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More retailers are stretching out Cyber Monday into Cyber Week

With many Americans back in the office after the holidays, employees may have to check these online deals on their breaks. But don’t worry, more retailers are stretching out Cyber Monday into Cyber Week, according to a Nov. 30 ABC Good Morning America report.

Their report recommends online shoppers to be prepared for limited supplies, limited-time sales and restrictions.  Deals they recommend include an Amazon Fire unlocked phone available for only $99 instead of the original price of $649 for Dec. 1 only. And, Amazon’s new Fire HD 7 tablet deal began Nov. 27 and ends Dec. 1, is available for $109 (regularly $139) in six-inch and seven-inch models plus five color choices.

Want a quality, well-fitted custom mens suit at a fraction of the cost of traditional tailors? As part of Black Lapel’s first sale ever, on Monday, buy any gift card and get a 40 percent bonus added in value. Black Lapel’s online ordering system offers free shipping and a “flawless fit promise.”

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Cyber Monday through Sunday, Dec. 7, GameStop.com will offer deals on new and pre-owned video games, consoles, smartphones and more. All week long, customers can snag deals both online and in its more than 4,200 retail stores.

Though this year’s details haven’t been released, last year Google Play had free MP3s, including pop hits and classics. “If last year’s spoils were anything to go by, Google Play will be the one-stop shop for any movie buff or music-lover who may have overstretched themselves on Black Friday,” according to DealNews.

Good Morning America reported that Kmart and Sears’ Cyber Week deals start Sunday, Nov. 30 at midnight until Saturday, Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m. The two sister companies interchangeably allow free in-store pick-up at any of 1,800 Sears or Kmart locations nationwide. One deal is save $100 on a RCA 46-inch 1080p LED HDTV, paying $349.99.

 

 

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FAA to drone hobbyists: Stay away from airports

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta discussed the department’s latest policy for drone use on the television program “This Week” on Nov. 30, after there were reports of nearly 200 incidents involving drones since February, with nearly 25 of those near collisions that forced airplane pilots to change course.

“The thing that I am most concerned about is doing everything we can to avoid conflicts between aircraft – whether they’re drones or commercial airliners,” Huerta told ABC News. “If you’re using an unmanned aircraft, you need to stay away from an airport, you need to stay below 400 feet and you need to maintain line of sight.”

Huerta said the FAA was working with the model aircraft industry to promote awareness of potential problems. “I think as a result of this awareness, we’re seeing more reporting,” he said.

Huerta noted that the FAA published a blueprint for integrating drones into national airspace last year and the department is expected to solicit comment in December on rules to include smaller drones that weigh fewer than 55 pounds.

“What it will consider is the full scope of activities, the certification of the aircraft, the qualifications of the operator and the sorts of uses, all with the goal of maintaining a safe system,” Huerta told ABC News.

Huerta’s appearance on “This Week” came as many Americans were on the move at the end of the holiday weekend. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, as one in eight Americans take trains, planes and automobiles to return home.

He also touted on the show the latest in GPS-based landing systems that the FAA has implemented in five major metropolitan areas around the country, including in Washington, D.C.

The issue of drone interference with airplanes has already drawn national attention. However, in recent years the FAA has sought to assert its authority over numerous types of unmanned aircraft deployed for surveillance, search and rescue and commercial purposes. A court decision earlier this year seemed to shoot down the FAA’s role in granting permission to drone flyers, but Congress seems to be moving towards legislation that would grant the agency sole authority over regulating drones in the U.S.

The decision would have economic and political consequences. A number of companies, including Amazon, have already begun examining how to use drones.

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How will Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s worsening health impact Justice duties?

After previously surviving colon and pancreatic cancer, the 81-year-old Supreme Court justice is reportedly ‘resting comfortably’ after cardiac surgery Wednesday.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remained hospitalized Wednesday after undergoing a cardiac procedure early Wednesday morning. The 81-year-old is the oldest active justice on the nation’s highest court and had survived past diagnoses of colon and pancreatic cancer.

