ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

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December 1, 2011(San Diego's East County)--ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views.  
Top world and U.S. headlines include:    
 
 
 
 
U.S. 
  • Black Friday retail sales hit record, report says (CNN)
  • FCC moves to block ATT-T-Mobile merger: (newser.com)
  • Western states report comeback of cattle rustling (Reuters)
  • Chevy Volt battery catches fire: government investigates General Motors’ electric car (Huffington Post)
  • Woman says she and Cain had 13 year affair; Cain denies allegations (CNN)
  • Historian/former assistant secretary of education under Pres. Bush blasts education reforms (Seattle Times)
  • Hospitals sue to block Medi-Cal cuts (KPBS)
  • Black Friday worker rescued after losing control of car due to exhaustion (Huffington Post)
  • Web giants at odds with Chamber of Commerce over piracy bill (Washington Post)
  • Online piracy act endangered as opponents speak out (Reuters)
 WORLD
  • Al Qaeda targets dwindle as group shrinks: {Washington Post)
  • Arab League plans Syria sanctions (BBC)
  • Pakistan cuts NATO supplies after deadly raid (Reuters)
  • Pakistan orders U.S. to vacate base (Fox News)
 Click "read more" to see links, and stories.
 
Black Friday retail sales hit record, report says (CNN)
 
November 26, 2011 -- Preliminary reports for Black Friday indicate that retailers may have seen their strongest sales ever during the all-important kick-off to the holiday shopping season.
Retail sales on Black Friday climbed 6.6% this year to an estimated $11.4 billion, according to ShopperTrak, which tracks foot traffic at malls and stores. Last year, sales climbed just 0.3% to $10.7 billion, which was a record one-day sales amount at the time, according to the company.
http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/26/pf/black_friday_sales/index.htm?hpt=hp_t1
 
FCC moves to block ATT-T-Mobile merger:  (newser.com)
 
November 23, 2011 -- AT&T thought its muscular lobbying operation would ensure regulatory approval of its deal to buy T-Mobile, but it’s not working out that way. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski moved to block the merger yesterday, giving the government a second chance to break up the sale should an antitrust suit from the Justice Department fail, theWashington Post reports. It’s a surprising move, because the FCC hasn’t tried to block a merger since 2002.
http://www.newser.com/story/133955/fcc-moves-to-block-t-mobile-att-merger.html?utm_source=part&utm_medium=inbox&utm_campaign=newser
 
Western states report comeback of cattle rustling (Reuters)
 
November 27, 2011 -- Cattle rustlers, casting aside saddle and spurs for modern horsepower, are roaming the West with four-wheel drive and GPS technology in a resurgence of livestock thievery considered a hanging offense on the old frontier.

State livestock officials said the increase in cattle crimes was linked to the slumping economy, soaring beef prices and the advent of handheld global positioning systems that allow rustlers to more easily navigate the wide-open range.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/27/us-cattle-rustling-idUSTRE7AQ0QQ20111127?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews
 
Chevy Volt battery catches fire: government investigates General Motors’ electric car (Huffington Post)
 
November 26, 2011 -- The government is investigating new fires involving the lithium-ion batteries in General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt to assess the fire risk in the electric car after a serious crash.
One Volt battery pack that was being closely monitored following a government crash test caught fire Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement Friday. Another recently crash-tested battery emitted smoke and sparks, the statement said.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/26/chevy-volt-battery-fire-electric-car-general-motors_n_1114193.html
 
Woman says she and Cain had 13 year affair; Cain denies allegations (CNN)
November 28, 2011 -- An Atlanta businesswoman has accused GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain of having had an affair with her that lasted nearly 14 years.
"I was aware that he was married, and I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation relationship," Ginger White told Atlanta television station WAGA.
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/28/breaking-cain-third-accuser-to-come-forward/
 
Historian/former assistant secretary of education under Pres. Bush blasts education reforms (Seattle Times)
 
December 1, 2011 -- Education historian Diane Ravitch blasted the education-reform movement as a "well-funded, well-coordinated campaign to privatize as many schools as possible" during a sold-out speech in Seattle on Thursday night.
During an hourlong appearance, Ravitch criticized teacher-evaluation systems as "crazy," called the No Child Left Behind Act "the death star of American education" and argued charter schools "divide communities."
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2016796872_ravitch18m.html
Hospitals sue to block Medi-Cal cuts (KPBS)
 
