After 5 years in a Cuban prison, American Alan Gross is now free.
President Barack Obama's administration had secured Gross's release as part of a sweeping deal to thaw the decades-old diplomatic freeze with Cuba.
Gross was an American government contractor when he was sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison, charged with spying.
In exchange for Gross, the U.S. returned 3 Cuban spies imprisoned since 2001. The deal also included the return of a U.S. intelligence agent imprisoned in Cuba for nearly 20 years. Cuba also agreed to release 53 Cubans identified as political prisoners.
This deal to free Gross was negotiated in secret over the past 18 months.Â But was it a good or bad deal?
CNN's Erin Burnett has more.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama says Americans should "go to the movies" without fear, despite hackers' threats against venues that show a controversial film that Sony has now decided to pull.
Sony announced Wednesday that it won't release the film - a comedy called "The Interview" that portrays an attempt to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un - following hackers' threats to attack movie theaters that show it.
But Obama suggested in an interview with ABC News that the threats aren't credible.
Two Florida men may be charged with grand larceny, but you can't deny they had a creative way of getting Christmas presents. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on some heart-stopping shopping.
U.S. investigators say an announcement pinning the blame on hackers working for the Pyongyang regime could come as soon as Thursday.
Because of the North Korean regime's tight control of the Internet in the reclusive country, U.S. officials believe the hack was ordered directly by the country's leadership.
North Korea experts say the country has spent scarce resources on building up a unit called "Bureau 121" to carry out cyber attacks.
Earlier Wednesday, Sony pulled the film, which depicts the assassination of North Korea's leader, following a threat that people should avoid going to theaters where "The Interview" is playing.
The country's major theater companies had said they had decided to postpone or cancel next week's showing.
"In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film "The Interview," we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release," Sony said in its first statement on the matter.
Washington (CNN) - U.S. contractor Alan Gross, held by theCuban government since 2009, was freed Wednesday as part of alandmark deal with Cuba that paves the way for a major overhaul in U.S. policy toward the island, senior administration officials tell CNN.
President Barack Obama spoke with Cuban President Raul Castro Tuesday in a phone call that lasted about an hour and reflected the first communication at the presidential level with Cuba since the Cuban revolution, according to White House officials. Obama announced Gross' release and the new diplomatic stance at noon in Washington. At around the same time, Cuban president Raul Castro was set to speak in Havana.
President Obama announced a major loosening of travel and economic restrictions on the country. And the two nations are set to re-open embassies, with preliminary discussions on that next step in normalizing diplomatic relations beginning in the coming weeks, a senior administration official tells CNN.