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November 30th, 2009
02:01 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Make way for ‘Cyber Monday’

The NRF estimates that 96.5 million Americans plan to shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from 85 million in 2008.

The NRF estimates that 96.5 million Americans plan to shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from 85 million in 2008.

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

We shopped but we didn’t drop - a lot of money anyway...

More Americans turned out to bag Thanksgiving weekend deals this year than last year, according to the National Retail Federation, but shoppers on average spent less on their purchases compared to a year ago.

Average spending over the weekend dropped to $343.31 per person from $372.57 a year ago. Total retail spending for the holiday weekend was about $41.2 billion, the NRF said, up marginally from $41 billion last year.

Now it’s all about today - Cyber Monday - the online retail world's version of Black Friday. Millions of people are expected to take some time at work today and surf the Web in search of bargains. FULL POST


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Finance
November 30th, 2009
01:36 PM ET

Interactive: Timeline of women in the U.S. Military

U.S. Military

Women have served in the United States Military since 1775. They are an invaluable and essential part of the Army. Currently, women serve in 91 percent of all Army occupations and make up about 14 percent of the active Army, where they continue to play a crucial role. Go here to find an historical timeline of women in the U.S. Military.


Filed under: Military • Women's Issues • Women's Rights
November 30th, 2009
01:22 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Slain police officers

CNN

A suspect in the shooting deaths of four police officers was not found in an east Seattle home where authorities had tracked him, police said Monday. Go here and scroll down to view a photo gallery of the slain police officers.

November 30th, 2009
01:12 PM ET

Looking for reasons to care about Tiger Woods

James Poniewozik
Time

We in the respectable media are not interested in Tiger Woods' car crash for prurient reasons. Oh, no. We don't care about what a celebrity, but a private citizen, may or may not have been doing with his extracurricular time. Nor do we care about the rush of viewers and readers—like you there, who came to this article by Googling "Tiger Woods car crash affair rumors"—and how good it will make us look to our advertisers if we indulge it.

No, we care only for high-minded reasons. It's about, um, the business impact of the story on the lucrative sports-endorsement business. It's about, um, the ever-changing culture of American celebrity. It's about, um, traffic safety! How many more innocent trees must suffer? Wait, no! It's about the media coverage itself! That's the ticket! So here is a blog post about the media coverage itself!

As you have guessed, the Woods story is about exactly what you think it is about: a huge celebrity, one of the most famous athletes in the world, suffers a mysterious mishap, gives an unsatisfying explanation, and rumors of personal scandal have filled in the void. A big star seems to be trying to hide something that won't stay hidden, and people want to have at it. That's it, and it's that simple.

Read More...

November 30th, 2009
01:02 PM ET

Chelsea Clinton to marry

Chelsea Clinton is engaged.

Chelsea Clinton is engaged.

CNN

Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is engaged, a spokesman for the former president confirms to CNN.

Chelsea Clinton will marry longtime boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky, said the spokesman, who added that reports earlier this summer about the engagement and wedding had been "completely false."

The couple sent a message to friends and famiy announcing the decision. "We're sorry for the mass email but we wanted to wish everyone a belated Happy Thanksgiving! We also wanted to share that we are engaged! We didn't get married this past summer despite the stories to the contrary, but we are looking toward next summer and hope you all will be there to celebrate with us. Happy Holidays! Chelsea & Marc"

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
November 30th, 2009
12:58 PM ET

Why Tiger Woods may not be talking to police

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says Tiger Woods is under no obligation to talk with police.

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says Tiger Woods is under no obligation to talk with police.

Jeffrey Toobin | Bio
CNN Senior Legal Analyst
New Yorker Columnist

State police in Florida planned Monday to further investigate a single-vehicle crash involving pro golfer Tiger Woods, they said.

That followed a police announcement Sunday that Woods had canceled a third interview with investigators.

Woods suffered minor injuries in the accident, which occurred early Friday in his luxury neighborhood near Orlando. In a statement issued Sunday afternoon on his Web site, Woods offered no details of his wreck, except to say he had cuts and bruises and was "pretty sore."

"This situation is my fault, and it's obviously embarrassing to my family and me," he said. "I'm human, and I'm not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn't happen again."

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Jeffrey Toobin
November 30th, 2009
12:41 PM ET
November 30th, 2009
12:35 PM ET

Troops alone can't win Afghan war

Afghan security forces patrol the streets of Kabul.

Afghan security forces patrol the streets of Kabul.

Frances Townsend
CNN Contributor

How can we best meet our national security objectives in Afghanistan?

In Gen. Stanley McChrystal's assessment, Afghanistan requires an "integrated civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign." The general put the request for civilians ahead of military because it is the most difficult to provide.

It is there first because what civilian capacity the U.S. government has at hand is weak, insufficient to the task and not deployable in the way required in Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan understand our need for civilian support, which explains why they attacked and killed six U.N. workers in Kabul in October. As a result, the U.N. pulled out 600 of its 1,100 staff. The U.N. withdrawal is a win for our enemies and will serve to further embolden and encourage them.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Afghanistan • al Qaeda • Military
November 30th, 2009
11:44 AM ET

Obama faces risk of a wartime presidency


President Obama greets U.S. troops on a visit to South Korea.

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

President Obama is taking a huge step in his presidency. After weeks of careful deliberation, the president has sided with military officials who have been pushing for an escalation of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Explaining his objectives and exit strategy, Obama is expected to announce that he will be sending 30,000 troops, and possibly more, into the region.

With this decision, Obama inches closer to becoming a wartime president. Even though the White House insists that they will continue to work hard on their domestic agenda, historically, presidents who become involved in protracted ground wars find that their presidencies are defined by their military conflicts. The politics that surround a military operation play an enormous role in the political success or failure of an administration.

Keep Reading...

November 30th, 2009
11:20 AM ET

U.S. seeing more female homeless veterans

Sgt. Angela Peacock is seen in 2004, after she returned to the United States from duty in Iraq.

Sgt. Angela Peacock is seen in 2004, after she returned to the United States from duty in Iraq.

Thom Patterson
CNN

When Iraq war veteran Angela Peacock is in the shower, she sometimes closes her eyes and can't help reliving the day in Baghdad in 2003 that pushed her closer to the edge.

While pulling security detail for an Army convoy stuck in gridlocked traffic, Peacock's vehicle came alongside a van full of Iraqi men who "began shouting that they were going to kill us," she said.

One man in the vehicle was particularly threatening. "I can remember his eyes looking at me," she said. "I put my finger on the trigger and aimed my weapon at the guy, and my driver is screaming at me to stop."

"I was really close to shooting at them, but I didn't."

Now back home in Missouri, Peacock, 30, is unemployed - living in a friend's home in North St. Louis County without a lease and paying minimal rent.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Iraq • Military
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