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Friday, February 1, 2013

Suicide blast kills guard at US Ankara embassy may be payback for Israel’s Syria airstrike

A Turkish security guard was killed and several others injured in a huge explosion set off by a suicide bomber at a side entrance of the US embassy in Ankara Friday, Feb. 1. Embassy staff dove into fortified shelters as smoke and debris rose in clouds over the fortified compound. Local TV showed damage to a compound wall and a smashed embassy building window. No organization has taken responsibility for the attack.

DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources initially estimate that the attack was the work either of al Qaeda, Syrian intelligence or Hizballah, possibly as part of the payback for Israel’s air strike Wednesday against the Jamraya military complex near Damascus. That complex served both Hizballah and the Syrian army and Syria has already threatened retribution on the scale of an earthquake.

It may also have been retaliation for the stationing of US Patriot missiles on the Turkish Syrian border or the meeting arranged for US Vice President Joe Biden with the Syrian opposition leader Mouaz Alkhatib in Munich, Germany.

Plenty of warnings have issued from Tehran on all three counts.
On Dec. 15, Iran’s armed forces chief Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi warned that the deployment of American anti-missile batteries in Turkey could cause a world war. Last Saturday, Jan. 26, Ali Akbar Velayati, a close aide of the Iranian supreme leader, declared that attacking Syria was tantamount to attacking Iran.
Israel’s air strike may have been the last straw for Tehran, which warned the “Tel Aviv regime” would suffer “grave consequences.”
By targeting the US embassy in Turkey, the Iranians and their allies may have been starting to hit back for all these grievances at the same time: the Israeli attack, the Patriots and Washington’s support for the Syrian opposition.
If that is so, then the US embassy bombing won’t be the last act of terror planned by Syria, Hizballah and Iran.

It is not the first time that the Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah alliance has targeted US interests in Turkey for terrorist attacks. On Aug. 21, 2012, seven months ago, a large bomb car blew up in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep near the Syrian border, killing eight people and injuring at least 66.
No findings were ever released from the investigation of that incident. According to our sources, the bomb car was rigged by a terrorist cell serving Syrian military intelligence in collaboration with Hizballah, like many other political hits carried out in Lebanon over the years.

The Gaziantep attack was directed against the command center established in that town for US intelligence and special forces alongside a Free Syrian Army center.


Israeli warplanes fly over Lebanon

Israeli warplanes flew over Lebanon again on Friday, two days after air strikes targeted a convoy of arms or a weapons research base inside Syrian territory.

Andrea Tenenti, a spokesman for the UN forces in Lebanon, Unifil, confirmed that Israeli forces had continued to violate Lebanese airspace, but said this was routine. "On Tuesday [ahead of the air strikes] there were a high number of violations, but since then it has not been unusual," he told the Guardian.

Under UN security council resolution 1701, passed following the 2006Israel-Lebanon war, Israeli planes are forbidden from flying over Lebanon.

Israel has maintained silence over Wednesday's bombing, despite a statement from the Syrian regime that a "scientific research centre" between Damascus and the Lebanese border had been hit. Reports described the centre as a large military complex with training and communications facilities. Western diplomatic and security sources said Israel's target was a convoy of trucks carrying Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles from Syria to the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

Concern about possible retaliatory action was fuelled by comments made by an Iranian legislator. "Damascus retaliation against the illegal move of the Zionist regime is a right of the Syrian people," said Mohammad Hassan Asafari. If the Syrian regime failed to deliver a "proper response", Israel would not hesitate to carry out further attacks, he added.

The Israeli foreign ministry declined to comment on reports that its embassies and missions worldwide had been placed on a heightened security alert, and the Israeli Defence Forces declined to say whether leave had been cancelled for troops based in northern Israel and the Golan Heights.

Many Israeli analysts thought that the chances of immediate retaliation were low, with some suggesting that any response was more likely to be targeted at Israeli assets or citizens abroad rather than rocket attacks or other military action aimed at Israel itself.

