Americans take part in Black Friday amid record inflation; Musk grants Twitter amnesty; and Covid lockdown frustrations are growing in China. These stories and more highlight the morning rundown for Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.
Black Friday begins amid record inflation
It’s the biggest shopping weekend of the year and Americans are ready for deals after dealing with four-decade-high inflation all year. A record 166 million people are expected to shop now through Cyber Monday, up about 8 million from last year, according to the National Retail Foundation.
The group expects sales growth will slow to 6%-8% this weekend, down from last year’s 13.5% growth. And that’s not adjusted for inflation, so real spending could actually be down this year.
With high prices on the mind, shoppers are willing to wait for steep discounts, forcing retailers to extend Black Friday-like deals far beyond the holiday shopping weekend.
Elon Musk grants amnesty to suspended accounts
Elon Musk is giving blanket amnesty to suspended Twitter accounts that may have posted hate speech and other company violations. The new chief said he’d reinstate suspended users next week as long as they haven’t “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.”
Musk continued the trend of making his leadership decisions via Twitter polls: 72% voted in favor of general amnesty.
This decision comes about a week after Musk reinstated former President Donald Trump’s account after another poll showed 52% of respondents in favor of the move. Trump has so far declined to tweet on the platform.
In other Twitter news, Musk tweeted today that the verified system will relaunch next Friday with different color checks for companies, government and people, which will all be manually verified.
The blue check system was put on pause after an explosion of imposter accounts.
Witness: Walmart shooter was going hunting
Employees who were in the break room of the Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart are talking about what they saw when their supervisor opened fire on them, killing six coworkers.
One employee told the Associated Press it looked like he was going hunting and seemed to target people, even going back and shooting victims who were already dead. But others say he shot wildly.
“As soon as my team lead said, ‘All right, guys, you know, we have a light night ahead of us,’ I looked up and my manager turned around and he just opened fire on everybody in the break room. And it is by the grace of God that a bullet missed me,” witness Briana Tyler said.
The city of Chesapeake says at least two employees are still hospitalized, including one in critical condition.
The FBI went through the shooter’s home Wednesday searching for any clues in this Chesapeake tragedy.
Frustration over China COVID lockdowns grows
China is facing record COVID infections with outbreaks in every region of the country. Lockdowns continue to batter the economy as worker frustration grows.
Employees clashed with authorities at a major iPhone factory in the Henan province this week, rebelling over lockdown conditions and pay. Now, the company Foxconn is offering severance payments of $1,400 to get disgruntled workers to leave.
Conditions in China are rippling through the global oil market as experts see demand weakening. A measure of Asian crude consumption tumbled to a seven-month low.
U.S. takes on England at World Cup
The U.S. is facing a tough matchup against England today in the World Cup. After settling for a draw against Wales, the American team is fighting to get to the knockout stage in its group, going up against a team that’s not only a favorite, but cruising from its decisive 6-2 victory against Iran earlier this week. The kickoff is at 1 p.m. CST.
Meanwhile, one of the best players in the world went down with a severely sprained ankle Thursday. Brazil’s Neymar limped off as his team held on to win against Serbia.
Brazil is the overall favorite for the Cup, but it’s not clear whether Neymar will be able to play in its next match Monday against Switzerland.
SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: IT IS 8 AM CENTRAL ON THIS BLACK FRIDAY, I HOPE YOU HAD A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING WITH YOUR FAMILY, LET’S GET YOU CAUGHT UP ON THE NEWS. THIS IS YOUR MORNING UPDATE.
BLACK FRIDAY BEGINS AMID RECORD INFLATION
WE’RE KICKING OFF THE BIGGEST SHOPPING WEEKEND OF THE YEAR AND AMERICANS ARE READY FOR DEALS AFTER DEALING WITH 4-DECADE HIGH INFLATION ALL YEAR. A RECORD 166 MILLION PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO SHOP NOW THROUGH CYBER MONDAY, UP ABOUT 8 MILLION FROM LAST YEAR, ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL RETAIL FOUNDATION.
THE GROUP EXPECTS SALES GROWTH WILL SLOW TO 6 TO 8% THIS WEEKEND, DOWN FROM LAST YEAR’S 13.5% GROWTH. AND THAT’S *NOT ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION, SO REAL SPENDING COULD ACTUALLY BE DOWN THIS YEAR.
WITH HIGH PRICES ON THE MIND, SHOPPERS ARE WILLING TO WAIT FOR STEEP DISCOUNTS, FORCING RETAILERS TO EXTEND BLACK-FRIDAY-ESQUE DEALS FAR BEYOND THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING WEEKEND.
ELON MUSK GRANTS AMNESTY TO SUSPENDED TWITTER ACCOUNTS
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. AMNESTY BEGINS NEXT WEEK.
