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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

Metal icons Slayer stop tour bus to rescue this freezing little kitten

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Ahead of their show at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis, metal band Slayer stopped to rescue a poor, freezing kitten from a blustery winter evening.

“Last night Kerry [King] and some of the crew went to dinner at Kerry’s favorite steak house in Indy, St. Elmo’s Steak House. Afterwards, the assistant tour manager, Jess [Cortese] saw a homeless man on the street who offered up this little kitten for a dollar,” a post to the venue’s Facebook reads.

<script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Post by Old National Centre.

“The kitten apparently was freezing so Jess took it, slept with her in her bunk on the bus and went to the venue with her today, hanging out. One of the runners knew someone who wanted a kitten, so the little guy now has anew home where he or she currently is.”

Coincidentally, earlier this week another cat-related event involving the band Slayer went viral. A video of a cat intensely watching a Slayer concert video on TV is being widely shared on social media.

How’s that for some holiday cheer?

Read more at Rare.us.

92-year-old 'Hobbit' actor releases heavy metal Christmas song

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Christoper Lee, yes the same same 92-year-old actor from hundreds of movies including "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit," has released his newest Christmas carol titled "Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing.”

According to Billboard.com, Lee became the oldest living performer to appear on the Billboard charts with his 2012 metal Christmas carol entitled "Jingle Hell."

The Independent writes Lee's new Christmas song appears to be more of a medley, including his heavy metal takes on “The Little Drummer Boy”, “Silent Night”, “Jingle Bells” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.

http://youtu.be/-TnFIDKyX50

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.

Tim Tebow shocks Walmart shoppers by paying layaway tab

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Tim Tebow brought tears to the eyes of a few Florida families this weekend when the former NFL quarterback unexpectedly showed up at an Orlando Walmart to pay off their layaway tabs.

Tebow was filming a segment for “Good Morning America,” Sunday as part of week-long series in which the show is going across the country to surprise shoppers by paying off their layaway accounts.

In the segment that aired Monday morning, shopper Jasmine Nunes was approached by Tebow at Walmart in Orlando.

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Nunes told Tebow about recent hard times her family had experienced and how much it meant to her to have the $220.02 layaway account paid. Her items included gifts for her nieces and a new nephew who will be having his first Christmas.

“Oh my God, thank you!” she cried, hugging Tebow. 

Later, she called her mother, telling her: “Mom you’re never going to believe what just happened. Tim Tebow just paid my layaway!”

In another segment, Tebow paid off the $701 tab for Damara Jarrett in the same Orlando Walmart.

Jarrett said she is a full-time student who had been in a car accident recently and her layaway items included gifts for her two children.

“You don’t understand how hard I’ve been working,” Jarrett told Tebow after hearing the bill was to be paid. "And then I said I was going to take stuff off [the account] because I can’t afford everything, and then this. Just thank you. I just want to cry."

Kirk Douglas obituary accidentally published by People.com

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According to media reports, People magazine’s web site published an obituary on veteran actor Kirk Douglas, who is very much still alive.

According to USA Today, the obit came to the attention of Twitter users on Sunday night. It originally had a publish date of Sept. 29, 2014, but it’s not clear if the article had been publicly viewable since that date.

The story has been removed from the People website, but there are several screen captures of the mis-published obituary available on Twitter.

The 97-year-old actor suffered a stroke in 1996 but has been in good health despite speech difficulties caused by the stroke.

It’s common practice for media organizations to pre-write obituaries for celebrities and politicians. 

As of Monday morning, People has not issued a statement about the report.

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'Dancing with the Stars' crowns season 19 champion

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Cue the drumroll! The 19th season — yes, 19th season — of “Dancing With the Stars” came to a close Tuesday night. And the winner is… Please be Alfonso, please be Alfonso.

"I cannot believe this! I've wanted it forever!" Alfonso said.

Ailing back and all, fan favorite and former “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Alfonso Ribeiro and partner Witney Carson tapped, twisted and, well, “Carlton’d” their way to win the coveted Mirror Ball trophy!

