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    Online Black Friday sales in the U.S. topped a record-breaking $9.12 billion this year, kicking off a solid start to the holiday shopping season despite inflation and other economic concerns.

      Days after flocking to stores on Black Friday, consumers are turning online for Cyber Monday to score more discounts on gifts and other items that have ballooned in price because of high inflation. Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions for top online retailers, forecasts Cyber Monday will remain the year’s biggest online shopping day and rake in up to $11.6 billion in sales. Some analysts expect the amount of items consumers purchase could remain unchanged - or even fall - compared to prior years. And profit margins are expected to be tight for retailers offering deeper discounts to attract budget-conscious consumers and clear out their bloated inventories.

        When many corners of the conservative media ecosystem turned on Donald Trump following his announcement of a 2024 presidential candidacy, Howard Polskin was one of the first to notice — and be surprised. A longtime New York media figure, Polskin has developed The Righting, a website and newsletter that tries to keep people who are not regular followers up-to-date on what is happening in the sprawling conservative media. The left-leaning Polskin started the tracking shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, as a way of understanding why his fellow Americans voted the way they did. At this point, he says it's a brand in search of a business.

          Irish regulators have slapped Facebook parent Meta with a 265 million euro fine in what is the company’s latest punishment for breaching strict European Union data privacy rules. The Data Protection Commission said Meta Platforms infringed sections of the EU rules that cover technical and organizational measures aimed at protecting user data. The watchdog opened an investigation last year into news reports that data on more 533 million users was found dumped online. Meta says the data had been “scraped” from Facebook using tools designed to help people find their friends through phone numbers using search and contact import features. The company said it had “cooperated fully” with the Irish watchdog.

          Stacker compiled a list of the best public colleges in every state using Niche's 2023 Top Public Universities in America ranking. 

            Financial educators are often working on overdrive during the holiday shopping season, dispensing advice to consumers about budgeting and staying out of debt. We asked five financial educators how they personally survive the holiday season with their finances intact. They shared some novel strategies, such as saving for the season starting in January and even buying gifts that early, giving nontraditional presents and focusing on next year’s financial goals instead of gifts. People can apply these techniques to their own life to start the new year on solid financial footing.

            Russian energy giant Gazprom announced Monday that it will not further reduce natural gas to Moldova as it had threatened to do after claiming that bills went unpaid and that flows crossing through Ukraine were not making it to Moldova. Gazprom tweeted Monday that Moldovagaz has “eliminated the violation of payment” for November supplies and that “funds for the gas deposited on the territory of Ukraine, intended for consumers in Moldova, have been received.” Last week, Moldova and Ukraine hit back at Gazprom’s claim that Russian gas moving through the last pipeline to Western Europe was being stored in Ukraine. They said all supplies Russia sends through the war-torn country get “fully transferred” to Moldova.

            Six families are mourning loved ones who were killed in the mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia. The victims include Randy Blevins, a longtime Walmart employee who liked working the third shift to have the days to himself. Fernando “Jesus” Chavez-Barron was an 11th-grade honors student who took a part time job to help his family. Kellie Pyle recently moved back to the area and planned to marry her high school sweetheart. Brian Pendleton was a happy-go-lucky guy who loved to tell jokes. Lorenzo Gamble loved spending time with his two sons. And Tyneka Johnson had a sense of style and love for music and dancing. Police say a store supervisor killed the six during Tuesday's attack.

            The United States’ 0-0 draw against England in the World Cup drew 19.98 million viewers for English- and Spanish-language broadcasts. It was the third-most watched men’s soccer game on U.S. television behind the 2010 and 2014 finals. The match kicked off at 2 p.m. EST on Friday. It was was seen by 15,377,000 viewers on Fox. That was the most for a U.S. English-language men’s soccer telecast. The U.S.-England game was viewed by 4.6 million on Telemundo which is a division of Comcast Corp.‘s NBCUniversal.


            Need gift ideas to help with the ladies in your life? This list will surely help you make the grade.

            Nebraska agriculture officials say another 1.8 million chickens must be killed after bird flu was found on a farm. It's the latest sign that the outbreak has kept spreading after having already prompted the slaughter of more than 50 million birds nationwide. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Saturday that the state's 13th case of bird flu was found on an egg-laying farm in northeast Nebraska's Dixon County. All the chickens on the Nebraska farm are being killed to limit the spread of the disease. Officials say the virus presents little risk to human health because human cases are extremely rare and infected birds aren't allowed into the nation's food supply.

            Ever-widening access to the internet is offering a new opportunity for Cubans looking for hard-to-obtain basic goods: online shopping. Tens of thousands of people have starting buying and selling everything from chicken and milk to medicine and pregnancy tests on myriad apps that have provided digital access to the country's not-very-clandestine black market. Such unsanctioned transactions are a time-honored practice in crisis-stricken Cuba, where access to the most basic items has always been limited. Cuban national Ricardo Torres is an economics fellow at American University in Washington. He notes that the informal market used to be limited to neighbors and local communities. Now, he says, the internet provides shoppers and sellers with access to entire provinces.

            If you racked up credit card debt in 2022—whether from holiday shopping or something more serious, such as emergency expenses—you might be thinking about a balance transfer. By transferring your debt from a card with a high APR to one offering a 0% introductory APR period, you can save money on interest charges and potentially […]

            Cleaning fees are one-time charges that Airbnb hosts can tack on to the nightly rate. They’ve become a pain point for many travelers because cleaning fees can be exorbitantly high in some cases and are not shown in search results. Airbnb aims to make them more transparent by adding a search filter for total booking cost and requiring hosts to put cleaning requirements — like stripping the beds or taking out trash — on the listing. These new features may help customers make more informed decisions when booking and incentivize hosts to lower or forgo cleaning fees altogether.

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