The FBI formally announced Friday that North Korea was behind the cyberattack on Sony that led to recent cancelation of the movie "The Interview."

     Arizona "Dreamers" are free to apply for driver's licenses on Monday, despite the governor's objections, a federal judge ruled.  

     Nothing like being a lame-duck president if you want to get things done.
     Many years ago, when I lived on the rez, an old Indian told this story about a wounded duck.
     The old man said that one day when the wind was blowing strong, he shot a duck with his shotgun. But he only winged it.
     He said the duck kept flapping its wounded wings, facing into the wind, and just hovered there in the wind forever.
     "I think that duck is still up there after all these years," the old man said, "flapping its wings. Getting nowhere."
     For more than 50 years, the United States' punishment of Cuba has been like that wounded duck. Flapping its wounded wings, getting nowhere.
     President Obama's opening to Cuba is a wonderful thing.
     Not that Cuba has a wonderful government. Of course it does not. But Cuba's government is far less brutal and corrupt than many countries with whom we have normal diplomatic relations, among them Mexico, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
     Two million people of Cuban ancestry live in the United States. More than 11 million people live in Cuba. There is no reason whatsoever for the United States to punish and separate 13 million cousins forever.
     Well, there is one reason: so unscrupulous politicians in both our political parties can keep whipping up hate in search of votes.
     President Obama has drawn their sting, and it's about time.
     Congress will have to act before our relations with Cuba are truly normal, and it's foolish to expect that Congress will do this.
     No, the congressional minority will keep whipping up hate until they see it's no longer in their interest to do this. Then they will shut up.
     At last.
     Anyone who lived through the Cuban missile crisis, as I did, knows why Washington has pursued this policy. Because Fidel Castro let Nikita Khrushchev put atomic weapons in Cuba.
     Big mistake, Fidel: you selfish, self-seeking brat. Communist, my ass. A true communist is not a dictator.
     We all know what happened next. The United States, paternalistic dictator of the Western Hemisphere, sent Cuba to sit in its room and think about what it had done. For 50 years.
     Our embargo of Cuba has done no one any good. Not the United States, nor the Cuban people. Our stupid policy, supported by no one but our client states, has made the United States a hemispheric laughingstock.
     President Obama has restored our country's reputation around the world.
     God blesses him for it, if you can accept the word of Pope Francis.
     Pope Francis, in helping to broker the deal, helped restored the reputation of the Catholic Church.
     It's a good deal all around, except for short-term haters. But Washington should not have to seek help from the Vatican to speak with a government within rowing distance of our shores.
     To say all this is not to bless the government of Cuba. Fidel and his brother Raul are cruel dictators. But look what they have done.
     Cuba's per capita gross domestic product is $6,051 - about one-ninth the U.S. per capita GDP of $53,142.
     Yet life expectancy in Cuba is 79.1 years - 8 months longer than U.S. life expectancy of 78.4 years.
     Cuba's doctor-to-patient ratio is 170 to 1 - tops in the world.
     (The U.S. ratio is 390 to 1 - 31st in the world, just behind Mongolia.)
     Many people, I know, will find this column offensive.
     Many people in our country find the word "Cuba" offensive.
     That's ridiculous. It's long past time for us to grow up.


     Colorado's legalization of marijuana is putting "stress" on neighboring states' criminal justice systems, Nebraska and Oklahoma said Thursday in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

     A federal judge dismissed most consumer-negligence claims against Target for cybersecurity failures that resulted in a massive data breach last year. 

     A man whose stealth technology and weapons inventions put him on the road to a Nobel Prize says the government declassified his patents to reap the rewards. 

     Illinois improperly withheld information about a program that had the opposite effect of its goal of reducing juvenile recidivism, a group claims in court. 

     Before Martin Hoshino became the new staff boss for California's Judicial Council, he was running the state's enormous prison system under court orders for reform. The governor then called a press conference to unilaterally proclaim the reforms "now complete," and state lawyers went on the attack against their opponents. One official stayed out of the fray.

     Home-rule rights justify Milwaukee County's reduction of pension multipliers mid-employment, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday. 

     The public will not get a chance to see a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, taken for an antitrust lawsuit six months before the co-founder of Apple computer died. 

     A writer claims the HorrorHound fanzine stiffed him after he contributed several articles to it, and that it continues to use his work without permission. 

     The Environmental Protection Agency failed to properly regulate nano-silver and a host of other nanoparticles, several nonprofits claim in court. 

     Aircraft parts supplier Ameri-King ordered workers to scrub off "Made in China" labels and replace them with "Made in USA" labels, and sold repaired parts as new, a fired worker claims in court. 

     Immigration attorneys sued the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records on their information-sharing, claiming it could hinder a California law allowing undocumented people to get driver's licenses. 

     A utility's failure to maintain a gas line near a Birmingham, Ala., apartment complex led to a violent explosion that killed one person, and damaged the homes of others.  