"The combination of strategic circumstances in the region at the moment makes the chance of a direct Iranian response unlikely," wrote Amos Harel, Haaretz's defence correspondent. "A Syrian military response seems even less likely, though neither possibility can be ruled out. The most worrying unknown since Tuesday night concerns Hezbollah's reaction … Hezbollah is a sophisticated enemy operating in a tough environment. Complete restraint over the long term to Israel's actions could be considered weakness by Hezbollah, so we should expect some form of response, even if not immediately and not necessarily a broad rocket and missile attack on Israel."

Yedioth Ahronoth's defence analyst Alex Fishman wrote: "Something major went down in Syria, but a heavy smokescreen is already blurring the tracks … If the signal sent to the Syrians and to Hezbollah by whomever produced this show – telling them to stop the unmonitored circulation of the weapons held by the Syrian army – is not picked up, then the next operation will not be able to leave such a vague address. And this will bring the region into an open and violent clash.

"Missiles may not fly at Israel this time. It seems that this time, we will get through the storm safely. And the proof: the defence minister allowed himself to leave for a conference of defence ministers in Germany. But Israel should prepare for the possibility of acts of revenge overseas, in the style of the terror attacks that took place in the past."

The Guardian

Bond-pocalypse and currency wars

Iran to unveil new indigenous fighter jet

Iranian-made Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) fighter jet (file photo)

The Iranian Defense Ministry has announced that the country will unveil a new advanced fighter aircraft.

The domestically-designed and developed fighter jet, codenamed Qaher-313 (Conqueror-313), will be put on display on Saturday on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn celebrations commemorating the victory of 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a number of high-ranking military officials will attend the unveiling ceremony.

Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Karshki said in February 2011 that the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was collaborating with the Defense Ministry on an extensive project to design and build an advanced fighter jet.

The fighter jet is said to be similar to the US-built F/A-18, although its appearance looks similar to F-5E/F Tiger II. The new single-seat bomber will have the ability to track down enemy aircraft, engage in combat, target locations on the ground, and carry a payload of assorted weapons and ammunition.

In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in the defense sector and gained self-sufficiency in essential military hardware and defense systems.

Azarakhsh (lightning) is Iran's first domestically-manufactured combat jet.

Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) fighter jet is a follow up aircraft, derived from the Azarakhsh. Iran unveiled its first squadron of Saeqeh fighter-bombers in an air show in September 2010.

Tehran has repeatedly assured other nations, especially regional neighbors, that its military might poses no threat to other countries, stating that its defense doctrine is merely based on deterrence.

Press TV

Contraction in GDP, North Africa and Middle East Wars, Buy Gold

Worst Not Over For Spain Banks After Losses

Spain's largest banks have reported dismal results over the past 24 hours, hit by toxic real estate assets, and according to analysts, the results highlight the desperate need for Spain's banks to raise more capital.

"The problems for Spanish banking are far from over," Ashok Shah, chief investment officer at wealth management firm London & Capital, told CNBC on Friday.

"The underlying real estate market is only half-corrected,so when it fully corrects over the next year of two, the non-performing loans are going to keep spiking up which will keep eating into the tier-one capital so the need to raise more equity is going to be enormous and very, very pressing indeed."

BBVA reported that profits fell 44 percent in 2012 as it made 9.5 billion euros($13 billion) in provisions on bad real estate loans from the 2008 Spanish property crash. The gloomy picture continued elsewhere as Caixabank reported that profits tumbled nearly 80 percent last year to 229 million euros ($311 million) as provisions doubled during 2012 to over 12 billion euros ($16.4 billion).

Banco Popular Espanol reported its biggest ever net loss of 2.46 billion ($3.36 billion) euros in 2012, compared to a forecast of 2.38 billion euros made by analysts polled by Reuters.

The news followed Thursday's earning miss from Banco Santander (Mercado Continuo: SAN-ES) which showed that the bank's net profits had more than halved as it put aside almost 19 billion euros ($26 billion) for non-performing loans and property assets.

On January 1, Spain's Central Bank revised solvency rules and set a new core capital-ratio target for Spanish banks of 9 percent. It also said that it will require a quarterly breakdown of what Spanish banks are including as core capital. New regulations from the Basel Committee on banking regulations have also called for more stringent minimum capital levels, so banks maintain sufficient assets to face future financial crises.

