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Rain, Snow May Disrupt Thanksgiving Travel Plans


Nuno André/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What do you get when you mix rain and snow in the Northeast and 46 million people are expected to travel for Thanksgiving? A recipe for a travel disaster.

But those with plans to travel Wednesday -- one of the season's busiest days -- can get ahead of the winter weather by leaving on Tuesday.

Most airlines have issued flexible travel policies for those holding tickets to fly to, from or through many East Coast Airports.

Tuesday, though not as busy as Wednesday, is still a heavily traveled day for the airlines. Air travelers who find themselves shut out of flights already oversold on Tuesday should aim for Thursday morning flights. Thursday is traditionally a slow day for the airlines.

Though policies vary slightly among individual carriers, if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed, you are entitled to a refund. Carriers will also allow a one-time change on flights that are not canceled for no fee.

Here is a list of airlines with flexible travel policies and links to individual sites:

A significant Noreaster is set to hit the East Coast Wednesday, with rain expected along I-95 from Orlando, Florida to Raleigh, North Carolina and rain from Washington, D.C. to Boston in the early part of the day, changing to snow in the early afternoon. New York and Boston could get between 2 and 6 inches of snow.

Airlines for America, an industry trade organization, has projected that 24.6 million passengers will travel globally on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period.

This is a 1.5 percent increase from last year, or an additional 31,000 passengers per day. The busiest days are projected to be Sunday, Nov. 30; Monday, Dec. 1; and Wednesday, Nov. 26. The lightest travel days are Thursday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 28.

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Honda: Data Entry and Program Errors Caused Underreporting of Injury or Death Claims


Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Honda said on Monday that it had vastly underreported claims involving accidents that resulted in injuries or deaths between 2003 and 2014.

In a news release regarding a third-party audit of the company's early warning reports provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Honda said that it had alerted the NHTSA to the concern, prior to providing "responsive information" on Monday.

The audit found a total of 1,729 claims that Honda failed to report to NHTSA. The company blamed these failures on data entry errors, coding errors and narrow regulatory interpretation.

Vehicle manufacturers are required to report an array of information each quarter to ensure that the NHTSA is aware of any claims that could signal a potential safety defect. Included in that information is any claim involving an injury or death.

Honda says that it often did not enter a date into a field in its own database requesting "written claim received." By not including that date, the system failed to "distinguish reportable written claims and notices from non-reportable oral claims for relief. The company also said that the computer program it used to generate early warning reports was not properly set up and that it had used an "overly narrow interpretation of what constituted a 'written notice,'" resulting in a failure to report certain claims.

Honda says it will correct the setup of its computer program, ensure the inclusion of all claims involving injury or death in future early warning reports and improve training and oversight, in addition to other actions, in an effort to prevent such failures in the future.

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Eleven Things Not to Buy on Black Friday


Michael Nagle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The frenzy of Black Friday shopping is often about excitement and tradition, but don't buy into all the hype. There are some things that may seem like a great deal, but aren't.

Deals site DealNews.com recommends that you wait on buying 11 products until after Black Friday.

Like always, take any advice with a grain of salt, as these recommendations are based on DealNews' historical data and anecdotal experience. And if you are in need of something immediately, sometimes it might be worth paying a little more to check it off your list.

1. Winter gear

These items, including coats and boots, often have deeper discounts during winter clearance sales in January and March.

2. Designer clothing

People who love designer clothing labels should stick to outlet shopping on Black Friday, according to DealNews, because high-end clothiers don't really offer great "sales."

Otherwise, shoppers could get not-so-great discounts of 20 to 30 percent off on designer clothing, which DealNews calls "yawn-worthy."

3. Latest Amazon Fire tablets

While you can likely find deals on Amazon's older Fire tablets, you likely won't find many great discounts on the newest Fire lineup, according to DealNews. Last year, during Cyber Week, DealNews saw only two discounts on the then-new Kindle Fire HDX.

4. High-end laptops

While November may be a great month to buy laptops, shoppers should hold off on "powerhouse" computing machines.

"High-performance machines that boast a powerful CPU like Intel's Core i7 models actually see better prices during the summer back-to-school sales," DealNews' features writer Marcy Bonebright states.

July and September can offer deals that are 9 percent cheaper (about $50 on average) than even November's best deals, DealNews states.

5. Tools

While there may be great Black Friday deals on cheap household hand tools, last year, there were 16 percent more tool offers in December than those of November, according to DealNews.

6. Gift cards

"Discounted gift cards practically rain from the sky in December, especially those from iTunes," according to Bonebright. "Last year, we saw so many gift card deals in December, we had to publish a weekly feature just to keep track of them all."

