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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

FBI stands firm on North Korea as doubts surface over Sony hacking

WASHINGTON – Amid growing speculation by some cybersecurity experts that North Korea might not have been behind the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the FBI on Monday dismissed the possibility that anyone else was to blame. “There is no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident,” the FBI said in a statement.

The agency stood by its conclusion that the North Korean government was behind the devastating attack on Sony, which resulted in the release of reams of sensitive data and personal emails. The alleged motive was North Korea’s unhappiness with Sony’s film “The Interview.”

The FBI has said it can’t release all the evidence against North Korea because doing so would compromise sensitive sources. But the bureau’s statement Monday cited intelligence from the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community, the Department of Homeland Security, foreign partners and the private sector.

– McClatchy Newspapers

INDIANA

Passenger sues Megabus, saying he was hurt in crash

SEYMOUR, Ind. – Dyrell Lee, of Hampton, Ga., is suing for negligence, claiming that he was one of at least two dozen passengers injured when the bus rolled over Dec. 20 on Interstate 65.

Lee filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court last week against Coach USA Inc. and its subsidiaries, Megabus USA LLC, Megabus Southeast LLC, Coach Leasing Inc. Megabus USA LLC is based in Chicago.

The bus carrying roughly 70 passengers was traveling from Chicago to Atlanta, when around 5:30 a.m., the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll over and rest on its side, according to the lawsuit.

At the time of the crash, Reuters reported that several other collisions happened in the same area due to light snow that created slick roadways. No one was seriously injured in the Megabus crash, according to Reuters.

– Chicago Tribune

NORTH CAROLINA

Possum Drop is still on, but live opossum won’t be used

DURHAM, N.C. — The Annual Clay’s Corner Possum Drop is still on for New Year’s Eve in Brasstown, N.C. – but without an actual living, breathing opossum.

Responding to a lawsuit from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, country store owner Clay Logan said Monday he won’t lower a live opossum in a box Wednesday night – a 21-year New Year’s countdown tradition in his tiny Smoky Mountains town. PETA had sued to stop the event, attended by up to 3,000 people. In a letter to a North Carolina judge, Logan promised not to put a live opossum in the plexiglass box he lowers from a light pole every New Year’s Eve outside his store.

“We’ll still do something – maybe some roadkill or a pot of stewed possum,” Logan said by phone Monday as he prepared for the event. PETA has said the Possum Drop subjects the wild animals to stress and trauma that could kill them.

– Los Angeles Times

MISSOURI

Multiple sclerosis patients cheer FDA’s OK of new drug

ST. LOUIS – Patients facing limited options for treating their relapsing multiple sclerosis are celebrating the FDA’s approval of a new aggressive drug treatment. The ruling reverses the agency’s decision a year ago that the drug was not yet ready.

“Isn’t it wonderful?” said Linda Kostelac, 64, of Belleville, Ill., who wrote letters to newspapers urging readers to sign an online petition after the initial thumbs-down of the drug Lemtrada. “It is a true Christmas present.”

Kostelac has a son, 38, with MS.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration initially rejected the drug, despite dramatic improvements in study subjects, because of concerns over how rigorous the studies were and the potential for serious side effects. In June, the FDA allowed drug manufacturer Genzyme to resubmit its application with additional analysis of research data and information addressing the concerns.

– St. Louis Post Dispatch