Cardiovascular disease continues to a leading cause of mortality in the U.S., with one person dying of heart disease on average every 40 seconds. With age, smoking, high cholesterol, and other risk factors, plaque can build up along the lining of coronary arteries (used by the heart to receive vital oxygen and nutrients) leading to narrowing and decreasing blood flow to some heart muscle. If heart muscle receives inadequate blood flow, a burning or discomfort may occur in the chest, also known as angina.

Justice Ginsburg reported experiencing anginal pain on the night of November 25th. The pain was later found to be related to narrowing in a main artery on the right side of the heart. While the exact treatment records are not available, doctors likely rectified the situation by opening up the narrowed area by inflating a small balloon located in the vessel, and then placing an expandable metal cage known as a stent to help keep the vessel open. Justice Ginsburg underwent this procedure successfully and is progressing with her recovery.

However, no medical intervention is without risk. And for surgical interventions in particular, that risk is often front-loaded: the chance of experiencing an adverse event is highest early on, and gradually falls in the weeks and months that follow. An example in the case of cardiac stents is stent thrombosis, when a clot forms in the stent and partially or completely blocks blood flow. This can lead to the very heart attack that placing the stent was trying to prevent. A recent review of a large international sample of patients led by Dr. Ron Waksman, associate director of the Division of Cardiology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where Justice Ginsburg received her stent, found that 75 percent of these thrombosis events occurred within one year.

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Judge shuts down Boston Bombing suspect's request for government docs

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lost a court bid to force prosecutors to turn over unredacted documents sent to U.S. authorities by the Russian government after the April 2013 attack. U.S. District Judge George O’Toole Jr. ruled on Tuesday that prosecutors had already turned over everything they were required to.

Tsarnaev, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Russia, faces a possible death sentence if convicted in a trial starting in January. His lawyers, who have worked on some of the highest profile U.S. death penalty cases, have argued for extensive access to government evidence as they seek to pin greater blame for the bombing on Tsarnaev’s late brother, Tamerlan, whose activities had once been flagged by Russia before the bombing and died in a shootout with Boston police.

The Boston marathon attack in April 2013 had been the deadliest terrorism attack on U.S. soil in more than a decade. The suspects, the two Tsarnaev brother detonated two improvised bombs, built in pressure cookers and concealed in backpacks, with mobile phones in crowds near the marathon finish line. Three people were killed and 260 wounded.

Based on the ruling, Tsarnaev, 21, also lost a request for copies of papers regarding his lawyers’ alleged behavior while they were investigating the case in Russia. The lawyers had been kicked out of Russia after pretending to be tourists and impersonating Federal Bureau of Investigation agents during interviews with possible witnesses, U.S. prosecutors said in September. The lawyers called the claim “preposterous.”

Tsarnaev received asylum in the U.S. when he was 8 and took the oath of citizenship seven months before the attack. He was inspired by al-Qaeda and motivated by the killing of Muslim civilians in U.S. military actions, prosecutors claim.

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DNC chooses finalists for 2016 convention cities: Money is the main factor

The Democratic Party is narrowing down its choice for its 2016 convention. New York City, Columbus, Ohio, and Philadelphia are the top three finalists to host the Democratic National Convention.

Florida congresswoman and chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, made the announcement in a statement. “We are fortunate to have such a diverse and vibrant group of cities interested in hosting this special event and we thank Phoenix and Birmingham for showcasing their special communities. We look forward to working with Columbus, New York, and Philadelphia as we go forward,” said Schultz in the statement.

The top city to host the Democratic National Convention will likely be chosen for financial reasons.

“Symbolism matters, but it’s about third or fourth place. First is money. The second issue infrastructure. How many taxi cabs do they have? How easy is it to get to the hotels and back? How fast can you build out the convention? Those are all the things that matter,” said former DNC Chairman Howard Dean.“The most important thing is: Do you have confidence in the host committee to be able to run this convention?”

If finances are the main factor, New York could be chosen to host the convention because of its ability to raise money. “New York is our biggest competition … they got a little deeper pockets than we do,” said Philadelphia Democratic representative Bob Brady.”I’m not totally sure they can pull it off,” added a Democratic Party insider.

