National / International News
The Ferguson Public Library has become a refuge for community during a difficult time. In response, donations to the library have reached "several orders of magnitude" higher than ever.
Black Friday sales long ago jumped their 24-hour confines. And with good reason: American consumers spend a third of their annual retail expenditures during these last few weeks of the year.
But this year there are fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so retailers are pushing more deals than ever, according to Thom Blischok, a retail analyst with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“It would be fair to say that this will be the richest holiday season with regard to the numbers of sales and the percentage of sales,” Blischok said. “And let’s not forget online shopping.”
That online shopping holiday, once known as Cyber Monday, is lately more like Cyber Week. This year Adobe Digital Index found that online shopping deals will peak on Thanksgiving, with an average markdown of 24 percent.
And if you’re wary of scouring Amazon while you’re basting your turkey, Adobe analyst Tamara Gaffney says there’s a reason you might want to reconsider.
“By Black Friday you’re going to have a two times higher out-of-stock when you shop online. When you get to cyber Monday, which is December first, it will be five times higher,” Gaffney said.
So analysts say the best days to shop will be Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It seems the advice is: shop early, shop often.
AAA says some 46 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving — the largest number since 2007.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting Thursday, and with oil prices at a four-year low the group is at a crossroads.
Marketplace sustainability reporter Scott Tong says OPEC is facing a changed oil industry and a tough choice. They could cut production and sacrifice market share to other producers, namely the U.S., or they could stay the course and let prices keep falling.
There's no easy answer, and Tong says the cartel could be in for gridlock not unlike what we've seen in Washington. That's good for oil producers in the U.S. right now, but if prices get too low it could spell trouble for the fracking boom here.
Listen to David Gura's full conversation with Tong in the audio player above. Below, you can hear Gura's interview with Jamie Webster, who's in Vienna for Thursday's meeting.
Sibling relationships are the longest-lasting family ties we have, and they're among the most likely to bring health and happiness as we age. Think on that when your brother grabs the wishbone.
The author of such books as The Black Tower was best-known for her series featuring Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh.