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    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.

      The defense has rested at the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial after a contentious day in court, putting the case involving former President Donald Trump’s real estate empire on track for deliberations next week. Trump Organization lawyers contend that Manhattan prosecutors are seeking to punish the company for longtime finance chief Allen Weisselberg’s scheme to avoid personal income taxes on company-paid perks, such as an apartment and luxury cars. The defense rested Monday and closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, with jurors expected to begin deliberating next Monday, Judge Juan Manuel Merchan said. Prosecutors said they might spent four or five hours summarizing the case for jurors. Defense lawyers said they’ll likely need up to four hours.

        The British government has abandoned a plan to force tech firms to remove internet content that is harmful but legal after the proposal drew strong criticism from lawmakers and civil liberties groups. The U.K. on Monday watered down its Online Safety Bill, an ambitious but controversial attempt to crack down on online racism, sexual abuse, bullying, fraud and other harmful material. In its original form, the bill gave regulators wide-ranging powers to sanction digital and social media companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. Critics expressed concern that a requirement for the biggest platforms to remove “legal but harmful” content could undermine free speech. The Conservative government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has now dropped that part of the bill.

          The mother of one of 19 children killed in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, has filed a federal lawsuit against police, the school district and the maker of the gun used in the massacre. Sandra Torres filed the lawsuit Monday with help from the legal arm of the group Everytown for Gun Safety. It's part of a new legal push nationally to hold firearms makers accountable in mass shootings despite federal laws that grant broad immunity by focusing on marketing. The CEO of Georgia-based Daniel Defense has called the shooting “evil” but has distanced the weapon from the shooting.

            A Delaware judge has halted a lawsuit filed by basketball legend Julius Erving against a brand-development and marketing company. The judge ruled Monday that the dispute must go to arbitration. The lawsuit stems from a 2016 deal in which the Hall of Fame player known as “Dr. J” agreed to sell a majority interest in his trademark and other intellectual property to Authentic Brands Group. According to court records, ABG promised to grow Erving’s brand through new licensing agreements, promotional appearances, and other marketing opportunities. Erving alleges that ABG has failed to devote adequate resources to grow the “Dr. J” brand and has focused instead on more profitable brands.

            Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, the latest casualty of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. New Jersey-based BlockFi had been struggling for much of this year, but was given a lifeline this summer in the form of an FTX line of credit. FTX’s own bankruptcy, however, all but sealed BlockFi’s financial fate. BlockFi suspended withdrawals after FTX’s failure, and it had hired bankruptcy specialists in recent days. BlockFi was one of several crypto currency lenders to pop up in recent years. The company gave loans to customers using their crypto assets as collateral.

            A funeral has been held for former North Carolina state Cabinet secretary and U.S. ambassador Dave Phillips. His wife told a newspaper that Phillips died Nov. 20 after a short battle with cancer. Phillips built several businesses in textiles and finance. Phillips was a state Board of Transportation member in the 1980s. Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt later picked him to be his commerce secretary. And Republican President George W. Bush appointed Phillips in 2007 to serve as U.S. ambassador to Estonia. Phillips was also chairman of the successful effort to bring the Special Olympics World Games to North Carolina in 1999. Phillips' funeral was Monday.

            Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s largest grantmaker, is getting into NFTs or nonfungible tokens despite a torrent of bad news about cryptocurrency companies. NFTs are digital images that are registered on the blockchain. In a raffle that will end Tuesday, participants can claim one of the NFTs. Fifty people will also win $1,000 to donate through a donor advised fund at Fidelity. Donor advised funds allow donors to claim a tax credit for charitable donations before they actually make a donation to an eligible nonprofit. Amy Pirozzolo, head of donor engagement for Fidelity Charitable, said they are running the promotion to reach a new generation of potential philanthropists.

