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Nov. 23, 2012 at 4:59 PM
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Black Friday sparks some protests

NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. bargain hunters indulged in some post-turkey deal seeking as some of the nation's largest retailers opened earlier than ever for Black Friday.

Though a Gallup poll found just one-in-five Americans planned to go shopping Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, by midday Walmart said it had already processed more than 1 million register transactions at its 4,000 U.S. stores, CNNMoney said.

Walmart opened its doors at 8 p.m. Thursday, angering some employees who say the ever-earlier opening times are infringing on their right to spend the holiday with family. The opening sparked a series of small protests at a handful of Walmart stores, with employees at some locations walking out and joining a union-backed picket line.

"I have four kids and I don't want them to grown up in a society where people disrespect them," said Jouse Mata, an overnight maintenance worker at a Walmart near Dallas. "This is a never-ending fight and we're never going to stop."

The pro-union group OUR Walmart said protests sprung up at nearly a dozen Walmart stores in Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin.

Egyptians rally against Morsi's decree

CAIRO, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Police used teargas Friday on protesters accusing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of a despotic power grab.

At least 18 people were reported injured in fighting in Tahrir Square in Cairo, where many of the protests that led to the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak were held, Ahram Online reported. Members of the April 6 Youth Movement and the Constitutional Party also held a demonstration in Sharm-el-Sheik, a resort on the Red Sea.

Morsi, formerly a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, addressed supporters at the presidential palace, promising to protect the country's stability and the rights of his opponents, the BBC reported.

"I am for all Egyptians. I will not be biased against any son of Egypt," he said.

Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, a former prosecutor general, promised a legal challenge to Morsi's constitutional declaration, Ahram reported.

On Thursday, Morsi issued a decree stating that all decisions he has made since taking office are not subject to review or appeal.

Syrian rebels: Route to Iraq now open

DAMASCUS, Syria, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Rebels say they have "liberated" an Army base in northeastern Syria on a key supply route with Iraq.

The artillery base is near the town of Mayadeen in Deir al-Zour province, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported. Gaining control of the area would allow the rebels to bring in weapons and fighters from Iraq.

"The military base was liberated early this morning. It was under siege for 15 days," an activist using the name Mohammed Saleh said Thursday. "This is the last military base in the countryside. Now the territory is liberated all the way to the borders with Iraq."

The province is also the location of much of Syria's oil, and the rebels now control two of the three biggest oil fields, the Telegraph said.

India tests missile interceptor

NEW DELHI, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- India has test-fired a ballistic missile interceptor as part of its efforts to create a shield against incoming enemy missiles, defense officials said.

The indigenous Advanced Air Defense interceptor missile was fired Friday from an island off India's east coast in the Bay of Bengal, The Times of India reported.

The interceptor was launched a few minutes after a target missile was fired from a test range about 40 miles from the AAD launch site, officials said.

The Indian Army, which carried out the test, said the target missile was successfully intercepted by the AAD missile.

The army did not disclose what kind of rocket was used as the target missile.

The interceptor missiles are intended to provide air shield to important Indian cities against hostile attacks, officials said.

Pardoned turkey dies before Thanksgiving

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A turkey pardoned by President Barack Obama at Thanksgiving 2011 was put down three days prior to this year's holiday, Virginia's Mount Vernon Estate said.

The estate, where pardoned turkeys are taken to live out their lives, said Peace, the understudy for 2011's turkey, Liberty, was put down Monday after suffering an illness during the weekend, The Independent reported Friday.

The newspaper said news of the bird's demise has "conspiracy theorists all aflutter" but Rebbecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at the Mount Vernon Estate, said there was no conspiracy to have the pardoned turkey end up as part of a Thanksgiving dinner.

"I know that it was done in a humane manner but I don't know the mechanics," she said. "I appreciate where you're going with this, but I assure you that these birds are extremely well cared for."

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