S.african Royals Concerned At Mandela Family ‘instability’


The widow of Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel (C), and his x-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (R), arrive for South African former president Nelson Mandela's funeral ceremony in Qunu on December 15, 2013

“Immediate family members must mourn and their actions must resemble the dignity that Madiba deserves,” said spokesman Daludumo Mtirara, referring to Mandela’s clan name. The meeting also backed Mandela’s grandson Mandla as head of the family, dismissing as “disrespectful” his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s naming of his surviving daughter Makaziwe in the position. Madikizela-Mandela earlier this month denied there was a dynastic battle within the extensive family. But the Mandela family is no stranger to drama, with reports surfacing of a renewed feud shortly after the icon’s funeral. Earlier this year, a family court battle saw the remains of three of Mandela’s deceased children ordered back to his boyhood village.
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Family Leave Laws Enacted In 10 Cities And States In 2013

For other uses, prior permission required. JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST: This month, NPR’s been looking at some of the numbers that bring 2013 into focus. Today, the number 10. That’s how many cities and states have passed laws guaranteeing access to some kind of family leave this year, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families. That group’s long championed such leave policies. And joining us now to talk about such trends is Vicki Shabo, the partnership’s director of work and family programs. Welcome.
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Online Holiday Shopping Rush Led To Fumbled Orders


In Holiday Bowl, ASU has chance to make good season great

Arizona Girls

on that Monday, with Christmas delivery guaranteed. In what may have been the final undoing of UPS’s Christmas plans, in the week before Christmas, Amazon signed up more than a million new members for its Prime service, which guarantees two-day delivery. “That is a problem for shippers. A million new people signing up at the eleventh hour to get free and fast shipping up until the day before Christmas?” Mulpuru said. “That is crazy.
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A Zazzle employee checks inventory in a warehouse of t-shirts Tuesday morning, Dec. 24, 2013 at the company

Kingsbury played quarterback at Texas Tech under current Washington State coach Mike Leach, one of the pioneers of the “Air Raid.” While Kingsbury has tweaked the system a bit with more running, ASU has essentially faced the offense this season and last. “We’re definitely comfortable with what they’re running,” Young said. “We’re not really surprised by anything, but they have more decent players than Washington State did.” Added Graham: “Very, very similar. I think they’re more athletic. I think they run the ball more. They’re bigger up front on the offensive line. But you can definitely see it’s the same fast-tempo ‘Air Raid’ offense.” Of high priority for ASU’s defense will be stopping All-American tight end Jace Amaro, Texas Tech’s leading receiver and the leading receiver among tight ends nationally.
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The Holiday Card No One Ever Sends

The cyclist, 21, died in Tasmania after he collided with the ute on the West Tamar Highway in Launceston on Sunday morning. The death of the Trevallyn man is the second road fatality in Tasmania during the holiday period. In NSW, a 69-year-old man was killed after losing control of his motorbike when he hit a gravel embankment at Khancoban, near the border of NSW and Victoria, on Sunday morning. The man, who was riding near his son on another motorbike, died at the scene, with the death taking NSW’s road toll to six. A 31-year-old woman died in a car crash southeast of Perth on Saturday night. She was a front passenger in a white Holden Commodore sedan that was travelling from Narrogin to Williams about 6.45pm (WST) when it left the road and hit a large tree at Minigin. The woman and the 30-year-old male driver were trapped in the car and had to be freed by emergency workers, but she died at the scene.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/20527937/holiday-road-toll-rises-to-18/

Holiday road toll rises to 18

We practiced driving at dusk. We bought a snow globe with a mummified shrunken head in it, and a sign that reads, “Soccer Mom Parking Only.” We cleared snow from the driveway, brought in the groceries, and stayed up til 1 a.m., talking. We sighed. We laughed. We held back tears until they wouldn’t stand to be held back anymore, and then we hugged each other, sobbing. We said, “I love you.” And we meant it. We went through hell and back and yet, we’re still here.
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Discounts, Promotions Spur Sales In U.s. Holiday Season


Holiday in Austerity Land: 1.3 Million Americans Lose Jobless Benefits | The Nation

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri (Reuters) – Sales during the 2013 U.S. holiday season grew from a year earlier as deep discounting and increased promotions encouraged consumers to buy more. Holiday sales between November 1 and December 24 rose 2.3 percent, compared with 0.7 percent a year earlier, according to data published in the MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse report. This sales growth was the highest in three years. “It was actually a Merry Christmas for retailers,” Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president at MasterCard Advisors, told Reuters, adding that jewelry was the best-performing category. SpendingPulse tracks customer spending on apparel, electronics, jewelry, luxury and home furniture & furnishings categories during the holiday season.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/27/us-mastercard-holidaysalesdata-idUSBRE9BP0BP20131227

UPS still staggering under holiday crush

UPS delay

UPS, which delivers more than 16 million packages a day to 220 countries, had expected an 8% increase in volume for the peak holiday season. “Demand was much greater than forecast,” Godwin said. She did not say how many packages were affected by the delay. UPS spokesman Jeff Wafford said some customers who paid for two-day delivery or faster may get refunds of the shipping charges. Tom Boyer, 45, of Daly City, Calif., was among those with delayed packages who reached the company via Twitter and sent his tracking number.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/12/26/more-delays-as-ups-staggers-holiday-crush/4207755/

Amazon: A Great Holiday Buy

However, the company is ramping up its selection for customers by constantly adding to its digital media collection. Amazon now offers more than 27 million movies, TV shows, books, apps, songs, magazines, and games. Last quarter, media revenue increased 9% year-over-year to $5.03 billion. Electronics, general, and merchandise revenue went up 29% to $11.1 billion. Amazon’s revenue from other avenues, including higher-margins businesses like Amazon Web Services and display advertising, are growing at a rapid rate.
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People walk along 5th Avenue as they shop for bargains the day after Christmas in New York, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

And it was signed by the president on December 26. Then they hightailed it home for the Holidays. So it was that a Congress that could easily have cared for the poor took actions that suggested the sentiment similar to that of old Scrooge, who replied to a request for a donation for the destitute, with a growl of: Its not my business. Politicians are rarely so crass in their language. Yet the budget deal Paul Ryan did so much to shape, and that too many Republicans and Democrats endorsed, contains precisely nothing for those whose want is keenly felt. The question now is whether Congress will be shamed sufficiently to act. There are certainly those who are ready to respond. On January 6, when the Senate reconvenes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, says the first measure up for consideration will be a plan to restore long-term unemployment benefits. The measure is backed by Nevada Republican Dean Helle r and 21 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.thenation.com/blog/177724/holiday-austerity-land-13-million-americans-lose-jobless-benefits