            While all industry sectors saw increases in their self-employment rates when compared to pre-pandemic levels, some industries and occupations have much higher rates of self-employment than others—and these industry differences also create regional differences. Researchers ranked metros and s…

            With the holidays right around the corner, taxes might be the last thing on your mind. But a little bit of preparation now could make a big difference come April.…

            The mass shooting Wednesday at a Walmart in Virginia is only the latest example of a workplace shooting perpetrated by an employee. Many companies have active shooter training. But experts say there is much less focus on how to prevent workplace violence. Workers too often don’t know how to recognize warning signs and co-workers. More crucially, they often don’t know how to report suspicious behavior or feel empowered to do so, according to workplace safety and human resources experts. One expert said too often attention is focused on the “red flags” and workers should instead be looking for the “yellow flags” — subtle changes in behavior, like increased anger or not showing up for work.

            The New Mexico Supreme Court has denied a challenge to a voter-approved measure overhauling a powerful commission that determines how much utilities can charge customers for electricity and other services. The court announced its decision Monday after hearing oral arguments in a case that centered on whether voters understood they would be giving up their right to elect members to the Public Regulation Commission. The constitutional amendment approved in 2020 turns the commission into a three-person panel appointed by the governor. An independent nominating committee is supposed to vet candidates before the governor picks appointees.


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

            This week’s new entertainment releases include a solo album from BTS's RM, the return of the holiday display TV contest “The Great Christmas Light Fight” and Tilda Swinton starring in the ghost story “The Eternal Daughter.” Family secrets, betrayal and power struggles are abundant in the new Amazon Prime Video series “Riches” about an affluent Black family in London that runs a multimillion beauty company, and the video game “Marvel’s Midnight Suns” adds a dash of strategy to the usual superhero slugfest. And Robert Downey Jr. affectionately pays tribute to this late father, Robert Downey Sr. in “Sr.,” an intimate documentary the younger Downey spent three years filming with his dad before his death.

            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.

            The head of the European Central Bank says she doesn't believe inflation has peaked after reaching the highest levels on record. She also says the bank isn’t through raising interest rates to combat those price spikes. ECB President Christine Lagarde told European lawmakers Monday that there's too much uncertainty to know whether inflation would come down soon in the 19 countries that use the euro currency. Annual price increases in the region hit a record in October at 10.6%. Lagarde said ECB policymakers expect to raise rates further. The ECB has joined the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world in rapidly raising rates to combat inflation.

            From the rise of hybrid and remote work to the Great Resignation to “quiet quitting,” workers have been renegotiating how they work and what they look for in a job. And amid continued tightness in the labor market, employers have been forced to respond and make jobs more appealing to current…

            The U.S. Census Bureau’s chief is defending a new tool meant to protect the privacy of people participating in the agency’s questionnaires against calls to abandon it by prominent researchers and demographers. The researchers claim the tool jeopardizes the usability of numbers that are the foundation of the nation’s data infrastructure. U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Santos said in a letter last week that the method known as differential privacy “was selected as the best solution available” against efforts by outside groups to piece together the identities of participants in the bureau’s censuses and surveys by using third-party data and powerful computers.

            Merriam-Webster has chosen “gaslighting” as its word of the year for 2022. Lookups for “gaslighting” on the dictionary company's website increased this year by 1,740% over 2021. Merriam-Webster's Peter Sokolowski tells The Associated Press exclusively ahead of Monday's unveiling that lookups were pervasive all year long. Typically there's a single event that drives searches. The word refers to a form of psychological coercion. Merriam-Webster, chooses its word of the year based solely on data. Sokolowski and his team weed out evergreen words most commonly looked up to gauge which word received a significant bump over the year before.

            Don’t look for plastic partitions or faraway benches when visiting Santa Claus this year. The jolly old elf is back, pre-pandemic style. Santa booker has logged a 30% increase in demand over last year after losing about 15% of its performers to retirement or death during the pandemic. Most Santa experiences have moved back to kids on laps and aren’t considering COVID-19 in a major way. Inflation has taken a bite out of Santa. Many are older, on fixed incomes and travel long distances to don the red suit. They spend hundreds on their costumes and other accoutrements. And Santa bookers this year say there's a higher demand for inclusive Santas, including Black, deaf and Spanish-speaking Santas.

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