Chris Wheeler, bank analyst at Mediobanca, told CNBC that Santander would be forced to "sell more businesses" in its attempt to raise more capital.

"One of the issues we're concerned about with Santander is that we think they have an issue with capital at the parent group level. They look perfectly well-capitalized but a lot of that capital is sitting in Mexico or Brazil, it's not actually sitting in Spain," he said.

Spain received 37 billion euros ($46 billion) from the euro zone to recapitalize four of its struggling banks in 2012. As part of a general restructuring of the Spanish banking sector, lenders were forced to transfer billions of dollars' worth of toxic real estate assets to a so-called "bad bank" at steeply discounted prices.

The average write down on the banks' property loans was 45.6 percent and 63.1 percent on foreclosed properties.

Spain's Banks Not Alone

Spanish banks aren't the only ones to suffer impairment charges. French bank Credit Agricole warned on Friday that its latest earnings would be hit by 3.8 billion euros in writedowns. It said that the charges reflected the tighter regulatory environment. Dutch banking insurance group SNS Reaal is being nationalized at a cost of 3.7 billion euros to the state.


The Demonic Complex

As a biblical fundamentalist (one who believes in the realities and ETERNAL truths of the Holy Bible) I have one critique with those who give political commentary and analysis.

The average media personality today - whether they be a Left-wing reprobate or a Conservative, REFUSES to see the world, the events at hand and the overall picture of why the world is the way it is from Almighty God’s ETERNAL perspective (2 Cor. 4:3-4, Eph. 6:12, 1 John 2:16-17). These blinded individuals (Left or Right), posses an unbelieving subjective world view which blinds them to the true realities at hand, which is they are subjects to the highly organizedDemonic Complex of heaven's fallen angelic host (2 Cor. 4:3-4, Eph. 2:1-2).

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places] (Eph. 6:12).,
You see, more radical than a passionate conservative to the godless Left here in America is a fundamental Bible believer who Almighty God has rescued from this doomed and fallen world (Gal. 1:4, Eph. 2:1-10). The Demonic Complex which is driving this world's godless and lawless agenda truly hates reality, but is enraged and psychotic when it comes to Divine reality (John 3:19-21). The great war of the ages at hand is the rebellious agenda of darkness against ETERNAL light and reality (Isa. 5:20, John 3:19-21, Acts 26:18, 2 Cor. 4:3-6, Eph 2:2). As fallen mankind partakes and places their necks under Satan's rule in unbelief, they become his slaves and allies in the War against the ETERNAL sovereignty of their Creator (Matt.25:41, Rom. 1:18-31, Rev. 13). The weight and validity of this truth will soon be revealed and realized to the fullest by this fallen world as they enter into the dreadful seven year period called, the Day of the Lord (Rev. 9, 11:3-13, 13).

These blinded individuals (Left or Right), posses an unbelieving subjective world view which blinds them to the true realities at hand.

The Bible - Almighty God’s Infallible Word – exposes in greater depth the inner workings not just of fallen corrupted mankind, but of the demonic "political" machine of heaven’s lawless angelic intelligences and their fierce leader, the original radical, slanderer, blasphemer and character assassin - (aka. Lucifer). My friends, we are ALL subjected to a GREAT spiritual war raging today for the hearts, minds and souls of mankind and are at the very end of our times journey as a human race. My dear friends, ALL things are headed to that great Day and time called the “Day of the Lord” and the “Battle of Armageddon”(Rev. 6-19) and receive it or not, these things WILL BE. The world at present deep in their hearts knows this to be true, that we are at mankind’s final crossroads. Indeed Almighty God's Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! For it will ONLY be when godless mankind and their demonic masters of delusion are defeated at Christ's glorious return to earth - at the end of the seven period called the "Day of the Lord" - that Almighty God will establish His 1000 year reign and rule on this earth. It will be at this time that absolutely no darkness will dominate as in days past. But until then, we are still present in this Demonic Complex governing world (Eph. 2:2, 6:12).
The Leftist machine here in America and in the world is nothing but a means to an end and are Lucifer’s straw men to deceive, brainwash and bamboozle this unbelieving world (Left and Right) in their unregenerate state off the cliff into ETERNAL damnation and ruin.

