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Friday, 2 January 2015

U.S. hits North Korea with huge new sanctions in response to Sony hack

The United States just struck back against North Korea for its alleged role in the hack of Sony Pictures. In official statement released on Friday, U.S. president Barack Obama said he was signing an executive order authorizing stiff sanctions against North Korea for its “ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.” 

Bloomberg reports that the order targets 10 individuals in North Korea along with three state agencies and effectively authorizes the Treasury Department to “block the individuals and agencies from accessing the U.S. financial system and banning U.S. citizens from engaging in business with them.” 

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HarperCollins Apologizes for Omitting Israel From Middle East Atlas

News Corp's New York headquarters 

HarperCollins has apologized and said it removed from sale an atlas developed for schools in the Middle East that omitted Israel. In the below statement on its Facebook page, posted on Wednesday, the News Corp-owned publishing giant said it was sorry for leaving Israel out of the atlas and said it was pulling the book. 

HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas. This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologises for this omission and for any offence caused. 

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Box Office Winners and Losers of 2014

It was a tumultuous year for the box office. Revenue looks to have come in at $10.35 billion, down more than 5 percent from 2013's record $10.9 billion. Worse, attendance hit a two-decade low, with roughly 1.27 billion going to the movies, compared to 1.34 billion in 2013. A dismal summer was the biggest culprit (revenues tumbled 15 percent for the season). 

Still, there were plenty of happy endings, thanks to a strong international marketplace, especially with China's growing influence helping to boost some films, like Transformers: Age of Extinction which took in $1.08 billion worldwide for the top spot for the year. And there were unexpected surprises in the U.S. and abroad like Gone Girl and Guardians of the Galaxy. Here, The Hollywood Reporter looks at 2014's biggest winners and losers at the box office: 

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Farah Khan celebrates New Year with Sussanne Khan, Dia Mirza.

Jewelry designer Farah Khan brought in the New Year with family and close friends. As Farah's New Year resolution is to make family a priority, she made sure to spend time with her loved ones. Her lovely sisters Sussanne Khan and Simone along with brother Zayed Khan and his wife Malaika got together to usher the New Year.

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Manyata-Sanjay Dutt's dinner party: Ameesha Patel, Manisha Koirala, Armaan Kohli spotted.

Sanjay Dutt, who is out on a 14-day furlough, hosted a quite dinner for family and friends at his residence in Pali Hill.
Quite evidently, Ameesha Patel was dressed for the occasion. She teamed a white top with black bottoms and a headgear for the party.

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Pritam Chakraborty to compose for Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’

Pritam Chakraborty who last wowed with the peppy tracks in Dharma Productions ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ will once again compose for the production house. This time round it will be for Karan Johar’s next directorial venture Aae Dil Hai Mushkil.

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When Baby meets Bajirao !

Anuj Kumar gives a lowdown on films to watch out for in 2015
From period romance to contemporary thrillers to reimagining the detective genre, 2015 is full of possibilities. This will be the year where big studios will see the result of investing in directors who swear by content.

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