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November 29, 2013

US \’Black Friday\’ shoppers gather hours, even days before some stores\’ openings

US ‘Black Friday’ shoppers gather hours, even days before some stores’ openings

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Friday, November 29, 2013

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A man waits outside the ‘Best Buy’ store in Tyler, Texas 32 hours before the store’s scheduled Black Friday sales opening.

With the US retail tradition of ‘Black Friday‘ already underway early Thursday evening, some shoppers began gathering outside retail stores as much as 53 hours prior to these special sales events. This, according to a Texas man who told Wikinews that he and his companions had started gathering at their local Best Buy store at 1:00pm on Tuesday, awaiting the 6:00pm Thursday opening. Target retail stores opened across the country at 8pm (local time) on Thursday evening. At 8:45pm Thursday evening, approximately 500 cars were parked at the Target store in Tyler, Texas.

At least four camping tents were set up outside the Best Buy store in the Dallas, Texas area, during pre-dawn hours on Thanksgiving morning. Years ago, it was seen as something special for retail stores to open at 6am on the so-called ‘Black Friday’ following Thanksgiving Day; that time would be considered “late” by modern standards. Many retailers use barricades to organize those who gather at their storefronts. For the first time ever, a shopping mall in Las Cruces, New Mexico will open at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day and will remain open for 25 consecutive hours, closing at 9pm Friday evening.

In recent years, several significant injuries have occurred during the melee that often ensued when stores opened their doors for Black Friday events. In 2011, a woman shot pepper spray at 20 people who were waiting to purchase the newest Xbox system.



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John Major weighs in on Scottish independence debate

John Major weighs in on Scottish independence debate

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Friday, November 29, 2013

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John Major in 2007.
Image: Steve Punter.

Yesterday in London, former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major gave a speech at the Institute of Directors outlining his opposition to plans for Scottish independence. This follows the publication earlier in the week of a white paper by the Scottish government outlining plans for what would happen if the country votes to leave the United Kingdom.

Major said that there won’t be a currency union between a newly independent Scotland and a post-split United Kingdom: “A currency union, which the SNP Scottish National Party assume is negotiable, would require the UK to underwrite Scottish debts. That cannot, will not, happen if Scotland leaves the Union. There can be no halfway house, no quasi-independence underpinned by UK institutions.”

Major said the other alternative was to join the Euro, but this would require Scotland to first join the European Union. EU membership may not be easy as “many states would have concerns about the accession of a separatist member. […] How would Spain feel — with breakaway movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country? Spain uses uncertainty over EU membership to deter Catalonia from even holding a referendum on independence. It is hardly likely she would happily wave in Scotland. Spain will not be alone in being wary of separatist tendencies.”

Major also said that Scottish nationalists engaged in anti-English sentiment. “Anti-English sentiment from separatists irritates and enrages, as it is intended to do, but across the UK people know and value Scots as partners, work colleagues, friends and neighbours. It is hard to imagine Scots becoming foreigners.”

A spokesperson for Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and the leader of the Scottish National Party, responded to Major’s remarks: “Sir John Major is quite wrong to suggest that the rest of the UK should lay exclusive claim to all the assets of the UK, which the people of Scotland contribute to and of which Sterling is one. But he is also just about the very last person the No campaign should be calling on to make their case. He was the Tory prime minister who presided over his party’s complete wipe-out in Scotland and the more he tries to lecture the people of Scotland, the better it will be for the Yes vote.”



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