7. Brand-name smart TVs

While Black Friday's door-buster deals often feature deep discounts on flat-screen televisions, brand-name TVs tend to have better prices after the Consumer Electronics Show. During that January event, manufacturers reveal their new product lineups in Las Vegas. But, DealNews points out, last year the best 55" name-brand TV deal came in September, which was 10 percent cheaper than November's best deal.

8. Airline and vacation packages

While there are some "superior" hotel discounts on Black Friday, you might want to refrain from booking a flight or planning a vacation. DealNews recommends planning travel for January, which offers a higher number of deals.

9. Exercise equipment

"December consistently sees an uptick in both the quantity of exercise equipment offers and the quality," writes Bonebright. Last year, DealNews marked almost 30 percent of December sports deals as Editors' Choice, compared to just 15 percent in November.

10. Chocolates and flowers

November 2013 had the fewest offers in this category all year, according to DealNews. Better stick to the bigger gift-giving holidays of Christmas and Valentine's Day, DealNews says.

11. Home and patio furniture

Most retailers discount these items heavily in the warmer months. The number of home furniture deals increase in July and August with patio furniture clearance sales "dominating" in August and September, Bonebright writes.

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Samsung 'Eye Mouse' Lets Users Control Computer with Blink of an Eye


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Samsung's eye scrolling technology has been taken to a new level by a volunteer group of engineers who have developed a system that allows a user to surf the Internet, write and edit documents with the blink of an eye.

It sounds like a futuristic dream, but Samsung's engineers on Tuesday showed off the result of their passion project, which they hope will allow people with disabilities to be better able to use computers.

Unlike similar technology, Samsung's second-generation EYECAN doesn't require the user to wear any equipment or be in any specific position. The system works when users are situated approximately 2 feet away from the monitor, according to Samsung.

The EYECAN device is a portable box that is positioned below a computer monitor.

First-time users will have to calibrate their eyes to the technology so it can remember their ocular characteristics. From there, users will be able to write and edit messages and browse the Internet while they're seated or lying down -- controlling the system with their subtle eye movements.

Samsung said they do not plan to sell the EYECAN and instead "will manufacture a limited quantity to donate to charity organizations."

The technology and design of the breakthrough technology will soon be made open source, allowing other groups and companies free rein to commercialize the eye mouse, according to Samsung.

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Home Depot Facing at Least 44 Lawsuits Related to Data Breach


phillyskater/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Home Depot acknowledged in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday that it faces at least 44 civil lawsuits related to the data breach that put millions of customers' personal information at risk earlier this year.

"We discovered a data breach in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 and are still in the process of determining the full extent of its impact and the impact of related government investigations and civil litigation on our results of operations, which could be material," the company wrote in the filing.

The 44 lawsuits were filed in the U.S. and Canada, though the company acknowledged that additional claims "may be asserted on behalf of customers, payment card brands, payment card issuing banks, shareholders, or others seeking damages or other related relief." In addition, the company still faces investigations by state and federal agencies.

The company is not clear on how the lawsuits and investigations will impact their finances.

In the filing, the company also notes that it has already enhanced encryption at all U.S. stores, and will do so at its Canadian stores by early 2015.

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Twitter Executive Appears to Accidentally Tweet a Private Message


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Even Twitter executives aren't immune to direct messaging mishaps.

Twitter Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto appeared to have accidentally tweeted what was intended to be a direct message about acquiring a company to his thousands of followers.

Noto has since deleted the tweet, however Fusion Senior Editor Kevin Roose captured a screenshot, calling it "the first ever M&A DM fail."

Looks like Twitter’s CFO just had the first-ever M&A DM fail. pic.twitter.com/AuLxVOBJED

— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) November 24, 2014

Twitter did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment, however Noto can at least take comfort in knowing he's certainly not the first or last person to suffer a direct messaging fail.

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Here Are the Stores that Won't Be Open Thanksgiving Day


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While some stores are beating each other to the punch to open their doors as early as possible on Thanksgiving, others are encouraging their workers to enjoy turkey at home.

Stores like Costco and Nordstrom are choosing to stay closed on Thanksgiving, while companies like Kmart will open at 6 a.m. that day.

Here are some of the national chains that are choosing to stay closed this Thanksgiving:

1. American Girl

American Girl’s retail stores, as well as its corporate headquarters, will be closed on Thanksgiving, according to a spokeswoman for Mattel, which purchased American Girl doll-maker Pleasant Company in 1998. The spokeswoman said it has been been American Girl’s policy to be closed on Thanksgiving since its founding in 1986.

2. Barnes and Noble

"We want our booksellers to have the opportunity to enjoy what is a family holiday," said Barnes and Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating.

3. BJ's

All BJ’s Clubs will open on Black Friday, Nov. 28, at 7 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. For some Clubs this is an hour later than usual.

