Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 24, 2012

Egypt's Mohamed Morsi is slammed for his power grab, U.S. stocks soar on Black Friday, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

1. EGYPTIAN JUDGES CONDEMN MORSI'S POWER GRABTop judges in Egypt have slammed President Mohamed Morsi for claiming sweeping new powers on Friday. Morsi's decree gives the president near-absolute powers, and immunity from court appeals. The country's senior judges, most of whom were appointed by ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, called Morsi's power grab an "unprecedented assault" on the nation's independent judiciary. Tens of thousands of Egyptians also took to the streets to protest Morsi's decree. [The Guardian]

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2. ISRAEL EASES GAZA BORDER RESTRICTIONSAs part of Israel's truce with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, restrictions are being eased along the tense border, allowing Palestinian farmers to access land near the border's security fence, and letting Palestinian fisherman head further out to sea. The Egypt-brokered truce, which took effect Wednesday, ended an eight-day conflict that reportedly killed 166 Palestinians and six Israelis. [Associated Press]

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3. STOCKS SOAR ON BLACK FRIDAYAs millions of Americans braved long Black Friday lines to score steep discounts on a huge variety of consumer goods, investors showed their own "Black Friday cheer." The Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average each rose 1.4 percent, and the S&P 500 climbed 1.3 percent, giving the latter index its biggest weekly gain since December 2011. Black Friday wasn't the only reason for the rally, but it certainly helped. Consumer spending makes up some 70 percent of America's economic activity, and the holiday shopping season accounts for 40 percent of many retailers' annual revenue. [Associated Press]

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4. MASSACHUSETTS STRIP CLUB EXPLODES, INJURING 18A natural gas explosion in Springfield, Mass., on Friday destroyed a strip club, damaged a daycare center, and blew out every window in a three-block radius. At least 18 people were injured. "This is a miracle... that no one was killed," said the state's lieutenant governor. [The Guardian]

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5. DALLAS' LARRY HAGMAN DIES AT 81Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing on Dallas, died Friday at 81 due to complications from his battle with cancer. On Dallas, Hagman turned "a business cheat, faithless husband, and bottomless well of corruption" into a "charmingly loathsome oil baron," and is perhaps best remembered for the cliffhanger "Who shot J.R.?" episode. [Associated Press]

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6. BOXER HECTOR CAMACHO DIES AT 50Hector "Macho" Camacho, the 50-year-old Puerto Rican boxer known for his "lightning-quick hands and flamboyant personality," died on Saturday in Puerto Rico, after being shot earlier in the week while sitting in a parked car.  Ten bags of cocaine were reportedly found in the car. "As a teenager, Camacho was a brawler, a serial shoplifter, an admitted drug user, and a car thief, and he never put that part of his nature behind him." [New York Times]

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7. WALMART WORKERS PROTEST ON BLACK FRIDAYBlack Friday wasn't without its drama. Walmart workers demanding higher wages and better benefits staged protests at dozens of stores across the country on the annual day-after-Thanksgiving sale. Demonstrations were reported in Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, Minnesota, Florida, Kentucky, and several other states. [CBS News]

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8. NHL CANCELS ALL-STAR GAMEThe hockey hiatus continues. On Friday, the lockout-stricken NHL canceled its annual All-Star game and two more weeks of games as owners and players were unable to strike a collective bargaining agreement. The NHL has now canceled the first nine weeks of games, through Dec. 14. The All-Star game, which was to have taken place in Columbus, Ohio, would have brought $12 million to the area, according to the Columbus Dispatch. [USA Today]

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9. THIEVES STEAL 18 TONS OF CHOCOLATESomeone's sweet tooth will be satisfied. Austrian police are on the hunt for thieves who stole a whopping 18 tons of chocolate bars. According to local media outlets, a driver loaded his truck with 33 pallets of milk chocolate in Bludenz, claiming that he was supposed to deliver the shipment to the Czech Republic. But authorities said the license plates and paperwork of the truck and driver turned out to be fake. [Associated Press]

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10. TOM CRUISE REUNITES WITH SURITom Cruise and daughter Suri have reunited. After more than three months apart, the Mission Impossible scientologist and his little girl reunited for Thanksgiving in London. Cruise has seen little of his 6-year-old child since he and Katie Holmes filed for divorce in the summer. Holmes, meanwhile, spent Thanksgiving in her hometown of Toledo, Ohio. [People]

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