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Black Friday violence breaks out across America

Kyle Smith

November 26, 2016

An Atlantic City man was fatally shot and his brother was wounded in the parking lot of a New Jersey mall – one of at least two fatal Black Friday-related shootings nationwide, officials said.

In Reno, Nev., a Walmart customer was gunned down during a fight over a parking spot just after doors were opened Thursday night.

And in Tennessee, a person also was shot Thursday at a Memphis mall while shoppers were taking part in early Black Friday sales.

The Jersey shooting took place about 1 a.m. outside a Macy’s department store at the Hamilton Mall in the Mays Landing section of Hamilton, Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane Ruberton said.

The dead man, who was shot multiple times, was pronounced dead at the scene. His 26-year-old brother, from Clayton, was shot in the leg and listed in stable condition at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Officials didn’t immediately say what sparked the shooting, which occurred as people were lined up outside the mall, or if they had any suspects.

More than 15 evidence markers were laid down in the parking lot and a bullet-riddled SUV was towed away around 7 a.m. Friday.

The Macy’s, which was open from 7 p.m. to midnight Thursday, reopened at 6 a.m. for Black Friday bargain-hunters.

“It’s sad,” one shopper said at the scene. “We’ve been doing this, me and my girls, for probably about 10 years now, just for the fun of going out — a girls’ night and trying to get some special sales and it’s getting scary now.”

Another shopper told CBS the shooting was a “tragedy.”

“It’s very scary, you know, you’re starting off the holiday season and you’re excited about the upcoming times with family and now there’s going to be family who are missing people and their holidays will never be the same,” the shopper said.

In Reno, the fatal shooting began as a road rage incident Thanksgiving evening at a Walmart on East Second Street, KOLO-TV reported.

Police are asking for the public’s help to locate a dark-colored Toyota or Corolla driven by a light-skinned black male, police spokesman Lt. Scott Shaw told the station.

In Memphis, three people were in custody after a person was shot about 11:15 p.m. Thursday outside the Wolfchase Galleria Mall while early shoppers showed up, WREG-TV in Memphis reported.

Witnesses told the station that the shooter drove off in a red Ford Mustang after the incident near a food court. The victim showed up later with a gunshot wound at Baptist memorial Hospital.

There have been seven deaths and 98 injuries across the country during Black Friday shopping between 2006 and 2014, according to

Black Friday violence also struck in England, where a police officer in Leeds was attacked Friday morning when the assailant took offense when the cop asked him what he was doing, the Express of the UK reported.

Meanwhile, things were more orderly in the Big Apple, where rabid sales-seekers were in action.

In Brooklyn, Rosie Smith, 53, arrived around 7:30 a.m. to head into Target.

“Two TVs!” she exclaimed proudly, holding up her shopping bags containing Polaroid flat screens that costs her $85 apiece.

“Actually they’re for my basement,” the self-professed reality TV fan said. “I like ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta.’”

Tracy Yu, 25, spent about $400 on UNIQLO Heattech tops.

“It’s usually way more expensive,” said Yu, who had four bags stuffed with the garments as gifts for family. “It’s for multiple people, that’s why there are so many.”

Trump’s media tactics are straight out of Obama's playbook

Obama begrudingly shaking the hand of future president, Donald Trump at the White House

Does journalism face an “existential crisis” in the Trump era, as CNN’s Christiane Amanpour put it this week in a pearl-clutching speech before the Committee to Protect Journalists? I don’t think so.

The rise of Donald Trump to the presidency may be unprecedented in many ways, but it’s deeply precedented in at least one way: Trump’s attempts to outflank the media. They’re straight out of President Obama’s playbook.

Presidential hostility to the media didn’t begin Nov. 9. The Obama administration has denied or withheld more Freedom of Information requests than any administration in history. It is “the most secretive White House I have ever been involved in covering” according to former New York Times editor Jill Abramson.

Faking out the press pool as president-elect? Obama did that on Dec. 26, 2008, when he took his daughters to a marine amusement park in Hawaii. Calling in media bigwigs for off-the-record chats in order to steer more favorable coverage without being held accountable for any flubs that might emerge if exact quotation were allowed? Obama did so many times, usually with left-leaning columnists but sometimes with conservative ones as well (as a Jan. 3, 2016 New York Times report detailed).

Trump on Nov. 16 inspired a complaint from the White House Correspondents’ Association that his behavior toward the media was “unacceptable” after he went out for a steak without telling reporters. That same WHCA complained about being cut off from Obama’s leisure time, too. Following an Obama golfing trip to Florida in February of 2013, The Washington Post reported: “The White House Correspondents’ Association lodged a formal protest with White House officials . . . after reporters were barred from seeing any part of Obama’s activities, including a round of golf with Tiger Woods.”

That same year the WHCA and 37 news organizations submitted a letter to the White House complaining about an ongoing process by the Obama administration to lock out news photographers from key events and instead distribute its own propaganda-style photos directly to the public. That, the photographers said, “amounted to the establishment of the White House’s own Soviet-style news service, which gets privileged access to Mr. Obama at the expense of journalists,” reported The New York Times.

If Trump were to adopt a policy of playing favorites with right-leaning outlets, Obama fans should be the last ones to complain. “When it comes to granting interviews,” The Washington Post wrote of the current president, “he very often favors media that target particular slices of the electorate that are largely aligned with him already: left-leaning comedians, bloggers, YouTubers and podcasters. He is more reluctant to submit to questioning by mainstream news outlets and conservative publications that would push back harder on issues on which his opponents disagree with him.”

