodies."

The company will also add parties in college towns and will possibly grow its "Made in America" two-day music festival which pulls in big-name performers and up-and-coming bands.

Halloween freebies! Where you can score free stuff

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In honor of Halloween, many companies are giving away free stuff on Friday.

The following is a list of companies offering freebies, with restrictions. It’s important to note that most of the offers are based on location, so to be sure it’s suggested to call ahead before making a special trip. 

  • Chipotle: Show up in costume at any participating Chipotle after 5pm and get a burrito for only $3.
  • Outback Steakhouse: Bring the kids in their costumes and they'll eat free as long as you buy one entree.
  • Build-A-Bear: Free sweet treats for kids, no purchase necessary.
  • Petco: Get a pound of free dog treats from the Treat Bar through today with a $10 purchase and this coupon.
  • Wendy's: You can purchase a Halloween Frosty coupon book for $1 and get coupons for free Frosty's. Proceeds go to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
  • Sonic: Corn dogs or only 50 cents each all day long.1
  • IHOP: Kids can create their own "scary face" pancake for free.
  • Jamba Juice: From 2-7pm, kids can get a free smoothie.
  • Bass Pro Shops: Get a free 4x6 Halloween photo between 5-8pm Friday, or Noon-5pm Saturday and Sunday. Other free kids events will be happening from 4-8pm as well.
  • Boston Market: Free kid's meal with the purchase of any regular meal and this coupon.
  • Olive Garden: Free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult entree and this coupon.
  • Carraba's Italian Grill: Free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult entree.
  • Sbarro: Kids in costume get a free slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza.
  • Starbucks: Get a Franken Frappucino or any other grande Frappucino for only $3 after 2pm.
  • Krispy Kreme: Show up in costume and you can pick a free doughnut of your choice, including the special edition Ghostbusters doughnuts.
  • AAA Holiday Safe Ride Program: Members and nonmembers in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Nevada, Utah, Northwest Ohio, Northern California, and some parts of Virginia can call their closest AAA branch for a free ride and tow all weekend long. Be safe and avoid driving intoxicated this weekend.

Baby wipes recalled due to possible bacteria

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Pennsylvania-based Nutek Disposables, Inc.is recalling baby wipes sold at retailers Walgreen’s, Family Dollar, Sam’s Club and internet retailer Diapers.com because some packages may be contaminated with bacteria, according to a Nutek news release distributed this morning by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The expanded nationwide voluntary product recall at the retail level affects all lots of baby wipes that Nutek Disposables manufactured under the brand names Cuties, Diapers.com, Femtex, Fred’s, Kidgets, Member’s Mark, Simply Right, Sunny Smiles, Tender Touch, and Well Beginnings. These wipes were distributed by Nutek prior to October 21, 2014 to Walgreens, Sam’s Club, Family Dollar, Fred’s, and Diapers.com.

“After receiving a small number of complaints of odor and discoloration, Nutek conducted microbial testing that showed the presence of a bacteria, called Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia), in some of these products,” according to a Nutek release distributed this morning by the FDA. “Soon after, on Oct. 3, 2014 the company initiated a voluntary withdrawal of lots that had tested positive for the bacteria, as well as other baby wipes in the surrounding time frame. After some additional lots were tested, as a precautionary measure, Nutek believed it was a prudent decision to withdraw all its baby wipe products.”

B. cepacia poses little medical risk to healthy people, company officials said. But those who have certain health problems such as weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis, may be more susceptible to infections with B. cepacia. Those who have a weakened immune system or chronic lung disease and who have used one of the affected wipe products should call their doctor promptly for medical advice, company officials said.

The company had received one report of irritation as of Oct. 3, but has received “numerous reports of complaints … that include rash, irritation, infections, fever, gastro-intestinal issues, and respiratory issues” since then, although these reports “have not been confirmed to be related to the use of these products,” Nutek officials said.

Consumers who have purchased this product can return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at (855) 646-4351, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time.

2014's 'Most Ridiculous Excuses For Skipping Work' list

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We've all done it: called the boss prepared with a fake cough and sniffle, and came up with some excuse so we can enjoy a relaxing day off. But some excuses are just so far-fetched it's a surprise these workers had a job to go back to.For the 10th year in a row, CareerBuilder has released its “The Most Unbelievable Excuses for Calling in Sick.” Last year an employee said he couldn’t come in because his false teeth flew out the window while he was driving down the highway (a personal favorite).  This year's excuses are also pretty creative: 1. I just put a casserole in the oven.2. My plastic surgery needed some “tweaking” to get it just right.3. I was sitting in the bathroom and my feet and legs fell asleep. When I stood up, I fell and broke my ankle.4. I had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.5. I woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.6. I had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where I was.7. I got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.8. I had a gall stone I wanted to heal holistically.9. I caught my uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.10. I accidentally got on a plane.The excuses were gathered through a Harris Poll of 3,000 workers and 2,000 hiring managers. Now while these excuses are entertaining, they are also risky.

Nearly 18% of employers say they have fired an employee for calling in sick when they actually weren't. The best way to avoid getting caught is to stay off of social media and keep those party selfies to yourself. That's how 24% of employers say they've caught their employees having a good time when they were supposed to be at work.

Of course, we all know there is an art to faking sick which Ferris Bueller mastered:

Haunted car wash terrifies unsuspecting drivers (watch)

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If the premise of a Ford Motor Company YouTube video is to be believed, 30 unsuspecting drivers were recently detoured in a devilish Halloween prank.

The drivers were told they were on their way to a filmed Ford test drive, but were told to make a quick stop at a car wash beforehand.

It was no ordinary car wash. Ghouls and meanies of all sorts jumped out that the occupants of the car, producing hilarious reactions.

Are the participants actors? Is this all a finely-crafted social media campaign? Watch, enjoy and decide for yourself. 

Dairy Queen latest company to suffer customer card hack

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Another major security breach has affected nearly 400 Dairy Queen stores across the country.

Officials said the chain restaurant was targeted by hackers over the summer.

Company representatives said the hacking happened sometime between August and September. Dairy Queen executives said they are working with law enforcement and credit card companies to investigate.

>> Complete list of affected restaurants

So far, there is no evidence that Social Security numbers, personal identification numbers or emails were stolen.

International Dairy Queen Inc. has about 4,500 franchised stores in the U.S. It's also the parent of the Orange Julius chain, and one stand-alone Orange Julius store was breached.

The Edina, Minnesota-based company, which is owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is offering customers free identity repair services.

Major retailers including Home Depot, Target and Michael's have been the target of cyberattacks in the past year.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Amazon reportedly set to open first brick-and-mortar store

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According to a Wall Street Journal report, Amazon.com will open its first brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan later this year.

The store would reportedly open in time for the holiday-shopping season at 7 West 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building. 

“Same-day delivery, ordering online and picking up in store are ideas that are really catching on," Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer told The Wall Street Journal. "Amazon needs to be at the center of that.”

The report states that the store would carry limited inventory and provide nearby customers with same-day delivery as well as be a location for pickups, returns and exchanges of online orders.

The store will likely devote a large amount of its space to showcase Amazon's Kindle e-readers, Fire smartphones and Fire TV set-top boxes.

The Wall Street Journal reported that people "familiar with the company's thinking" have indicated that if the New York location is successful, the storefront concept could roll out to other U.S. cities in the future.

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