Friday morning news: November 25, 2022
Black Friday shoppers are out in full force today, almost 50 million drivers are hitting the roads this weekend, President Biden said his administration is working to prevent a railroad strike, Biden said he’ll again ask for a ban on so-called assault weapons, the UN Human Rights Council voted to condemn Iran’s crackdown on peaceful protesters, Ford says more than 600,000 of its SUVs have a problem that could cause the vehicles to catch fire
For WORLD Radio, I'm Kent Covington. A record 166m shoppers expected over the weekend » Today is Black Friday. And after two years of holidays dampened by the pandemic, shoppers are out in force.
Businesses have some concerns that inflation might lead to a dropoff in holiday sales. But National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay told CNBC …
SHAY: Our expectation is they’re going to shop, especially beginning this weekend in record numbers; 166 million, that’s more than we’ve ever seen. That’s almost 10 million more than last year.
Last year, with shoppers flush with cash and supply chain issues choking inventory, there weren’t many deals to be found. But Shay said that’s likely changing this year.
SHAY: This is going to be more likely to be a promotional holiday season, something more like 2017, 18, 19, not like the last couple of years.
Thanksgiving travel » And something else that’s returning to pre-pandemic norms: holiday travel.
AAA spokesman Andrew Gross says almost 50 million drivers are hitting the roads this weekend. While Wednesday was the busiest road travel day of the year, he says weekend traffic will be more spread out.
GROSS: They may come home Thursday after dinner. They may be done with hanging out with family and want to get home. Or they may come home on Friday or Saturday or Sunday. There’s more of a trickle back effect. So you won’t be running into that intense travel headache.
AAA expects air traveler volume to be at about 99% of holiday levels in 2019 before the pandemic.
Railroad talks » Experts are concerned that already high retail prices could go up even more this Christmas, if railroad workers decide to strike. While meeting with first responders in Massachusetts yesterday, President Biden said his administration is working to prevent a strike.
BIDEN: My team has been in touch with all the parties and their own political parties. And I have not directly engaged yet because they’re still talking.
His administration helped both sides reach a tentative agreement a few months back, but four unions have voted to reject the deal. Vacation time and sick-leave are among the sticking points for railroad workers.
Biden assault weapons » The president also said Thursday that after more recent mass shootings, he’ll again ask for a ban on so-called assault weapons during the lame duck session of Congress.
Those are semi-automatic rifles that have a military appearance.
BIDEN: The idea that we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It’s just sick.
While rifles such as the AR-15 are semi-automatic, many handguns are also semi-automatic. One bullet is dispensed with one squeeze of the trigger.
The gunman in this week’s Walmart shooting in Virginia wielded a handgun.
It’s unclear if the president will push to ban all semi-automatic weapons or only military-style rifles.
Geneva human rights Iran probe » The United Nations Human Rights Council voted yesterday to condemn Iran’s crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Protests broke out about two months ago after a 22-year-old Kurdish woman died in police custody.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk.
TURK: The security forces, notably the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basij forces, have used live ammunition, birdshot and other metal pellets, tear gas and batons.
The United Nations says more than 14,000 people have been arrested in connection with the protests.
It has also called for the creation of a fact-finding mission to investigate other abuses.
Ford recall » Ford says more than 600,000 of its SUVs have a problem that could cause the vehicles to catch fire. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: The auto giant is recalling the 2020 through 2023 model years of its Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs. All of those models have 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engines.
Those vehicles are prone to cracked fuel injectors that could cause fuel leaks.
The company has received 20 reports of fires.
Ford dealerships say they will inspect fuel injectors in the problem models and will replace them if necessary.
For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. For more news, features, and analysis, visit us at wng.org.
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