The news in the markets is dramatic: Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude oil -- often used as a benchmark of U.S. prices -- dropped below $70 per barrel for the first time since 2010. This continues a dramatic price slump for oil, which cost over $100 per barrel as recently as June.
The shift has markedly reduced average U.S. gasoline prices (which are now well below $3 per gallon) and may bolster the U.S. economy heading into the Christmas spending season -- by putting considerably more money in consumers' wallets.
But what's driving this slump -- which is quickly becoming the single most important economic story of 2014 (and maybe 2015)? There's one short-term reason and three longer-term reasons.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani again weighed in on tensions between members of the black community and police officers in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."
Giuliani said that he thinks that some police officers do discriminate against blacks, but he went on to say that blacks are partially responsible for that.
"There is more interaction and more unfair interaction among police officers, white and black, in the black community than in the white community. And I think some of that responsibility is on the police department and on police departments to train their officers better and to make their police departments much more diversified," Giuliani said Sunday. "But I think just as much, if not more, responsibility is on the black community to reduce the reason why the police officers are assigned in such large numbers to the black community."
Giuliani then brought up crime statistics similar to those he cited a week ago.
"Its because blacks commit murder eight times more per capita than any other group in our society. And when I assigned police officers with Commissioner Bratton and Commissioner Safir, we did it based on statistics. We didnt do it based on race. If there were a lot of murders in a community, we put a lot of police officers there," he said.
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) Police say a Pennsylvania woman chased her boyfriend around a dining room and stabbed him in the chest because he started eating Thanksgiving dinner while she slept off a bender.
Authorities say Jacklyn Blake confessed to officers who responded to her Wilkes-Barre (WILKS'-ba-ree) home Thursday. Officers found her boyfriend inside holding a towel over his chest. He was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
The 47-year-old Blake is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, simple assault, reckless endangerment and making terroristic threats. It wasn't clear if she has a lawyer.
According to police, Blake's boyfriend says she'd been drunk earlier in the day and attacked him after waking up from a nap. He says she stabbed him and then threw the knife, striking him just below the left eye.
he two Cleveland police officers who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice did not administer first aid after they shot him down, according to Cleveland officials.
It took almost four minutes before a detective and an FBI agent arrived on the scene and administered first aid on the boy, who was eventually rushed to hospital where he died of his injuries, local station WEWS‑TV reported.
Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice on Saturday after he and another officer pulled up to a gazebo where Rice had been spotted playing with a toy gun. Police say the two were unaware of Rice's age and that the gun was harmless.
Authorities released video of the shooting on Wednesday at the behest of Rice's parents.
The footage revealed the few seconds it took for the officers to pull up their car and shoot Rice down. It did not show the following minutes in which they reportedly failed to administer first aid.
A Republican staffer on Friday apologized for a Facebook post that criticized Malia and Sasha Obama's appearance at the annual White House turkey pardon ceremony, one of America's silliest holiday traditions.
Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), wrote that the two teenagers should "try showing a little class," "dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar," and, most of all, "don't make faces" at Very Serious public events.
Read the full rant via Gawker:
Dear Sasha and Malia, I get youre both in those awful teen years, but youre a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father dont respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so Im guessing youre coming up a little short in the good role model department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly dont make faces during televised public events.
The First Daughters join President Obama at the ceremony every year, where they can hardly contain their disdain for the lame dad jokes that predictably follow. Before approaching Mac and Cheese, the two turkeys, the president remarked that it was "puzzling that I do this every year." Malia even declined her father's offer to pet one of the pardoned turkeys with a nonchalant, "Nah."
Lauten later apologized for rushing to judgement on Facebook.
"I reacted to an article and quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager," she said. "After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online, I can see more clearly how hurtful my words were. Please know that these judgmental feelings truly have no pace in my heart. Furthermore, I'd like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience."
AUSTIN, Texas A white, middle-aged gunman, in what appears to be a politically motivated anti-government attack linked to immigration, fired more than a hundred rounds at buildings in downtown Austin early Friday and tried to set fire to the Mexican consulate before he died of a gunshot wound.
Police identified the gunman as 49-year-old Larry Steven McQuilliams and said he had a criminal record. No details were immediately released about his background.
Police were investigating whether he was killed by a police officer who fired at him in front of police headquarters or died of a self-inflicted gunshot.
A police sergeant putting away police horses for the night shot the suspect with one hand while holding two horses by the reins in the other, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters.
Between about 2:20 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. CT, McQuilliams fired at several buildings in downtown Austin, including police headquarters and the federal courthouse. He also tried to torch the Mexican consulate using several small propane cylinders, but the fires were put out before the flames could spread, Acevedo said.
Demonstrators are marching through Union Square in San Francisco, protesting the Ferguson decision and disrupting shoppers and holiday festivities on Black Friday.
SKY7 HD is following the protest march that started at Justin Herman Plaza near the Ferry Building and traveled down Market Street and has approached Union Square.
Marchers have been walking for more than half an hour, which has raised concerns from merchants and others who have been enjoying Black Friday and the tree lighting ceremony at Union Square.
San Francisco police have requested two wagons in anticipation of arrests. Police said there were reports of protesters breaking windows and throwing rocks. Several windows at Macy's have reportedly been smashed and demonstrators have entered the Westfield Mall. Some employees at a jewelry store in Union Square are hiding after seeing protesters carrying hammers.
The demonstrators at the tree-lighting ceremony chanted "Black Friday doesn't matter, black lives matter" as pedestrians passed by carrying large shopping bags full of goods from nearby department stores.
(Reuters) - Mall crowds were relatively thin early on Black Friday in a sign of what has become the new normal in U.S. holiday shopping: the mad rush is happening the night of Thanksgiving and more consumers are picking up deals online.
Most major retailers now open their doors Thursday evening and offer extended holiday deals rather than limiting them to one day. The result is a quieter experience on what has traditionally been the busiest, and sometimes most chaotic, shopping day of the year.
"It just looks like any other weekend," said Angela Olivera, a 32-year old housewife shopping for children's clothing at the Westfarms Mall near Hartford, Connecticut. "The kind of crowds we usually see are missing and this is one of the biggest malls here. I think people are just not spending a lot."
The crowds normally reserved for Black Friday morning appeared Thursday night. Over 15,000 people lined up for the opening of the flagship store of Macy's Inc (M.N) in New York on Thursday, Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren told CNN. Police responded to a handful of incidents at Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N) on Thursday, including to break up a fight over a Barbie doll in Los Angeles, CNN said.
1. Me, my partner and our son.
2. No annoying extended family.
3. Perfect weather, sunny and 65 degrees.
4. No turkey, just great dim sum in Chinatown.
5. All natural fruit smoothies for dessert.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!
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About RandySFPartner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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