In our news wrap Friday, President Trump has lost yet another legal round in his bid to challenge the election results, "Black Friday" unofficially ushers in the holiday shopping season under the pall of the pandemic, and thousands of Indian farmers march on New Delhi.
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This Black Friday unofficially ushers in the holiday shopping season, but, this year, it's under the pall of the pandemic. The nation is now averaging well over 100,000 new infections daily.
Today is usually one of the busiest in-person shopping days, but, instead, there was reduced foot traffic nationwide. In Houston, retailers limited capacity in stores and ran temperature checks on customers. Crowds were also smaller at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, where a mask mandate was in place.
We want everybody to wear their masks. Actually, we have dedicated staff.
They will be wearing red shirts as you enter the building, ensuring that you have your mask on and are wearing it properly. And then you will also see our staff throughout the mall ensuring that you keep it on. We just want to make sure everybody has a safe holiday season.
Despite the smaller crowds in stores, analysts are forecasting an increase in holiday sales due to a boom in online shopping.
President Trump has lost yet another legal round in his bid to challenge the election results. A federal appeals court today rejected his lawsuit in Pennsylvania. The court said the claims of fraud were devoid of any specifics or any proof. President-elect Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes. The Trump campaign said it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Ethiopia, meanwhile, President — Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed again rejected talks with leaders of the defiant Tigray region. But his office said he would talk to representatives it says are — quote — "operating legally there." Abiy met with African union peace envoys, as thousands more refugees fled Tigray's capital, before the Ethiopian army launches an assault.
Thousands of farmers in India marched to New Delhi today, protesting new laws that will end guaranteed prices for grain. They were stopped at first by police, who blocked their way and used tear gas. Demonstrators condemned the use of violence against peaceful protests.
Man (through translator):
India is my country, and Delhi is the capital of my country. I am not even allowed to enter my capital city. This is in spite of farmers never doing any hooliganism. Our whole movement has been peaceful. They also showered us with water cannons, and we were also beaten.
The government says it wants to give farmers more freedom to market their produce and boost production through private investment.
An all-out brawl erupted in Taiwan's Parliament today over lifting a ban on imported U.S. pork. Lawmakers opposed to the policy threw pig guts when the premier tried to speak. Then, fistfights broke out between ruling party and opposition legislators. Taiwan has seen mass protests against U.S. pork that contains residue of a drug promoting lean meat.
Back in this country, the U.S. Justice Department formally changed its policy to allow federal executions by gas chamber, electric chair or firing squad. Currently, lethal injections are the only authorized method. Federal executions resumed this year after 17 years without one. At least five more executions are planned in December and in January.
The Trump administration is also moving, in its final days, to reduce protections for migratory birds. The change finalized today decreases federal prosecution of industrial operations, from power lines to wind turbines to toxic waste pits, that unintentionally kill birds. The new rule could take effect within 30 days.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 37 points to close at 29910. The Nasdaq rose 111 points, and the S&P 500 added eight points.