While New York could raise the most money, a potential conflict with New York police could harm the city’s chances for being chosen to host the convention. “It is no time for ambitious local politicians and political ‘wannabees’ who ignore public safety to bask in the spotlight of a national event,” wrote Sargent Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins wrote in a letter to the Democratic National Convention.

The Republican National Convention chose Cleveland for its convention to try to appeal to swing voters in the state. Democrats may choose Columbus for the same reason.

“I know some will say that’s never proven the case in other conventions,” said Columbus mayor Michael Coleman, “but those arguments are made by people who don’t live in Ohio — I live in Ohio. Presence matters. There’s nothing more present than the largest convention in the world.”

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Investors cash in on Alibaba's long term debt deal

Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority reported on Nov. 21  that Alibaba Group Holding’s $700 million of 4.5 percent bonds due November 2034 returned about $10.5 million after climbing 1.5 cents from the offering price to 100.9 cents on the dollar. Alibaba’s bonds were the most actively traded debentures on Nov. 20.

Bloomberg reported on Nov. 21 that bond investors who sold Alibaba’s new long-term debt deal earned about $11.5 million in gains with most of the increase coming from the longest-dated securities. The yield for the bonds were reduced to 4.43 percent.

“When there’s a big deal like this, there’s always going to be a portion of the investors who look to flip for quick gains,” Jody Lurie, a corporate-credit analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “There seems to have been likely minimal to no concession in the pricing, which, if the case, would leave you with minimal room for prices to move up the day after.”

Bloomberg reported that the six-part offering is one of the largest corporate bond sales in 2014, adding to a banner year for the securities with issuance poised to surpass $4 trillion for the first time. The Hangzhou, China-based company, which raised a record $25 billion in an initial public offering in September, will use proceeds to refinance some of its loans, according to a Nov. 13 company statement.

The Alibaba debt sale was “priced to move, but it certainly wasn’t like the Verizon deal in 2013,” said Scott Colyer, chief executive officer of Monument, Colorado-based Advisors Asset Management Inc., which oversees more than $15 billion and didn’t buy yesterday’s offering. “There’s not enough yield for us.”

 

 

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New three-year initiative proposed by European Commission to aid private investments

According to a Nov. 23 Bloomberg news report, European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker is due to announce a three-year initiative in coming days that will be designed to usher in more private investment in order to make real investments in the euro country economies.

The EC is planning a 21 billion-euro ($26 billion US) fund to share the risks of new projects with private investors, two (unspecified) EU officials said in the Bloomberg report. According to the officials, the new entity is designed to have an impact of about 15 times its size, making it the anchor of the EU’s 300 billion-euro investment program.

The EC will pledge as much as 16 billion euros in guarantees for the vehicle, which will also include 5 billion euros from the European Investment Bank. Loans, lending guarantees and stakes in equity and debt will be part of its toolbox, with the goal to jumpstart private risk-taking so that stalled projects can get off the ground.

“Juncker’s investment plan aims to combine EU resources and regulatory changes to crowd in more private investment in order to make real investments a reality,” EU Vice President Jyrki Katainen said Nov. 14 in Bratislava. “The plan is one element of the EU’s economic strategy and not a magic wand with which we will be able to miraculously invest ourselves out of a difficult economic climate,” he added.

Europe is struggling to spur economic growth as it emerges slowly from waves of crisis. The 18-nation euro area is forecast to see growth of 0.8 percent this year, according to EU forecasts, while the region’s unemployment rate of 11.5 percent masks rates of about 25 percent in Greece and Spain.

The EU is preparing a list of projects alongside that could take shape quickly.

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Cleveland police shoot child armed with toy

A 12 year-old boy who was playing with a toy gun is in serious condition after being shot by a Cleveland police officer. According to reports, police responded to a 911 call around approximately 3:30 PM on Saturday, which reported a male brandishing a firearm outside of the Cudell Recreation Center.

