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Thanksgiving

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The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials say 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released its latest flu update. It says 44 states reported high or very high flu activity last week. That may not bode well for the near future. It’s likely there was more spread of respiratory viruses during Thanksgiving gatherings and at crowded airports.

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The spectacle of incandescent lava spewing from Hawaii's Mauna Loa has drawn thousands of visitors and is turning into a tourism boon for a Big Island town near the world’s largest volcano. Some hotels in and around Hilo are becoming fully booked in what is normally a slower time of the year for business. Helicopter tours of Mauna Loa, which began erupting Sunday after being quiet for 38 years, are also in high demand by tourists and journalists. Hawaii's travel industry normally falls off this time of year between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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The Thanksgiving weekend wasn't just big for turkey, family visits and the Macy's parade. It was a big weekend for sports watching. Fox's Thanksgiving showing of the NFL game between Dallas and the New York Giants reached 42 million people, which the Nielsen company said was the most-watched regular season pro football game ever. The World Cup soccer match between the U.S. and England was the most-watched soccer game on American television ever — even without the Spanish-language simulcast on Telemundo. Fox's coverage of the game reached 15.4 million, while adding in Telemundo viewers brought the count up to nearly 20 million.

The Thanksgiving weekend wasn't just big for turkey, family visits and the Macy's parade. It was a big weekend for sports watching. Fox's Thanksgiving showing of the NFL game between Dallas and the New York Giants reached 42 million people, which the Nielsen company said was the most-watched regular season pro football game ever. The World Cup soccer match between the U.S. and England was the most-watched soccer game on American television ever — even without the Spanish-language simulcast on Telemundo. Fox's coverage of the game reached 15.4 million, while adding in Telemundo viewers brought the count up to nearly 20 million.

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Amazon said Wednesday the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend was its biggest ever, aided by a record number of shoppers looking for deals amid high inflation. The company does not typically share how much it earns during its sales events and did not disclose its overall revenue from the weekend. It said independent businesses that sell on its site generated more than $1 billion in sales. The National Retail Federation says a record 196 million people shopped in stores and online during the five-day shopping period that stretched from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. It says consumers also spent an average of $325 during the weekend on holiday-related purchases, up from $301 last year.

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In-person early voting for the last U.S. Senate seat is underway statewide in Georgia's runoff, with Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock working to get the jump on Republican challenger Herschel Walker who is putting less emphasis on advance balloting.

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The White House says first lady Jill Biden has drawn inspiration from the nation's founding documents to decorate for the holidays. The first lady's theme is “We the People." The White House said Monday the holiday décor represents what unites Americans during the holidays and throughout the year. A copy of the Declaration of Independence is on display in the library. The gingerbread White House includes a replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. New this year is a wooden menorah built by White House carpenters.

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President Joe Biden has gone holiday shopping on the Massachusetts resort island where he spends Thanksgiving. He patronized smaller independently owned stores on what the retail industry has called “Small Business Saturday.” Biden, his wife, Jill, and daughter Ashley went from store to store on Main Street in downtown Nantucket, lingering at Polo Ralph Lauren, Murray’s Toggery Shop and The Black Dog, among other establishments. The president’s son Hunter and his wife, Melissa, were also shopping with their 2-year-old son, Beau. Biden emerged from The Black Dog holding a small brown paper shopping bag. The White House had no immediate comment on the president’s purchases.

Police say 38-year-old man has been arrested in connection to a Thanksgiving day shooting in a Houston-area home that left two dead and two wounded. the Houston Police Department says in a Friday statement that the suspect has been questioned and is facing two counts of capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault. Police Department Assistant Chief Patricia Cantu said earlier Friday a man believed to be a former spouse of a victim entered the home and shot four people who were celebrating Thanksgiving, killing two and wounding two others Thursday evening.

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President Joe Biden's tradition of going out to lunch, shopping and watching a Christmas tree lighting in downtown Nantucket with his family became mostly about keeping his 2-year-old grandson from having a meltdown. Every member of the Biden family seemed to be doing whatever they could think of to keep baby Beau happy for a few hours until the tree was lit. The Bidens have been spending Thanksgiving on Nantucket for decades. The day after the turkey dinner, they go out to lunch, browse a bookstore and other shops before they watch the Christmas tree lighting on Main St.

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This week’s new entertainment releases include an live posthumous album from Tom Petty, the criminal profile spinoff series “Criminal Minds: Evolution,” a documentary about the plucky Mars Rover Opportunity and a TV series that focuses on the backstage melodrama at the Chippendale’s male strip clubs. There's also the new documentary “Love, Lizzo,” an intimate portrait of the superstar musician, and if you need a way to shake off the stuffing after that Thanksgiving feast, why not throw an international dance party with friends from around the world with Ubisoft’s video game “Just Dance 2023”?

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Police say a man believed to be a former spouse entered a Houston-area home and shot four people who were celebrating Thanksgiving, killing two and wounding two others Thursday evening. Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Patricia Cantu says a woman and a man were pronounced dead at the scene. A second man was in critical condition and a 15-year-old boy was stable at a hospital. Police have not identified a suspect and an arrest was not immediately made, but Cantu says the shooter was believed to be the former spouse of the woman who was killed. Police were unsure about whether the victims were related or who owned the home.

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Police say a man believed to be a former spouse entered a Houston-area home and shot four people who were celebrating Thanksgiving, killing two and wounding two others Thursday evening. Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Patricia Cantu says a woman and a man were pronounced dead at the scene. A second man was in critical condition and a 15-year-old boy was stable at a hospital. Police have not identified a suspect and an arrest was not immediately made, but Cantu says the shooter was believed to be the former spouse of the woman who was killed. Police were unsure about whether the victims were related or who owned the home.

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President Joe Biden has delivered pumpkin pies to Massachusetts firefighters for Thanksgiving. The president, first lady Jill Biden and their nearly 3-year-old grandson Beau visited with emergency personnel at fire department headquarters on Nantucket island. Earlier in the day, Biden expressed his appreciation for those who risk their lives to help others when he spoke by telephone to the hosts of NBC's broadcast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. He later spoke on the phone with U.S. service members who are away from their families for the holiday. Biden has a more than 40-year tradition of spending Thanksgiving on the Massachusetts island.

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A witness says that the Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six coworkers in Virginia seemed to target people and shot some victims after they were already hit and appeared to be dead. Jessica Wilczewski said that workers were gathered in a Walmart break room to begin their overnight shift late Tuesday when team leader Andre Bing entered and began shooting with a handgun. While another witness has described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said that she observed him target certain people. She said he looked at people's faces and picked out who he was going to shoot.

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A witness says that the Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six coworkers in Virginia seemed to target people and shot some victims after they were already hit and appeared to be dead. Jessica Wilczewski said that workers were gathered in a Walmart break room to begin their overnight shift late Tuesday when team leader Andre Bing entered and began shooting with a handgun. While another witness has described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said that she observed him target certain people. She said he looked at people's faces and picked out who he was going to shoot.

Native American chefs engage the holiday on their own terms -- making it about ingredients and foodways indigenous to North America, not the typical fare on our tables today. Learn more about the complicated food history of Thanksgiving.

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