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St. Louis-area mall closes on Black Friday as Ferguson protests spread

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FERGUSON, Mo. - Demonstrators shut down a shopping mall near Ferguson, Missouri, at the start of the holiday shopping season on Friday as protests over the killing of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer turned on some retailers around the country.

Christmas tree arrives at White House

WASHINGTON - U.S. first lady Michelle Obama received the annual Christmas tree delivery at the White House on Friday, heralding the start of the holiday season.

1:31pm EST

U.S. Black Friday shopping marked by thinner crowds, protests

WEST HARTFORD, Conn./CHICAGO - Mall crowds were relatively thin on Black Friday in a sign of what has become the new normal in U.S. holiday shopping: the mad rush is happening the night of Thanksgiving and more consumers are picking up deals online. | Video

9:08pm EST

Judge orders Wal-Mart to let NYC church challenge gun sales

- A federal judge ordered Wal-Mart Stores Inc to let shareholders vote on a proposal to force tighter oversight of its sale of high-capacity guns and other potentially offensive products.

Arizona man hospitalized over Ebola concerns tests negative

- A Phoenix man who became ill after returning this week from Sierra Leone, one of the three West African nations hardest hit by an Ebola outbreak, on Friday was taken to a hospital where he tested negative for the virus, officials said.

Health, 8:17pm EST

Lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo of biased lending in Chicago area

- Wells Fargo & Co was sued on Friday by Cook County, Illinois, which accused the largest U.S. mortgage lender of targeting black, Hispanic and female borrowers with predatory and discriminatory lending in the Chicago area.

7:44pm EST

New York State blocks free medical services at event

NEW YORK - New York state health officials have stopped a nonprofit group from providing free medical care to thousands of patients lacking health insurance during a four-day dental conference that starts Friday. 

Health 4:11pm EST

Man loses legs in Exxon Baton Rouge refinery incident: local media

HOUSTON - A contract worker lost his legs in an accident on Thursday at Exxon Mobil Corp's Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery, according to a report by WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge.

1:53pm EST

Man dies after shooting at Mexican consulate, other sites in Texas capital

AUSTIN, Texas - A man apparently upset about U.S. immigration policy was fatally shot on Friday after firing more than 100 rounds of ammunition at buildings including the Mexican consulate, a U.S. courthouse and police headquarters in the Texas capital, police said.

Mexico 5:40pm EST

U.N. torture watchdog urges U.S. crackdown on police brutality

GENEVA - The U.N. Committee against Torture urged the United States on Friday to fully investigate and prosecute police brutality and shootings of unarmed black youth and ensure that taser weapons are used sparingly.

12:02pm EST

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