Business Briefs – November 26, 2017

Black Friday, Thanksgiving Online Sales Climb to Record High

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Black& Friday and Thanksgiving online sales in the United States surged to record highs as shoppers bagged deep discounts and bought more on their mobile devices, heralding a promising start to the key year-end season, according to retail analytics firms.

U.S. retailers raked in a record $7.9 billion in online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, up 17.9 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions at the largest 100 U.S. web retailers, on Saturday.

Adobe said Cyber Monday is expected to drive $6.6 billion in internet sales, which would make it the largest U.S. online shopping day in history.

Plan to Change New England Ocean Stewardship Up For Debate

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The federal government is close to enacting new rules about New England ocean habitat that could mean dramatic changes for the way the marine environment and fisheries are managed. The National Marine Fisheries Service has been working on the new rules for some 13 years and recently made them public. They would change the way the government manages the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and southern New England waters, which are critical pieces of ocean.

China Cuts Import Tariffs on Some Consumer Goods

BEIJING (AP) – China is cutting import tariffs on some consumer goods in a new effort to spur economic growth driven by domestic consumption instead of trade and investment. The United States and other governments are pressing for better access to China’s growing market but the range of 187 products affected was relatively small and it was unclear how the trade balance might be affected.

German Court: Ancient Forest Can Be Cleared for Coal Mine

BERLIN (AP) – A court in western Germany says an ancient forest near the Belgian border can be chopped down to make way for a coal strip mine. Cologne’s administrative court ruled Friday against a legal complaint brought by the environmental group BUND that wanted to halt the clearance of much of Hambach forest.

No Breakthrough in Brexit Talks As New Deadline Approaches

BRUSSELS (AP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May failed Friday to make any breakthrough in Brexit talks with the EU, as time runs out to move the negotiations into a critical second phase before the end of the year. At a summit in Brussels, May met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the leaders of Belgium, Denmark, Lithuania and European Council President Donald Tusk, seeking to move the talks onto future relations between Britain and the EU, especially their trade ties.