Ironically, Ribeiro even revealed that it was that very wild-armed “Carlton” dance move that also injured his back earlier. Well, we’re just glad he was able to pull through.

Ribeiro and Carson outlasted 12 other couples to take the top dancing prize, but there were plenty of other memorable moments from the stars throughout the season.

Like, ahem, ducks on a pond, 17-year-old Sadie Robertson made a splash and certainly toed the line with some of her costumes choices.

That is, she had to pass it by her “Duck Dynasty” dad before jumping out on-stage. Hey, can’t blame a father for looking out for his baby girl.

Plus, she gets huge props for taking the creativity up a level.

And, of course, it IS Hollywood, so everyone keeps prying into their personal lives: will Janel and Valbecome an item off the dance floor or what?

But, sorry to say, gossip hounds, it looks like the good-looking dancing duo is still keeping everyone in the dark for now.

Still, in the end, let’s be honest: this season was really the Alfonso Ribeiro show with more “Fresh Prince” flavor than we could handle.

No matter who you rooted for, the show is still uber popular, as #DWTS trended on Twitter throughout the night.

Read more at Newsy.com

Why many headlines on Michael Phelps' girlfriend aren't accurate

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One of the world's most famous athletes Michael Phelps has quite the history of making headlines away from the pool, but his latest venture into the spotlight involves his girlfriend and a seemingly unnecessary debate over whether she was born a man or woman.

Taylor Lianne Chandler told Radar Online she was born with both sets of reproductive organs, but she identified as a boy until her teenage years. While that's considered being born intersex, you'll note the outlet's headline reads she "Was Born A Man!"

Phelps is currently in rehab and serving a six-month suspension from USA Swimming after police in Maryland arrested him for his second DUI in late September. By far the most decorated Olympic athlete in history, Phelps was in the process of training for the 2016 Olympics at the time of his arrest. (Video viaCNN & ABC / ESPN)

Chandler also told Radar Online she met Phelps in August through the matchmaking app Tinder, and she told him about her past through an email while he was in rehab. She says the Olympian has yet to respond.

She said, “Michael is a brand, and dating someone like me may not be the best thing. I just hope he follows his heart and not what his people tell him.”

And oh, the headlines that followed. Virtually every headline about the revelation to this point says Chandler was born a mana boy or a male. The Daily Mail's headline reads Chandler "admits she was born a male" as though she's done something wrong.

And Chandler does appear to have some real remorse about not telling Phelps a very intimate secret earlier in their relationship, but the gender identity reporting hasn't gone over well with her.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Chandler appeared to reference the Radar Online article when she wrote, in part, "Two steps forward and 100 steps backwards. ... In a world of educated people that had all the facts of intersex and what it means and then to sell a magazine say[ing] Michael Phelps is dating a MAN. I have cried now for an hour."

The Intersex Society of North America tries to combat misconceptions about the incredibly complex issue."Rather than trying to play a semantic game that never ends ... We work to build a world free of shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for anyone born with what someone believes to be non-standard sexual anatomy."

Chandler doesn't know if her relationship with Phelps will continue once he leaves rehab.

Cosby refuses AP questions on rape allegations, asks to 'scuttle' story

Joe Kelley is the morning news host for WBDO radio in Orlando

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The Associated Press has released video from a Bill Cosby interview in which Cosby not only refuses to answer questions about recently surfaced rape allegations, but also pressures the AP reporter to 'scuttle' the portion of the interview about the allegations. 

The interview took place on November 6th, but was just released this week. 

"I would appreciate it if it was scuttled. I think if you want to consider yourself to be serious, that it will not appear anywhere."

"I know I didn’t say anything, but I'm asking your integrity that since I didn't want to say anything, but I did answer you in terms of I didn't want to say anything, what value would it have?" Cosby pleaded.

The reporter made no promises and referred those decisions to his editor. 

The AP did not originally release the portion of the interview that addressed the rape allegations, but have now released it in light of additional allegations of abuse against the legendary comedian. 

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