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Japan, S.Korea condemn Sony hack; Chinese paper says movie is senseless

* Japan in close contact with U.S., no comment on possible steps

11:08am IST

China's Xi preaches diversification in gambling hub Macau

MACAU, Dec 20 - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday urged the world's biggest gambling hub, Macau, to accelerate diversification away from its bread-and-butter casino industry, which has lost about $60 billion in market value over the last six months.

8:37am IST

UPDATE 2-Sony Pictures CEO says had no choice but to pull 'The Interview'

(Recasts fist paragraph, adds additional comments from Sony's Lynton)

8:09am IST

UPDATE 1-Obama mocks absurd plot twist of cyberattack on Sony

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES Dec 19 - Faced with the most destructive cyberattack of a company on U.S. soil, President Barack Obama resorted to humor to explain an absurd plot that even Hollywood did not see coming.

6:37am IST

UPDATE 2-Sony trying to find alternatives to release 'The Interview'

LOS ANGELES, Dec 19 - Sony Pictures said on Friday it is looking for alternatives to release "The Interview" after it scrapped the Christmas Day theatrical opening of the screwball comedy at the center of a cyberattack on the studio blamed on North Korea.

6:06am IST
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Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials

NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Narendra Modi may consider using an executive order to push through laws overhauling the insurance and coal sectors, if the increasingly fractious parliament fails to pass them soon, two government officials said on Friday.