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News Wrap: Israeli Troops Fire at Palestinians Surging Gaza Border Fence

November 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Israeli troops tested a fragile truce with Hamas today and opened fire on the Gaza border, killing a Palestinian man; 19 others were wounded. Palestinians gathered along the border after the shooting.

They confronted Israeli troops on the other side of the fence, who ordered them to leave. Israel and Hamas agreed to the cease-fire on Wednesday, after more than a week of intense fighting that claimed the lives of 172 people, mostly Palestinians.

The so-called Black Friday shopping frenzy in the U.S. began in earnest today, and in some cases, it got started last night, before Thanksgiving was even over.

Some shoppers had been searching for bargains all night long.

WOMAN: We started at about 10:00 p.m., and we have been going ever since.

WOMAN: If we go like, 12:00 a.m. or 1:00 a.m., it’s — really save a lot.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Others were simply following a holiday tradition.

ROLAND BURDETT, shopper: I didn’t come crazy early when it was mobbed, so we don’t necessarily get the best deal on everything, but it’s just getting out and seeing everybody and having fun.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Across the country, many began their holiday shopping late Thursday evening, as big box stores like Target, Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us opened hours before midnight, blurring the line between Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day.

GREGG STEINHAFEL, Target: It’s almost been like an arms race. First, it was 8:00, then 7:00, then 6:00, 4:00 in the morning, then midnight. But we have to be responsive to the competitive environment.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Retailers rely on November and December sales, which by themselves can account for more than a third of their annual revenues, and 40 percent to 50 percent of their yearly profits.

MARLA WILEY, assistant manager, Target: This morning, we had lines that went all the way down to Marshalls. The parking lot was full. It was great. A lot of people came in really excited.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Those long lines mean the expectation of 4 percent growth by the National Federation of Retailers may come true.

One retailer faced a backlash from workers today with picket lines forming outside Wal-Mart stores from California to Maryland. A group called Our Wal-Mart organized the walk-off in 100 cities.

CYNTHIA MURRAY, Wal-Mart employee: We’re asking for living wages. We’re asking for decent scheduling. They’re not things that are hard. I mean, we want health care. They’re the richest retailer in the world.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Wal-Mart executives said these protesters do not represent the 1.3 million employees who work at the company.

The stock market also got a boost from Black Friday, rising sharply on early reports of strong retail sales. On a shortened day of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 172 points to close at 13,009. The Nasdaq rose 40 points to close above 2,966. For the week, the Dow gained 3.4 percent; the Nasdaq rose nearly 4 percent.

A European Union summit in Brussels broke up today without any agreement on a long-term budget. The 27-nation bloc was trying to reach consensus on a more than a trillion-dollar long-term spending plan. It primarily funds farming and programs to spur growth in less-developed nations. Some members backed a budget with cuts. Others pushed for greater spending to kick-start recession-hit economies. There is no set deadline for a deal.

A silver sixpence coin from colonial Massachusetts has been auctioned off for $430,000 in Baltimore. That’s four times what it was expected to get. The coin dates to 1652 and is one of only eight known to exist in the world. It was first unearthed in a potato field in East Hampton, N.Y. in 1990 by a woman using a metal detector.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.