The Leftist Media Machine here in America and in the world is a tool of the demonic world to produce a means to an end (Rev. 16:13-16). These lawless media are nothing more then Lucifer’s minions and straw men to deceive, brainwash and bamboozle the countless billions of people who are unbelieving. Unknowingly they are being used to move Lucifer's agenda forward in this unbelieving world (Eph. 2:1-2). The carrot at the end stick of these godless media pawns is the delusional hope and pursuit of creating a global Utopian society. Left or Right, if both ideologies are unbelieving (John 3:36, Eph 2:2) they are both being deceived and are being swept away in their unregenerate state into ETERNAL damnation and ruin (Matt. 25:41, Rev. 20:11-15).

Left or Right, if both ideologies are unbelieving they are both being deceived.

Does this biblical perception sound like a freaky fairly tail or the theorizing of some wack-o religious zealot? My friend, think it through. There is more than meets the eye in the world of politics today. All that is about us today is heading to that final show down between Lucifer and the LORD, call the "Day of the Lord" and billions are oblivious as they are being orchestrated to set its very stage by the god of this world (Eph. 2:2;6:12). Without faith in Almighty God and His Word, all is darkness. It is ONLY when we are made spiritually alive by receiving God's Savior, Jesus Christ into our hearts that we can see these realities as they truly are (John 3:3, 2 Cor. 5:17-21).

All that is about us today is heading to that final show down between Lucifer and the LORD, call the "Day of the Lord" and billions are oblivious as they are being orchestrated as they set very stage.

You see, the reality is that "in the end " All (you and me) will have to give a personal account to Almighty God for what we have done based on His ETERNAL spiritual absolutes of RIGHTEOUS PERFECTION and His moral absolutes here for time (Heb. 9:27, John 5:24, Rev. 20:11-15). Since Adam’s fall no one is capable of living a perfect God honoring life as Almighty God demands (Rom. 3:23; 5:12-21; 6:23; 10:2-4). That is why Almighty God sent His Son. That is why He came to earth 2000 years ago, to live the perfect life for ALL and to be the PERFECT propitiation for our transgressions against the ETERNAL RIGHTEOUSNESS of Almighty God and to make us RIGHTEOUS(John 3:16-17, Rom. 10:2-4, Heb. 2:17, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:2), as God’s Word so clearly states.
but TRUE freedom, perception and liberty ONLY comes when one receives Almighty God’s Son as their Savior.

As this fallen world devours the spin, lies, creates false and subtle perceptions dished out by Lucifer's Demonic Complex remember that ONLY TRUE freedom, perception and liberty comes when one receives Almighty God’s Son as their Savior (John 8:32,36, 1 John 5:10-13). We cannot dismiss or make relative these truths, for they are what they are. One must be brave enough to step out of themselves and receive them and claim them for their own.

Almighty God’s Word ALONE gives ETERNAL insight and exposes Lucifer’s demonic complex, his grand designs and godless ambitions(Col. 2:15). May you place your trust in Christ ALONE in these ever confusing days of darkness. Almighty God's Word will be a light for you (Psalm 119:105, John 3:3).

Remember my friends; The Kingdom of Heaven is TRULY at hand!

The Ignorant Fisherman Blog

Iran and Syria Vow Retaliation After Israeli Airstrike

By Joel C. Rosenberg 

What will be next?
As the implosion of Syria continues unabated, Israeli officials are increasingly worried that weapons of mass destruction positioned on Syrian soil will be used against the Jewish state. Or that they will fall into the hands of anti-Israeli forces. Or be handed over to anti-Israeli forces.


