Part of the stadium that will host the 2014 World Cup opener in Brazil collapsed on Wednesday, causing significant damage and killing three people, authorities said. The accident could delay the delivery ...
Snoopy, SpongeBob Squarepants and other giant helium balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York could be grounded by high winds predicted for the holiday by weather forecasters on Wednesday. The 16 inflatable characters in question could lose their flying privileges based on city regulations that keep them out of the sky when sustained winds top 23 miles per hour (37 km per hour), and gusts exceed 34 mph. That decision will be made early Thursday by parade officials in consultation with the New York City Police Department. The National Weather Service on Wednesday predicted that Thanksgiving Day on Thursday in New York City will be sunny and breezy, with winds up to 24 mph and gusts as high as 40 mph. "The balloons, as you know, can be flown to various heights... or not brought out at all," New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Tuesday.
By Dhanya Skariachan, Lisa Baertlein and Phil Wahba CHATHAM, N.J./LOS ANGELES/WHITE PLAINS, New York (Reuters) - The 2013 holiday shopping season may end up being remembered for its ugly sweaters and, for many retailers, even uglier discounts. With growing online competition, weak consumer confidence and no fashion must-haves, most U.S. retailers will have to offer both big discounts and stellar service to get consumers to spend freely, according to analysts who joined Reuters reporters on visits to stores in New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois ahead of the holiday season. "People are being a lot more selective in where they spend their money," said Wedbush analyst Gabriella Santaniello while touring the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park, California. Still, a trip to the mall with a trained expert provides vital clues ahead of the holiday season, which usually accounts for almost half of retailers' profits.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, offering signs of a steady improvement in the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 316,000, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated and there were no special factors influencing the report. The so-called continuing claims data covered the household survey week from which the November unemployment rate will be calculated.
By Harriet McLeod SUMMERVILLE, South Carolina (Reuters) - With 613 career wins under his belt, the coach of a small-town South Carolina high school football team has blazed a victory trail unmatched at any level of the American sport. The record of John McKissick, 87, easily beats that of Florida State University's Bobby Bowden, who with 377 victories is the coach with the most wins at a major college football program. Coach Don Shula leads the National Football League with 347 career wins. In terms of high school football, McKissick has had more career wins than any other coach in the country, a distinction he first earned in 1993.