ELON MUSK IS GIVING BLANKET AMNESTY TO SUSPENDED TWITTER ACCOUNTS THAT MAY HAVE POSTED HATE SPEECH AND OTHER COMPANY VIOLATIONS. THE NEW CHIEF SAID HE’D REINSTATE SUSPENDED USERS NEXT WEEK AS LONG AS THEY HAVEN’T “BROKEN THE LAW OR ENGAGED IN EGREGIOUS SPAM.”
MUSK CONTINUES THE TREND OF MAKING HIS LEADERSHIP DECISIONS VIA TWITTER POLLS. 72% VOTED IN FAVOR OF GENERAL AMNESTY.
THIS COMES ABOUT A WEEK AFTER MUSK REINSTATED FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S ACCOUNT AFTER ANOTHER POLL WITH 52% IN FAVOR. TRUMP HAS SO FAR DECLINED TO TWEET ON THE PLATFORM.
IN OTHER TWITTER NEWS, MUSK TWEETED TODAY THAT THE VERIFIED SYSTEM WILL RELAUNCH NEXT FRIDAY, WITH DIFFERENT COLOR CHECKS FOR COMPANIES, GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE, WHICH WILL ALL BE MANUALLY VERIFIED.
THE BLUE CHECK SYSTEM WAS PUT ON PAUSE AFTER AN EXPLOSION OF IMPOSTER ACCOUNTS.
WITNESS: WALMART SHOOTER WAS GOING HUNTING
EMPLOYEES THAT WERE IN THE BREAK ROOM OF THAT VIRGINIA WALMART ARE TALKING ABOUT WHAT THEY SAW WHEN THEIR SUPERVISOR OPENED FIRE ON THEM, KILLING SIX COWORKERS.
ONE EMPLOYEE TOLD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IT LOOKED LIKE HE WAS GOING HUNTING AND SEEMED TO TARGET PEOPLE, EVEN GOING BACK AND SHOOTING VICTIMS WHO WERE ALREADY DEAD. \
BUT OTHERS, SAY HE SHOT WILDLY.
BRIANA TYLER | WITNESS: “As soon as my team lead said, ‘All right, guys, you know, we have a light night ahead of us’ I looked up and my manager turned around and he just opened fire on everybody in the break room. And it is by the grace of God that a bullet missed me.”
DEL ROSARIO: THE CITY OF CHESAPEAKE SAYS AT LEAST TWO EMPLOYEES ARE STILL HOSPITALIZED, INCLUDING ONE IN CRITICAL CONDITION.
THE FBI WENT THROUGH THE SHOOTER’S HOME WEDNESDAY, SEARCHING FOR ANY CLUES IN THIS CHESAPEAKE TRAGEDY.
FRUSTRATION OVER CHINA COVID LOCKDOWNS GROWS
CHINA IS FACING RECORD COVID INFECTIONS WITH OUTBREAKS IN EVERY REGION OF THE COUNTRY. LOCKDOWNS CONTINUE TO BATTER THE ECONOMY AS WORKER FRUSTRATION GROWS.
EMPLOYEES CLASHED WITH AUTHORITIES AT THIS MAJOR IPHONE FACTORY IN THE HENAN PROVINCE THIS WEEK, REBELLING OVER LOCKDOWN CONDITIONS AND PAY. NOW THE COMPANY FOXCONN IS OFFERING SEVERANCE PAYMENTS OF $1400 TO GET DISGRUNTLED WORKERS TO LEAVE.
CONDITIONS IN CHINA ARE RIPPLING THROUGH THE GLOBAL OIL MARKET AS EXPERTS SEE DEMAND WEAKENING. A MEASURE OF ASIAN CRUDE CONSUMPTION TUMBLED TO A 7-MONTH LOW.
U.S. TAKES ON ENGLAND IN THE WORLD CUP
THE U-S IS FACING A TOUGH MATCHUP AGAINST ENGLAND TODAY IN THE WORLD CUP. AFTER SETTLING FOR A DRAW AGAINST WALES, THE AMERICAN TEAM IS FIGHTING TO GET TO THE KNOCKOUT STAGE IN ITS GROUP, GOING UP AGAINST A TEAM THAT’S NOT ONLY A FAVORITE, BUT CRUISING FROM ITS DECISIVE 6-2 VICTORY AGAINST IRAN EARLIER THIS WEEK. THAT KICKOFF IS AT 1PM CENTRAL.
MEANWHILE, ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD WENT DOWN WITH A SEVERELY SPRAINED ANKLE THURSDAY. BRAZIL’S NEYMAR LIMPED OFF AS HIS TEAM HELD ON TO WIN AGAINST SERBIA.
BRAZIL IS THE OVERALL FAVORITE FOR THE CUP, BUT IT’S NOT CLEAR WHETHER NEYMAR WILL BE ABLE TO PLAY IN THEIR NEXT MATCH MONDAY AGAINST SWITZERLAND.
WHETHER YOU’RE SPENDING TODAY HUNTING FOR DEALS OR WATCHING THE MATCH, I HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS BLACK FRIDAY AND THOSE LEFTOVERS, WE’LL BE BACK AT NOON WITH YOUR TOP HEADLINES.