Prime Minister Netanyahu and the IDF top brass are also deeply concerned about Iran's efforts to use the chaos in Syria to divert international attention away from stopping Tehran's nuclear weapons program. As I've written before on this blog—and explore in more detail in my forthcoming geopolitical thriller, Damascus Countdown—the corridor between Tel Aviv, Damascus and Tehran is the most dangerous corridor on the planet at the moment. Iran is getting closer to building The Persian Bomb. More than 40,000 people have been slaughtered inside Syria. The world is not taking decisive action to stop any of this. And there is a growing fear in the region that a countdown may have begun to something even more catastrophic happening in the not-too-distant future. I pray that it doesn’t. But governments are increasingly on edge, and for good reason.

Here's a snapshot of the latest developments in the last 48 hours:

"Israel bombed a suspected shipment of antiaircraft missiles in Syria on Wednesday, according to regional and U.S. officials, in its most ambitious strike inside its neighbor's territory in nearly two chaotic years of civil war there," reports the Wall Street Journal. "The early-morning strike in a border area west of Damascus targeted a convoy of trucks carrying Russian-made SA-17 missiles to Hezbollah, the anti-Israel Shiite militant and political group in Lebanon, according to a Western official briefed on the raid."
"Syria maintained that the accounts of a strike on an arms convoy near the country’s border with Lebanon were wrong. Instead, Syria’s military said, Israeli jets had attacked a military facility near Damascus," the Journalreports. "'Israeli warplanes violated our airspace at dawn today and directly struck one of the scientific research centers responsible for elevating resistance and self-defense capabilities in the area of Jamraya in the Damascus countryside,' Syria’s military said in a statement carried by the official Sana news agency. The attack killed two workers and injured five others, it said, and 'caused significant material damage and the destruction of the complex' and an adjacent parking lot. Syrian activists say the Jamraya site is in a mountainous area of military facilities and training camps located on a heavily guarded road just off the main Damascus-Beirut highway. Later Wednesday, a U.S. official said the accounts of two targets—a convoy of weapons, and a military site—weren’t mutually exclusive. The U.S. believes Israeli warplanes bombed a Hezbollah-bound convoy of antiaircraft missiles, U.S. officials said. The vehicles may have been close to a military facility, they said, cautioning their information remained incomplete."

Meanwhile, "Iran threatened that a reported Israeli strike in Syria would have 'grave consequences for Tel Aviv' on Thursday, days after saying that an attack on Syria would be seen as an attack on Iran," reports the Times of Israel. "Syria added that the attacks 'would not go unanswered.'"

"All options for a response against Israeli aggression are open," an official close to the Assad regime said, according to Syrian press reports. "The Zionists are trying to use the situations in Syria to restart the crisis when the government was managing to work toward a diplomatic solution."

"Angry statements from Russia, Iran and the militantly anti-Israel group Hezbollah underscored the risk that Israel's action—which analysts and Western officials described as an attempt to stop the transfer of weapons from Syria to Hezbollah outposts in Lebanon—could hasten the spillover of the civil war in Syria into a wider conflict," reports the Washington Post.

"Russia said on Thursday it was very concerned about reports of an Israeli attack in Syria and that any such action, if confirmed, would amount to unacceptable military interference in the war-ravaged country," reportsYnet News. "'If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked attacks on targets on the territory of a sovereign country, which blatantly violates the UN Charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motives to justify it,' the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement."

Bible Prophecy Blog

Netanyahu Tells America It's Now Or Never

Netanyahu has drawn a line in the sand, only this time, it's for the U.S.

According to a Maariv report, when speaking to a visiting delegation from the American Jewish Committee, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was simply not strong enough to force a halt to Iran's nuclear enrichment program. In order to halt the program, Bibi said, the U.S. would have to strike, and they must do so this year.


"The sanctions are only likely to stop Iran if there is a credible (military) threat over their head ... and in order for it to be a credible threat, you need to mean it, meaning that if the sanctions don't work – and they haven't until now – you will use it," he said.
He followed this up by saying that 2013 would be the last year America could effectively put an end to Iran's nuclear program. If not, they would get their hands on enriched uranium and build a bomb in "a short time" according to Netanyahu.

Others seem to think a strike would be ineffective.

An AP article published late last year covered a report compiled by the nation's top national security experts and former military commanders. The report indicated that a "surgical strike" would only set back Iran's nuclear capability.

