Sales down on Thanksgiving, Black Friday

Sales at retail stores dropped on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a sign that more consumers opted to shop earlier and go online for holiday gifts. Combined sales for those two days totaled about $12.1 billion, according to preliminary data from ShopperTrak. That's down from $12.3 billion during the same period last year. This year, nearly 60 percent of consumers started holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, the highest proportion ever reported, according to the National Retail Federation. Retailers can make up to 40 percent of their annual sales during the holiday season.

Midwestern U.S.

Storm dumps more rain on swollen rivers

A deadly storm that has caused flooding and coated parts of the southern Plains in ice during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend dumped more rain on already swollen rivers in parts of North Texas and Arkansas on Sunday and made driving dangerous in parts of Oklahoma. The band of storms that has been moving through parts of the Plains and the Midwest since Thursday has been blamed for at least 14 deaths, including eight in Texas and six in Kansas.


U of Chicago cancels classes because of threat

The University of Chicago canceled all classes and activities on its main campus Monday because of a specific anonymous threat of gun violence, the university said in a statement. Robert Zimmer, the university president, said that FBI counterterrorism officials had contacted the university on Sunday to warn that "an unknown individual" had posted a message online that threatened an armed attack on the main campus quad at 10 a.m.

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