In our news wrap Friday, Americans swarmed stores and scoured websites for the best Black Friday deals. The retail data firm ShopperTrak estimates today’s sales will hit $23 billion, up more than $2 billion from last year. Violence emerged amidst the commercial furor when gunfire broke out at a mall near Birmingham, Alabama. Two people were injured, and the suspected shooter was killed by police.
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In the day's other news, millions of Americans spent this Black Friday swarming stores and scouring Web sites for deals.
The retail data firm ShopperTrak estimates today's sales will hit $23 billion. That's up more than $2 billion from last year. Across the country, retailers saw the annual rush of shoppers bursting through their doors before sunrise, scrambling for discounts.
Events took a violent turn near Birmingham, Alabama. An argument between two men at a mall there ended in gunfire. Police shot and killed the suspected shooter. An 18-year-old and a 12-year-old bystander wounded. Witnesses took cover in nearby stores.
Everybody screamed and everybody ran. People ran. Like, Mountain High, people ran everywhere.
They have some supply closets where they keep the shoes and stuff at Mountain High, and they just pushed us all in there, and then they opened the escape doors, wherever they are.
Authorities are still trying to determine if the shooting was related to Black Friday or a separate dispute.
Oil prices have plummeted to their lowest level in more than a year. That triggered a sell-off on Wall Street today, as investors feared the supply could swamp demand. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 178 points to close at 24285. The Nasdaq fell 33 points and the S&P 500 slipped 17.
Heavy rains in Northern California have now extinguished 95 percent of what was the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century. The Camp Fire killed at least 84 people and incinerated some 19,000 buildings, most of them homes. Crews are now focused on locating the more than 560 people who are missing.
A pair of deadly attacks rocked Pakistan today; 35 people died when a bomb hit an open-air market in the northwestern part of the country, near the Afghan border. Most of the victims were minority Shiite Muslims. It came hours after armed separatists targeted the Chinese Consulate in Karachi.
Two civilians and two police officers died in an hour-long shoot-out.
Prime Minister Imran Khan commended the officers for preventing more fatalities.
Imran Khan (through translator):
No staff member of the Chinese Embassy has been harmed in any way. Our security forces arrived on the scene very quickly, and neutralized the attackers. If they had managed to get in, there could have been a very big tragedy. So, today, we are also lauding our security forces.
Chinese officials condemned the attack and said it wouldn't affect their relationship with Pakistan.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan, a suicide blast at an army base has killed at least 27 soldiers. The bombing occurred as people gathered for Friday prayers at a mosque in the eastern Khost Province; 57 people were wounded and taken to a nearby hospital. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court today to fast-track a series of cases on the president's ban on some transgender people serving in the military. The move would leapfrog federal appeals courts that have yet to rule on the issue. Lower courts have blocked the policy from going into effect. The Supreme Court typically doesn't take cases until after an appeals court has ruled.
And Hillary Clinton has called on European leaders to curb mass migration to the continent. She says it's helped spread right-wing populism.
In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian published today, the former Democratic presidential candidate and secretary of state warned: "If we don't deal with the migration issue, it will continue to roil the body politic."
She said it lit the flame for racist political ideologies in Europe.
Clinton's comments sparked outrage and confusion from immigration activists and European lawmakers, who cited her long track record of welcoming immigrants.