Over 300 Dead in Egyptian Terrorist Attack.
Militants attacked a mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed in Egypt's northern Sinai peninsula on Friday, killing at least 305  and wounding over 120. Officials said the attack was the worst in Egypt's modern history with survivors recounting explosions followed by the attackers spraying gunfire into the crowd of worshipers. The region has grappled with an Islamist militant insurgency since 2013 led by the Islamic State-affiliated Sinai Provence (read background), though the group has mainly targeted the military and the country's Christian population. Friday's attack was the first major offensive against Egyptian Muslims - in this case followers of Sufism, a widely recognized sect of Islam deemed heretical by the Islamic State. The attack puts pressure on Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has led a political crackdown in the name of fighting terrorism in Egypt.  

Black Friday Online Sales Top $5B.
Online sales during Black Friday set a new record, hitting $5.03B by the end of Friday, a day after online sales set a Thanksgiving record of $2.87B. Total Black Friday sales were up 16.9% over 2016 and while the volume of online sales increased, the average per sale spend held steady around $135 per purchase - meaning more people opted to shop online this year. The biggest shift was to mobile purchases, with $2B of the total transactions conducted over mobile devices. Numbers for brick-and-mortar stores won't be known until earnings reports roll in, but analytics suggest foot traffic was down only 1-2% from last year. The numbers set high expectations for Cyber Monday, with analysts forecasting nearly $6.6B in sales today.

Pope Francis Visits Myanmar Today.
Pope Francis begins a trip to Myanmar today, whose government has been harshly criticized over its brutal crackdown on the Rohingya minority. The group is a Muslim minority in the majority Buddhist country's western Rakhine state (see background). Since August, over 620,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into neighboring Burma amid a crackdown by the state military, with reports of wholesale massacres of villages, killing thousands. Francis will make a symbolic decision to signal support for the persecuted group - he has been asked by local church leaders to avoid using the term 'Rohingya' because the group is not an officially recognized minority. See a timeline of the Rohingya crisis in maps

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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Prince Harry engaged to American actress Meghan Markle (More)
> Miss South Africa wins Miss Universe pageant (More)
> Former South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius's prison sentence increased by 13 years after government appeals sentence as too lenient for murder (More)

Science & Technology.

Babies as young as 10 months can link value of something with how much effort is given to achieve it (More)
Researchers construct whole brain map of the electrical connections that form memories (More)
Tesla to unveil 100MW lithium-ion battery, world's largest, in Australia to support power grid (More)

Business & Markets.

Meredith (Better Homes & Gardens) to buy Time Inc. (People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune) for $1.8B; deal backed by Koch brothers (More)
> Tractor maker Deere tops 4th quarter estimates, projects sales & earnings to surge in 2018 (More)
Bitcoin passes $9k in fastest $1k increment growth, approaching $10k (More) | Bitcoin & other cryptocurrency prices and market caps (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

Pakistani militant behind 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 160, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, to enter political arena after being freed (More)
Michael Flynn lawyers terminate info sharing deal with Trump's legal team, signal possible cooperation in Mueller probe (More)
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Deputy Director sues Trump administration to block naming of Mick Mulvaney as interim director (More)
New analysis determines which states are actually "flyover country".

Never before-seen-photos of Prince taken over a ten-year span.

Alabama played Minnesota 3-on-5 for the last 10 minutes of Saturday's basketball game - and almost won.

This man plans to launch himself in a homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat.

Photos from Bali's Mount Agung volcano on the brink of “imminent” eruption

Scientists genetically engineer a form of gluten-free wheat.

A Swedish power plant is replacing coal with H&M’s unsold clothes

Malia Obama begins dating British Harvard student

Clickbait: Brown bear armed with two guns loose in Siberian region

Historybook: First Crusade declared by Pope Urban II (1095); HBD Bruce Lee (1940); HBD Jimi Hendrix (1942); HBD Bill Nye (the Science Guy, 1955); Harvey Milk assassinated (1978).
-Bruce Lee

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