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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’re looking to avoid giving tech this year, you could always go with one of those historic classics that never go out of style. Think yo-yos, Tonka Trucks or teddy bears.

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President Joe Biden has gone holiday shopping on the Massachusetts resort island where he spends Thanksgiving. He patronized smaller independently owned stores on what the retail industry has called “Small Business Saturday.” Biden, his wife, Jill, and daughter Ashley went from store to store on Main Street in downtown Nantucket, lingering at Polo Ralph Lauren, Murray’s Toggery Shop and The Black Dog, among other establishments. The president’s son Hunter and his wife, Melissa, were also shopping with their 2-year-old son, Beau. Biden emerged from The Black Dog holding a small brown paper shopping bag. The White House had no immediate comment on the president’s purchases.

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President Joe Biden's tradition of going out to lunch, shopping and watching a Christmas tree lighting in downtown Nantucket with his family became mostly about keeping his 2-year-old grandson from having a meltdown. Every member of the Biden family seemed to be doing whatever they could think of to keep baby Beau happy for a few hours until the tree was lit. The Bidens have been spending Thanksgiving on Nantucket for decades. The day after the turkey dinner, they go out to lunch, browse a bookstore and other shops before they watch the Christmas tree lighting on Main St.

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Shoppers eager to start holiday shopping but weighed down by inflation are hunting for the best deals at stores and online this Black Friday. Retailers that had offered mostly lackluster discounts earlier in the season responded this week with new bargains. Elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other household costs have taken a toll on shoppers. As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there is a big sale and are being more selective with what they will buy — in many cases, trading down to cheaper stuff and less expensive stores. Shoppers are also dipping more into their savings, turning increasingly to “buy now, pay later” services that allow users to pay for items in installments. They are also running up their credit cards.

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The holiday season is full of sneaky costs, expensive travel and the pressure to spend. It’s a time that leaves many Americans in debt long after the decorations come down. But with some planning and the patience to hunt for deals, you can still enjoy a meaningful season without spending hundreds of dollars in interest payments. If you do end up in debt, make paying it down as quickly as possible your New Year’s resolution, and start thinking ahead so you can begin saving for next year’s festivities.

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While Black Friday will mark a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, uncertainty still remains. The U.S. job market remains strong, consumer spending is resilient and inflation has been slowing. But elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other household costs have taken a toll on shoppers. As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there is a big sale and are being more selective with what they will buy — in many cases, trading down to cheaper stuff and less expensive stores. Shoppers are also dipping more into their savings, turning increasingly to “buy now, pay later” services, as well as running up their credit cards. Such financial hardships could help drive shoppers to look for bargains.

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Shoppers this year have continued the trend of checking off their lists well before the holidays, but that doesn’t mean people won’t be out looking for deals on Black Friday in a year when many items cost more. From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, an estimated 166.3 million people are expected to shop, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & ...

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Consumers holding out for big deals — and some much-needed relief from soaring costs on just about everything — may be disappointed as they head into the busiest shopping season of the year. While retailers are advertising sales of 50%, 60% and 70% off everything from TVs to gadgets, many items will still cost more than they did last year because of inflation and finding a true bargain may prove to be a challenge. From September through October, shoppers paid roughly 18% more for electronics and appliances than they did a year ago, according to analytics company DataWeave. For toys, they paid nearly 3% more.

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Thanksgiving and the holidays are the busiest times of the year for supermarkets. But all that food from the grocery store came from somewhere. In much of the Northeast, that somewhere is Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx, New York, which moves about 2.5 billion pounds of fruit and vegetables destined for grocery stores, restaurants and household refrigerators. The biggest tenant at the market is S. Katzman Produce, which has been around for about a hundred years. In the days heading into Thanksgiving, the market was abuzz with activity as sellers and buyers sealed deals for tomatoes, mangoes and lettuce.

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While Thanksgiving, occurring on Thursday, Nov. 24 this year, is one of the 10 U.S. bank holidays in 2022, Black Friday is not. The Nasdaq Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange will be open from 9:30 a.m. Eastern time to 1:00 p.m., while the bond market will close at 2:00 p.m. For reference, regular stock market trading hours run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..

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This year’s Black Friday will be similar to last year’s, but many stores are starting their sales earlier and major retailers will be adding additional deals to their websites on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Jon Vincent, founder of EarlyBlackFriday.com and a national expert on Black Friday deals, gives us tips on how to navigate shopping this year.

You can find all of the 2022 Black Friday ads and Cyber Monday deals from your favorite retailers on EarlyBlackFriday.com.

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A collection of touching and sometimes prescient personal letters written by a young Bob Dylan to a high school girlfriend has been sold at auction to a renowned Portuguese bookshop for nearly $670,000. Auctioneer RR Auction says the Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal plans to keep the archive of 42 handwritten letters totaling 150 pages complete and available for Dylan fans and scholars to study. Dylan, a Hibbing, Minnesota, native, wrote the letters to Barbara Ann Hewitt between 1957 and 1959 when he was still known as Bob Zimmerman. They provide an insight into a period of his life of which not much is known.

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Performances have been suspended at one of Beijing's oldest and most renowned theaters. The pause is part of a new wave of shop and restaurant closures in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Chinese capital. The Jixiang Theater was originally built in 1906. It recently moved to its present location on the 8th floor of a shopping mall that also houses shops and a fast food restaurant. China reported over 24,000 new cases Saturday, 515 of them in Beijing. The vast majority were asymptomatic. Despite that, lockdowns and other strict control measures have been put in place around the country. Many Beijing residents have received notices advising them not to leave home unless absolutely necessary.

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A group of environmental and racial justice are suing the U.S. Department of Transportation and its secretary, Pete Buttigieg, seeking to halt a Gulf Coast road project that the group says will harm the environment near historic Black neighborhoods in north Gulfport, Mississippi. The lawsuit, which argues that the DOT violated the National Environmental Policy Act, was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs oppose the DOT’s Interconnecting Gulfport project, which would build a road in a wetland area next to the U.S. 49 and I-10 interchange. City officials have encouraged commercial development in the area, and the road project aims to provide easier access to shopping centers.

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