When officers arrived on the scene, they ordered the boy to drop what he was holding. The boy did not comply with officers and reached into his waistband. Then, a rookie police officer opened fire, striking the boy in the abdomen twice. The boy was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery, and is currently classified as being in “serious” condition.

“When an officer gives a command, we expect it to be followed,” said Ed Tomba, Deputy Chief of Field Operations, to Cleveland.com. “The way it looks like right now, it wasn’t followed, but we’re going to continue our investigation.”

After further investigation, the police realized that the boy had never been in possession of a weapon, but rather a 9 mm airsoft-style BB pistol with the orange safety tip removed.

“We don’t come to work everyday and want to use force on anybody,” said Tomba. “That’s not what our job is. We’re part of this community.”

Tomba added that the event was “very, very tragic.”

The shooting is eerily similar to an incident involving police killing an unarmed person with a toy that occurred in Beavercreek, OH, late this summer. In that case, John Crawford picked up an airsoft rifle from the shelves of the toy section, and began pacing the store while on the phone. A shopper called 911, and when police responded they fired on Crawford before giving him a chance to comprehend the situation. The officers involved in the shooting were later found innocent of any criminal wrongdoing by a grand jury.

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People's Bank of China explains decision to cut interest rates

Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Nov. 21 that the People’s Bank of China’s decision and explanation to cut interest rates in a fast-growing economy was published on the agency’s Web site. The agency responded to three questions.

Bloomberg’s overview of China’s response included that the Chinese economy continues to grow within a reasonable range, showing positive changes in economic restructuring. But as reflected in the real economy, there’s a significant problem of difficult financing, expensive financing.

“Since the State Council has carried out a series of policies in July, authorities have done a lot of work, and such problems have eased in some areas and sectors. Yet, facing downward economic pressure and a rising structural shift, and as companies face growing difficulties in running their businesses, the ability of some enterprises, especially small businesses, to bear financing costs has weakened,” the People’s Bank of China statement said.

“The adjustment is an important step toward maintaining growth, promoting employment and improving people’s living standard by solving the issue of high financing costs for companies, especially small businesses. The key to this round of interest rate cuts is to use the benchmark rate to guide market rates lower and to reduce social financing costs in a targeted way. Using this cut, we want to gradually make rates fall back to a reasonable level and help relieve the outstanding problem of high costs for enterprises, thus creating a neutrally appropriate monetary environment for healthy economic development.”

Bloomberg reported that the Chinese central bank will implement reform measures in three aspects which include an asymmetric cut in loan and deposit rates, in lending rates and a modest cut in benchmark deposit interest rates.

 

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FSU shooter's behavior raised red flags as early as September

The man who opened fire on students in the Florida State University library exhibited signs of mental disturbance during interactions with police and his property management in the weeks leading up to the shooting.

According to an Associated Press report, Myron May went to the Las Cruces Police Department in September convinced there were cameras in his apartment and he could hear people narrating his activity. Apparently, after a bath one night, as May lathered his skin with lotion he heard voices say, “Did you see that? He never puts lotion on.”

His ex-girlfriend contacted authorities approxi,ately a month later, to report that May was paranoid and delusional. According to reports, she told police that May was claiming that “the police are after him and are bugging his phone and car,”

May abruptly quit his job at the New Mexico District Attorney’s Office in mid-October. Four days later, police responded to his neighbor’s apartment after a rock was thrown through the window. Police determined the rock came from May’s residence.

According to the police report, a maintenance worker said May complained to property managers that neighbors would laugh at him while he watched pornography. The maintenance worker also volunteered that he would watch May’s dog whenever May would go to the mental hospital.

Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLelo said his department recovered writings and videos that offered clues to the potential motive May might have had. Delelo said that the most prevalent theme of May’s personal writing “expressed fears of being targeted and that he wanted to bring attention to this issue of targeting.”

May was an alumnus of Florida State University, active in the student government and graduating in 2005. However, there are still no clear motives or reasonings behind his assault on the FSU library.

“I still don’t know there’s any real explanation why he picked Strozier, why he picked the time he did,” said John Thrasher, President of FSU. “That’s beyond, I think, anyone understanding now.”