National / International News
Spain's monarchy decimated the Jewish population by expelling, killing or forcibly converting Jews in 1492. Now the country is offering their descendants Spanish citizenship.
Sean Parker, the tech entrepreneur who founded Napster and the first president of Facebook, donated $24 million to Stanford University to create a center for allergy research.
Parker suffered from severe food allergies all his life, and with his gift, joins a long line of philanthropists who have given large donations to cure or alleviate diseases that affect them personally.
Parker and other young tech entrepreneurs differ slightly from their predecessors in that they're likely to donate large sums directly to an academic or medical institution rather than starting a foundation of their own.
Just like past years, stores will open early on December 26 to try to draw shoppers in with deep discounts. It’s a way for retailers to get one last revenue push before the new year, and to clear inventory that didn’t sell before Christmas.
This year, the calendar is more favorable than usual for retailers because of the three-day weekend. Many workers will take off Friday — and hopefully shop. “Giving people more time to shop, giving them a little bit more room, and giving them a little bit more money in their pocket thanks to lower gas prices, could make a difference for retailers,” says Claes Bell, an analyst at Bankrate.com.
Economist Chris Christopher at IHS says consumers are heading into 2015 more optimistic about job prospects and personal finances than in previous years. He predicts retail sales for the 2014 holiday season will rise more than 4 percent, compared to the 3.1 percent increases in 2012 and 2013.
At a Christmas Eve open-air craft market called "Festival of the Last-Minute" in Portland, Oregon, shoppers were mixed on whether they wanted to go back out for more shopping on the post-Christmas weekend. “I have in the past, but I probably won’t now, I probably won’t brave the crowds,” says Britt Fredrickson, who has two young children. “I just don’t need any more stuff right now.”
But Jessica Martin-Weber, who has six daughters, said she’s looking forward to getting out. “My husband and I typically get the day after Christmas or the day after that, where we go catch a movie and we do some shopping.”
The country that has been hardest-hit by the ongoing outbreak of the deadly virus, has shut down shops, markets and most travel in the north.
A few hundred gathered for a vigil and march for 18-year-old Antonio Martin, who was fatally shot by a police officer on Tuesday.