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Report: Sony emails show U.S. officials blessed Kim Jong-Un killing in 'The Interview'

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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According to multiple media reports Wednesday, emails indicate the Sony CEO showed a rough cut of “The Interview” to U.S. government officials before moving ahead with the movie’s release.

The Daily Beast and Reuters claim to have seen several emails that reveal two U.S. officials in June screened and OK’d the movie in which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is assassinated. Sony was the victim of a massive computer system hack and the hackers have been releasing sensitive emails on the Internet.

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The fallout from the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack that began four weeks ago exploded Tuesday after the shadowy group calling themselves Guardians of Peace escalated their attack beyond corporate espionage and threatened moviegoers with violence reminiscent of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

According to the Daily Beast, the claim that the State Department played a role in the decision to include the film’s death scene is likely to further upset Pyongyang. The Daily Beast is reporting it has seen emails between Sony CEO Michael Lynton and a security consultant that appear to suggest the U.S. government saw "The Interview" as a useful propaganda tool against the North Korean regime.

Speculation about a North Korean link to the Sony hacking has centered on that country's angry denunciation of the film. Over the summer, North Korea warned that the film's release would be an "act of war that we will never tolerate." It said the U.S. will face "merciless" retaliation.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that there is no credible intelligence to indicate a threat, but is still investigating the message.

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14 red flags that will get you audited by the IRS

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

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Are you doing your taxes? Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine has put together a list of 14 audit red flags. Here's what's included among them:

  • You make too much money.  The IRS will target those with incomes above $200,000. You have a 1 in 30 chance of being audited.
  • Not reporting taxable income. You must report all 1099s and W-2s, even if you believe them to be incorrect. (Deal with the discrepancies after filing.)
  • You give a lot of money to charity. The IRS knows what others who make similar income to you tend to give and will question you if you're claiming too much.
  • Claiming day-trading losses on Schedule C.
  • Claiming rental losses.
  • Deducting business meals, travel and entertainment.
  • Claiming 100% business use of a vehicle. Be careful, salespeople! To counter any possible IRS questions, I know someone who keeps a paper log on the dashboard and writes down every mile for work, the date and what it was for. If you do want to claim all the cost for a business expense, be sure you have another vehicle too.
  • Writing off a loss for a hobby.
  • Claiming a home office deduction.
  • Taking an alimony deduction.
  • Running a business where almost all money is in cash.
  • Not reporting a foreign bank account.
  • Engaging in currency transactions.
  • Taking excessive deductions. Again, the IRS knows what is outside normal bounds based on your income.


For further reading:

Beware of the one ring scam on your phone

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

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