The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel

“Mall of America officials are urging organizers of a demonstration planned for Saturday in the mall’s rotunda to cancel the event, warning that protesters could be arrested and banned from the property,” writes MPR News reporter Laura Yuen.

About 2,000 people are expected to assemble for what organizer Michael McDowell calls a peaceful gathering to protest police brutality.

Mall of America officials have sent letters to McDowell and other organizers to inform them that protests are not allowed on private property.

Today’s Question: Should protesters be able to demonstrate at the Mall of America?

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The Interview stars James Franco and Seth Rogen. Sony

“Sony Pictures has canceled the Christmas Day release of The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader. The move came after the largest U.S. movie theater chains said they won’t screen the film in the wake of threats against them by a group that also allegedly hacked Sony’s internal documents,” writes NPR’s Krishnadev Calamur.

“We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public,” Sony said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

Today’s Question: Did Sony make the right call by not releasing The Interview?

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“Bison farmer and cheesemaker Ed Eichten was rifling through his office, a cluttered monument to adventure. He was surrounded by deer antlers, statues of bison, an old bison skull and even a mounted zebra skin, writes Jennifer Vogel for MPR News.

Finally, he pulled out a couple of binders stuffed with paper and retrieved an aerial photo of the four-acre field that will be home to one of the state’s first rural community solar gardens next spring.

“That’s where it will go,” said Eichten, wearing an insulated vest over his red flannel shirt. The land was only marginal for hay anyway. “It’s such a little field. It’s odd-shaped.”

The 1-megawatt solar garden, which will include 3,000 panels and produce enough energy to power more than 100 houses, will be built by St. Paul’s Innovative Power Systems to benefit home- and business-owners who may live nowhere near Eichten’s Hidden Acres farm.

A newly sanctioned arrangement in Minnesota will let anyone in Chisago County or adjacent counties invest in the project and earn credits on his or her Xcel Energy bills. The overall effect is to make it easier for people to generate their own solar power, because investing in the project tends to be cheaper and more practical than mounting personal arrays on individual rooftops.

Today’s Question: Do solar gardens seem like a good investment?

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