Obama held fewer press conferences in his first term than either of the two Presidents Bush or President Clinton. He helped get Americans used to the idea that the president wouldn’t regularly field questions he might not feel like answering, and Trump has taken that to an extreme: zero formal press conferences since being elected president. (Yet his on-the-record meeting with New York Times editors and writers on Tuesday was effectively a press conference.)

When Trump borrows Obama tactics, though, the media can be counted on to react completely differently. After Trump blasted several media organizations at a supposedly off-the-record meeting at Trump Tower, the journalists present immediately whined about getting dressed down to The New Yorker editor David Remnick.

“I have to tell you, I am emotionally f—ing pissed,” said one participant, promising to retaliate by adding, “How can this not influence coverage?” and “F— him! I know I am being emotional about it . . . But I really am offended. This was unprecedented. Outrageous!”

Yet Obama complained about the media in general, and one outlet in particular — Fox News — on many occasions. He blasted coverage of himself, Hillary Clinton, Trump, the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, the NSA spying program, the Baltimore riots, the IRS scandal and other topics. Former ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton told C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb in 2014 that she had been present as Obama went off the record to deliver an angry, profanity-laced diatribe to members of the media about their coverage of his administration. Did reporters get offended and promise to strike back at Obama then? Not that I recall.

Donald Trump keeps getting asked to disavow his racist supporters, as though he’s to blame for every gathering of dingbats held in the United States. Did reporters badger Hillary Clinton with questions about the cheerleading she got from the Communist Party of the USA? Not that I recall. Did they demand President Obama denounce the New Black Panther Party? Not that I recall. When President Obama declined to tell mobs of Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them violent, to get off the street, did the major media get outraged? Not that I recall.

I guess I’m well qualified to be a journalist in the Trump era. Because the most vital quality when it comes to covering Trump right now is this one: a short memory.

Cubans forced to undergo 9 days of mourning for Castro

Associated Press

November 26, 2016

Cuba will observe nine days of mourning for Fidel Castro, including a three-day journey by his ashes along the route taken by the rebel army he led on a victorious march across the island in 1959.

The plans were announced Saturday by the Organizing Committee of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, State and Government, which is one of the most powerful organs of the single-party state put in place by Castro.

It said Cubans can show their respects for Castro beginning at 9 a.m. Monday at the Havana memorial to national hero Jose Marti, a poet and leader of Cuba’s 19th century fight for independence from Spain. Mourners will be able to pay their respects until 10 p.m. Monday and again on Tuesday at the memorial in the Plaza of the Revolution as well as specially designated sites across the country.

Cubans will be able to “pay homage and sign the solemn oath of fulfilling the concept of revolution … as an expression of the will to continue Castro’s ideas and our socialism,” the committee said.

Officials say Castro will be cremated, but offer no details about how or when.

The committee said Cubans will be called to a demonstration at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Plaza of the Revolution, which was the site of a series of huge rallies led by Castro as he consolidated power in the years after the revolution.

On Wednesday, Castro’s ashes will begin traveling eastward across Cuba following in reverse the route taken by his rebels from the Sierra Maestra mountains to the capital, Havana. The cortege is to take three days.

At 7 p.m. Dec. 3, a mass commemoration will be held at the Antonio Maceo plaza in central Santiago de Cuba, the largest city in the east.

Castro’s ashes are to be interred at 7 a.m. the following day at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, where Marti is also buried.


Trump says he lost popular vote because ‘millions voted illegally’

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Donald Trump, mid-clap.

Researchers claim time travel is possible

There are multiple timelines playing out in parallel universes, according to a team of researchers.

The sensational claim was made by a team of physicists, who believe that the parallel universes can all affect one another.

Professor Howard Wiseman and Dr. Michael Hall, from Griffith University’s Center for Quantum Dynamics, claim that the idea of parallel universes is more than just science fiction.

Fellow researcher Dr. Dirk-Andre Deckert, from the University of California, helped further the researchers’ theory, which goes against almost all conventional understanding of space and time.


Picking apart the Jets defense, flaw by crippling flaw

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The Jets defense prepares for a play against Tom Brady.

NHL’s Panthers fire head coach in extremely embarrassing way

The Panthers fired head coach Gerard Gallant following Sunday night’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Dropping to a disappointing 11-10-1 through the first quarter of the NHL season, the firing came with some questions – and a lot of weirdness.

With the team set to depart to Chicago, Gallant was left off the flight and literally kicked to the curb, where the 53-year-old was forced to take a taxi with shutterbugs snapping every moment of it.

Photographers captured the awkward moment when a bewildered Gallant carried his own bag to a yellow mini-van taxi.


Meet the man making millions off dead people

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Jamie Slater holding one big shoe, and one small show.

Cyber sales are bigger than ever before

Americans spent the holiday weekend binge shopping from their couches.

Bargain-hunters ditched long lines and chaotic malls to snag their holiday-season steals via computers and mobile devices — a trend expected to peak on Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, analysts said.

Convenience and great deals are driving the trend, said Becky Tasker, a managing analyst at Adobe Digital Insights.

Tasker expects Cyber Monday to generate at least $3.36 billion in revenue — up nearly 10 percent from last year — bringing the Thursday-through-Monday online total to more than $10 billion.