"You can't kill intellectual power," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Frank Kearney, former deputy director at the National Counterterrorism Center and former deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command who endorsed the report.

Going a step further, the analysis says what would be needed to truly reform Iran's nuclear aspirations would equate to full ground war — something the U.S. is unlikely to engage in.

Then there's the perception of attacking yet another Muslim country.

From the AP:

"Planners and pundits ought to consider that the riots and unrest following a Web entry about an obscure film are probably a fraction of what could happen following a strike – by the Israelis or U.S. – on Iran," retired Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, an endorser of the Iran report and a former operations chief for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview.

Since the report came out just days following Benghazi, it was largely missed by the world press. Nonetheless, Iran's nuclear aspirations worry the international community, regardless of what their stated purposes are.

Even if Netanyahu's apocalyptic nuclear Iran claims sound quite similar (actually, identical) to claims made in the early 2000s ... and the 90s ... and the 80s ... finding a solution to balancing Iran's pursuit of dual use technology with that of international security seems imperative — especially considering the achievement becomes more likely as technology in general advances.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/netanyahu-tells-america-to-bomb-iran-2013-1#ixzz2JejlaZNs

Five strong earthquakes signal angry ‘Ring of Fire’

The Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ has been angry over the past day, producing five strong earthquakes over a 48 hour period- not counting the 5.9 quake which struck Papua New Guinea. North-central Chile was the first to feel the Ring’s wrath, as a magnitude 6.8 quake went off at about 3:15 p.m. EST, centred roughly 40 km north of Vallenar, the capital city of Chile’s Huasco Province. Reports say that it shook buildings as far away as Santiago, nearly 600 kms to the south, and closer to the epicenter; some buildings in lower-income areas of Vallenar suffered collapsed walls. According to a Reuters report, one unfortunate woman died shortly after the quake, of an apparent heart attack. The Solomon Islands (Santa Cruz), in the south Pacific, were next, as three strong earthquakes, registering as magnitude 6.0 and 6.2 on the Richter Scale, struck just east of the island of Nuendö at 6:03 p.m. EST. No reports of any damage or injuries from either of these earthquakes as of yet, however the area is sparsely populated, with Lata, a community of just over 550 residents at the northwestern end of Nuendö, being the closest settlement to the quake epicenter of magnitude 6.0 earthquake off the southern coast of Alaska. Finally, this morning, at 4:53 a.m. EST, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake shook an already battered region along the southern tip of Alaska. The Alaskan Earthquake Center is apparently reporting that today’s tremor is an aftershock of the magnitude 7.5 quake that shook this same area on January 5th, and it is just north of where a magnitude 7.7 earthquake shook Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands) in October of last year. No damage or injuries have been reported from this latest quake. Although earthquakes around the ‘Ring of Fire’ have been known to touch off tsunamis, no alerts were sounded as a result of any of these four events. These earthquakes occurring in relatively quick succession, separated by distances of thousands of kilometers, punctuates just how active the ‘Ring of Fire’ is and just how unpredictable it can be. Although efforts are being made to put early warning systems into place, true earthquake prediction remains a lofty goal. –Yahoo News

Wal-Mart limits ammunition sales as demand soars

A month after a massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, demand for ammunition is so high that Wal-Mart is limiting sales to keep supply stable.

As of last week, customers nationwide will only be able to purchase three boxes a day from the mega-retailer because “supply is limited,” said spokeswoman Ashley Hardie.

She declined to speculate on the reasons behind the surge in interest, but said the company is “monitoring supply issues daily and working with suppliers to ship ammunition to stores.”

“We’re taking care of as many customers as possible,” Hardie said.

The chain, based in Bentonville, Ark., isn’t the only gun and ammunition seller seeing a boost in sales since the Dec. 14 rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Of the top 10 days for firearms background checks between Nov. 30, 1998, and Jan. 27, 2013, eight have occurred since last month’s shooting, according to data obtained Mondayfrom the FBI.

Gun sellers run background checks on prospective firearms buyers before making the sale. Two of the top 10 days occurred last year and in 2011 during the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush known as Black Friday.

Los Angeles Times