The Daily Fix: U.S. Will Restore Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

All the news that’s fit to fix on Thursday, Dec. 18.
People cheer for the "Cuban Five" in Havana on Dec. 17. (Photo: Reuters)
Dec 18, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Nicole Pasulka is a writer and reporter who lives in New York City. She has written for Mother Jones, BuzzFeed, The Believer, and the New York Observer.

Cubans celebrated while U.S. conservatives wrung their hands on Wednesday after President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba would restore diplomatic ties. Pope Francis made a crucial personal appeal to Raul Castro, according to The New York Times, and Cuba agreed to release an American intelligence agent who had been in jail there for 20 years in exchange for three Cuban prisoners held in the United States. Alan Gross, a U.S. development subcontractor who was arrested in Cuba in 2009 while working for USAID, was also released.

Obama said Wednesday that the United States plans to open an embassy in Havana and take Cuba off a list of countries that support terrorism. The travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba will also be loosened.

Some questions that remain unanswered are what this action means for the U.S. military’s Guantánamo Bay detention facility and how it will affect the 2016 elections.

In other news…

Interview Over: Because of threats that now appear to have come from the North Korean government, Sony has canceled the release of The Interview, a comedy about an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Hackers who attacked Sony email accounts earlier in December warned Americans to stay away from theaters showing the film. (via BBC News)

Work Out Your DNA: New research on epigenetics has found evidence that exercise can change how your genes function. (via The New York Times)

"Sent to the Box": An illustrated account shows how one teenager ended up in solitary confinement at Rikers Island prison. (via Fusion)

Boko Haram Kidnapping: Nigerian authorities believe that Islamist militant group Boko Haram killed 35 people and kidnapped 100 women and children on Sunday. (via Reuters)

Job Gains: Unemployment benefit applications dropped to the lowest number since late October, more evidence that U.S. job security is improving. (via The Associated Press)

Putin Pins Blame on U.S.: In a press conference Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the country’s economy will rebound within two years and blamed sanctions against Russia for the historically low value of the ruble. (via The Guardian)

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