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A gathering of happenings from the previous week.

click to enlarge uf_silvio_berlusconi_2010_.jpg
Monday, Nov. 21

Not exactly super: Bipartisan congressional "supercommittee" can't agree on deficit-reduction plan as Republicans insist on no tax increases ... No deal: Egyptian cabinet resigns after violent protests that kill 26, but demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square continue ... Tightening the screws: US, Britain and Canada hit Iran with new sanctions in hope of derailing nuclear bomb program; French President Nikolas Sarkozy urges Europe to adopt "new sanctions of unprecedented magnitude" ... Brains of the family: Ronan Farrow, son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, named one of 32 Rhodes Scholars this year; he graduated from college at 15 and from Yale Law School at 17 ... What happens in Vegas: Britain's Prince Harry (he's the unmarried one) visits Las Vegas, goes clubbing with pals, is impressed that he can get free drinks at blackjack tables.


Tuesday, Nov. 22

Not on my watch: Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announces he won't allow any more executions while he's governor, says death penalty system is "compromised and inequitable" ... Sorry, no deal: Egypt's ruling military council offers speeded-up timetable for handing over power, but protest demonstrations continue ... Five degrees of Mark Zuckerberg? Research indicates it only takes 4.74 steps to connect the average Facebook user to any other user, and the number is going down; it was 5.28 in 2008 ... Ruined by success: London baker Rachel Brown offers 75 percent Groupon discount on cupcakes; 8,500 people take the deal, forcing her to hire extra help and wiping out her profits for year. "Without doubt, it was my worst-ever business decision," she says.

Wednesday, Nov. 23

As the dominoes fall: European debt mess appears to be spreading as Germany finds few takers for new bond issue. "The debt crisis is burrowing ever deeper, like a worm," says German politician ... Another one down: President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen signs agreement to give up power after 30 years in control ... All-star cast: Witness list for trial of former Italian President Silvio Berlusconi on charges of patronizing underage hooker includes George Clooney, Spanish soccer star Christiano Ronaldo and 32 assorted starlets who attended Berlusconi's famous "bunga-bunga" parties ... Hair-raising crimes: FBI arrests seven Amish men in Ohio on charges of forcibly cutting hair and beards of other Amish in religious dispute.

Thursday, Nov. 24

The rites of November: Millions of Americans mark start of Holiday Shopping Season, formerly known as "Christmas Season," by gorging on turkey and football ... Let the mayhem begin: Annual Black Friday insanity gets off to early start as some Wal-Mart and other big boxes begin sales on Thanksgiving night ... Hey, it can't be that bad: Graphic childbirth scene in "Breaking Dawn: Part One" causes seizures in theatergoers in California and Utah ... Little dog, big name: National Dog Show in Philadelphia introduces a new breed, the Xoloitzcuintli, known for being hairless and unpronounceable. Hey, it was a slow news day.

Friday, Nov. 25

The Blackest Friday: Fights, shootings and other expressions of holiday cheer erupt as shoppers flock to stores for Black Friday bargains ... Woman at Wal-Mart in Southern California pepper-sprays about 20 fellow shoppers to get at bargain-priced Xbox games ... Fight breaks out in electronics department of Wal-Mart in Rome, NY; two hospitalized ... Shopper at Myrtle Beach, SC Wal-Mart shot by robbers in parking lot ... Another Wal-Mart patron shot and critically wounded in San Leandro, CA ... At Wal-Mart in Little Rock, AK, riot breaks out over $2 waffle makers ... Things look ugly on Wall Street too, as Dow logs worst Thanksgiving week since 1942 ... Over in Europe, outlook also is grim as Standard & Poor's drops Belgium's credit rating to AA from AA+.

Saturday, Nov. 26

Well, it wasn't all black: Preliminary figures show Black Friday sales strongest ever, up 6.6% over last year to estimated total of $11.4 billion ... Meanwhile, woman who allegedly pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers at Wal-Mart in SoCal to get deal on Xbox games surrenders to police ... Picture looks brighter for basketball fans as players reach tentative deal with NBA to salvage a shortened 66-game season ... Sometimes "sorry" isn't good enough: Michelle Bachmann says she isn't satisfied with NBC's apology for house band on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" playing Fishbone's "Lyin' Ass Bitch" as she walked onstage ... Talk about ingratitude: Gary Haugen, two-time murderer reprieved from death sentence by Gov. John Kitzhaber, calls Kitz a "paper cowboy" who "couldn't pull the trigger."

Sunday, Nov. 27

With friends like this: Current GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich gets praise from Republican bête noir Bill Clinton. Newt is "articulate and he tries to think of a conservative version of an idea that will solve a legitimate problem," says the ex-prez ... Nineteen nations of Arab League vote to slap economic sanctions on Syria, first time Arab countries have taken such action against another Arab country ... The next showdown? LA gives Occupy protesters Monday deadline to clear out of camp; no word yet on whether they will ... Remember when she was just a sweet little girl? At 19th birthday party, Miley Cyrus gets cake adorned with image of Bob Marley, jokes on video about her intense fondness for weed ... Taking "dumb" to a new level: Grant Smith, 47, flying first class from Salt Lake City to Boston, allegedly caught watching child porn on his laptop, is arrested when plane lands.

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