     A Los Angeles group that runs a public affairs show sued the Department of Justice for records on the FBI's investigation of brutality and corruption in Los Angeles County jails. 

     Cigna shorted a Houston hospital by more than $15 million on insurance claims, the hospital claims in a federal lawsuit. 


     A sailor on Oracle Racing's winning America's Cup team claims in court that he had to shell out $68,000 for a lawyer to fight charges that he tweaked the rules by adding extra weight to a sailboat. 

     A woman who spent 5 days in immigration jail though she had a valid visa application pending won a $25,001 judgment against an Arizona sheriff and two deputies, her attorneys said.

     A disbarred Texas attorney helped set up "a classic pump-and-dump scheme" in a penny stock called Rudy Nutrition, named for a walk-on football player at Notre Dame, the SEC claims in court. 

     Missouri's attorney general on Thursday sued 13 St. Louis County cities for alleged "predatory traffic ticketing" in their municipal courts.

     The Ferguson, Mo. school district's at-large system for school board elections discriminates against black voters, the NAACP claims in Federal Court. 

     It is unconstitutional to prohibit anyone who has ever been committed to a mental institution from owning a firearm, the 6th Circuit ruled. 

     The 2nd Circuit on Friday punted libel claims by Republican billionaire Sheldon Adelson over embarrassing court allegations attributed to him via hyperlink. 

     T-Mobile will pay at least $90 million to settle claims it charged customers for third-party services ranging from daily horoscopes to flirting tips without their permission. 

     New York has the authority to order the random off-track testing of harness horses, the state's high court ruled Thursday. 

     A West Virginia podiatrist failed to convince a federal judge to significantly restrict expert witness testimony in a wrongful death case. 

     A federal judge tossed The Florida Bar's ban on references to past litigation results in advertisements of attorney services 

     Former counsel for a black farmer who won $6 million from the government is not entitled to attorney's fees, a judge presiding over the Pigford class action ruled. 

     A black teenager convicted of murdering two white girls in Jim Crow-era South Carolina was exonerated Tuesday, 70 years after his speedy trial and execution. 

     European lawmakers agreed to a cap on fees that credit card companies charge to merchants, ending years of antitrust investigations and court battles.

     After over a week of observation, the National Institutes of Health on Friday discharged a nurse who was exposed to the Ebola virus but has shown no evidence of infection.

     Germany owes $118 million for 500 acres in Thuringia it expropriated from the woman who inherited it, a federal complaint alleges. 

     A District of Columbia police officer shot a man in the back while his hands were raised, Lamont Andre Young claims in Federal Court. 


     Mercedes-Benz seat heaters in model years 2000-2014 may spark, overheat and catch fire, a class action claims in Federal Court. 

     Dynamic Hosting Co. claims Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Motorola and 21 others violate patents, including one on an "Internet message communicator with direct output to a hard copy device," in 24 federal complaints. 

     The Electronic Frontier Foundation claimed an alleged NSA spying program is unconstitutional - but the Department of Justice said they have no proof - at a hearing for the six-year-long class action on Friday.


     Sheriff Joe Arpaio told a federal court he will disband his group whose workplace immigration raids are at the heart of a federal civil rights lawsuit. 

     A court improperly allowed Jodi Arias to testify secretly during the penalty phase of her murder trial, the Arizona Court of Appeals found. 


     A man who severely injured his penis in a fall from a brand-new ladder he says was defective may sue Home Depot, the 7th Circuit ruled. 

     Restaurant chain BJ's denies overtime, as well as meal and rest breaks, to certain assistant managers, a California class action alleges. 

     A doctor whose in-laws blamed her after her husband died in a sleepwalking fall has a case for malicious prosecution against them, an Illinois appeals court ruled. 

     A scallop fishery's future effects on threatened loggerhead turtles deserves closer government attention, a federal judge ruled. 


     A shark, a sea snake, a cardinalfish and three corals are slated for Endangered Species Act protection.

     FedEx, HSBC and others must produce any information they have on U.S. taxpayers who may have used a service called Sovereign Management & Legal to evade federal taxes, a federal judge ruled Friday. 

     Christian Science-based nurse-training programs claim in court that they were mischaracterized as accredited and then denied Medicare reimbursements. 

     Premier Links, an unregistered broker in Staten Island, defrauded primarily elderly investors of $9 million and misappropriated more then 90% of it, the SEC claims in Federal Court.  


     Kohl's Department Stores defrauded customers about imaginary discounts, with bogus "compare at" prices, a class action claims in Plymouth County Court. 


     Singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III has become a plaintiff in a class action accusing Wright Medical Technology of making and distributing defective hip implants, in Superior Court.

     Logitraq claims Halliburton, Costco and 26 other companies violate its patent on "vehicle supervision and monitoring," in 28 federal complaints.