November 22, 2011 -- The California Hospital Associationis asking a federal judge to block a recently approved 10-percent cut to Medi-Cal providers. Hospitals say the cut will hurt their bottom line, and will reduce access to care.
Last month, the federal government approved California's request for the 10-percent reduction in Medi-Cal payments. State officials said the cut will help save money, and won't limit access to care.
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/nov/22/hospitals-sue-block-medi-cal-cuts/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kpbs%2Flocal+%28KPBS+News%3A+Local+Headlines%29
Black Friday worker rescued after losing control of car due to exhaustion (Huffington Post)
 
November 26, 2011 -- A 36-year-old Target employee drove her car into a 20-foot-deep canal after working the night shift on Black Friday. Florida police said the woman lost control of her vehicle due to exhaustion, reports Miami New Times.
 
The woman was unable to swim but managed to call police from her cellphone and explain the situation as she and the car began to sink, notes NBC Miami.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/26/black-friday-worker-rescued_n_1114350.html
 
Web giants at odds with Chamber of Commerce over piracy bill (Washington Post)
 
November 15, 2011 -- Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names are threatening to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over a bill that would make Web companies liable for pirated content that appears on their sites.
Last month, Yahoo quietly quit the powerful business trade group, which supports the legislation. Google and the Consumer Electronics Association, which represents 2,200 firms, are warning they may do the same.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/web-giants-at-odds-with-chamber-of-commerce-over-piracy-bill/2011/11/15/gIQAkY5hPN_story.html
Online piracy act endangered as opponents speak out (Reuters)
 
November 17, 2011 -- The tide seems to have turned against the Stop Online Piracy Act, as both Nancy Pelosi and Darrell Issa have come out against passage.

"Need to find a better solution than #SOPA #DontBreakTheInternet," the liberal Democratic House leader tweeted on Thursday, in response to a tweeter who asked: "Where do you stand on internet censoring and #SOPA?"
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/17/us-piracy-idUSTRE7AF2NT20111117
 
WORLD
 
Al Qaeda targets dwindle as group shrinks: (Washington Post)
 
November 22, 2011 -- The leadership ranks of the main al-Qaeda terrorist network, once expansive enough to supervise the plot for Sept. 11, 2001, have been reduced to just two figures whose demise would mean the group’s defeat, U.S. counterterrorism and intelligence officials said.
Ayman al-Zawahiri and his second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, are the last remaining “high-value” targets of the CIA’s drone campaign against al-Qaeda in Pakistan, U.S. officials said, although lower-level fighters and other insurgent groups remain a focus of Predator surveillance and strikes.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/al-qaeda-targets-dwindle-as-group-shrinks/2011/11/22/gIQAbXJNmN_story.html?hpid=z1
Arab League plans Syria sanctions (BBC)
 
November 27, 2011 -- The Arab League has approved sanctions against Syria, including an asset freeze and an embargo on investments.
It comes after months of unrest. The United Nations estimates about 3,500 people have died as Syria has sought to put down anti-government protests.
The Arab League suspended Syria earlier this month, in a move denounced by Damascus as meddling in its affairs.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15901360
Pakistan cuts NATO supplies after deadly raid (Reuters)
 
November 26, 2011 -- NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwest Pakistan Saturday, killing as many as 28 troops and plunging U.S.-Pakistan relations deeper into crisis.

Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan - used for sending in nearly half of the alliance's land shipments - in retaliation for the worst such incident since Islamabad uneasily allied itself with Washington following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/26/us-pakistan-nato-idUSTRE7AP03S20111126

Pakistan orders U.S. to vacate base (Fox News)
 
November 26, 2011 -- Pakistan's government has ordered the U.S. to "vacate" an air base used for suspected drone attacks, in retaliation for a NATO strike that allegedly killed two-dozen Pakistani soldiers, Fox News has confirmed. 

The demand marked the latest reprisal out of Pakistan, as the U.S. and NATO allies scramble to investigate the incident. Islamabad had already ordered the country's border crossings into Afghanistan closed, blocking off NATO supply lines, after the strike. The government issued the air base demand, and pledged a "complete review" of its relationship with the U.S. and NATO, following an emergency military meeting chaired by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/26/deadly-border-strike-inflames-tensions-between-us-pakistan/