“Consistent with our company values, BJ’s Wholesale Club will, once again, remain closed on Thanksgiving Day,” said Laura Sen, president and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club. “To give our team a well-deserved holiday, our home office, 206 clubs and three distribution centers will be closed, allowing our 25,000 dedicated Team Members the time they deserve to celebrate all that they are grateful for in the company of family and friends.”

4. Burlington

Burlington, no longer Burlington Coat Factory, will remain closed on Thanksgiving, like it has over the last several years. Stores will be open from 7 a.m. on Black Friday.

“All Burlington locations will remain closed on Thanksgiving so that our associates and customers can spend the special holiday with their loved ones," a statement from the company read. "Unlike other retailers that will be offering limited-time holiday discounts on Thanksgiving, Burlington offers designer merchandise at up to 65 percent off department store prices every day. This will allow our customers to stay home and enjoy Thanksgiving with their family and friends without missing out on our stylish merchandise and gifts at great prices.”

5. Costco

Though Costco has some additional hours in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the warehouse will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, as usual.

6. Crate and Barrel

The furniture and lifestyle brand has closed its doors on Thanksgiving since the company was founded in 1962.

7. Dillard's

"We have never been open on Thanksgiving, and this year is no exception," Julie Johnson Bull Inc., director of investor relations, told ABC News. "We choose to remain closed on Thanksgiving to allow our associates time with their families and friends."

Stores open at 8 a.m. on Black Friday.

8. DSW

Earlier this month, the CEO of shoe retailer DSW, Michael R. McDonald, said in a statement, “We have decided not to follow the trend. Instead, we believe family comes first and you should be home celebrating with them on this special holiday. This means none of our stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day...”

9. GameStop

GameStop will be closed on Thanksgiving but open at 12:01 a.m. local time on Black Friday, the video game retailer's spokeswoman said.

"At GameStop we often use the phrase 'protect the family' in reference to our business," the company said, according to Daily Finance. "A large part of what that means to us is to not open any of our GameStop, SimplyMac, Spring Mobile or Cricket Wireless U.S. locations on Thanksgiving Day out of respect for our store associates and their families and friends."

10. Hobby Lobby

Like every Sunday, the arts and crafts chain with 600 stores in 47 states will be closed on Thanksgiving.

11. Home Depot

The home and building store is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

12. HomeGoods

TJX spokeswoman Doreen Thompson told ABC News, “All of our T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post stores will be closed on Thanksgiving and are scheduled to open on Friday morning, November 28th. We consider ourselves an associate-friendly Company, and, we are pleased to give our Associates the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.”

13. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

Jo-Ann stores have never been open Thanksgiving Day, a spokesperson confirmed to ABC News.

14. Marshalls

Like other companies owned by TJX, Marshalls will be closed on Thanksgiving.

15. Nordstrom

"Over the years our tradition has been to be closed on Thanksgiving so we are able to unveil our holiday trim the following morning," said Nordstrom spokesman Dan Evans, Jr.

16. Patagonia

Outdoor retailer Patagonia is not only staying closed on Thanksgiving, but encouraging people to invest in things they already own. On Monday, the company announced an investment in Yerdle, a company that helps people put goods back into circulation and avoid buying new things.

17. Pier 1 Imports

Chrissy Madison, a spokeswoman for Pier 1 Imports, said the store locations are closed on Thursday "to allow our associates to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with their family and friends."

18. Publix

Maria Brous, a Publix spokeswoman, said, "In our 84 year history, we have never opened on Thanksgiving day. We reserve the holiday for associates to be with their families. The same is true of Christmas day and Easter Sunday."

The company will have regular hours on Friday.

19. REI

Like last year, REI will be closed on Thanksgiving, a spokeswoman confirmed, with stores opening at 8 a.m. on Friday.

20. Sam's Club

Unlike its namesake brand, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has one chain that will be closed on Thanksgiving. About 600 Sam's Club locations will not be open for business on Thursday.

21. Sierra Trading Post

Sierra Trading Post will be closed on Thanksgiving with the other TJX companies like Marshalls.

22. T.J. Maxx

"Maxxinistas" can take a break from the brick and mortar store on Thanksgiving.

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Christian Louboutin's Holiday Nail Polish Costs $675


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Designer Christian Louboutin has released a limited-edition nail polish that costs just as much as a pair of his famous red-bottom shoes.

Sold at Sephora, “Starlight” is priced at $675.

But there’s a reason why the red holiday nail lacquer comes with such a hefty price tag.

The bottle, made with 1,500 hand-applied Strass crystals, is encased in an elegant box with a black lacquered finish, according to the product's press release. The leather flower detailing is also adorned in crystals, which mirrors Louboutin's $1,395 Pensamoi high heel pumps.

The rouge polish color is meant to match the same signature red that the designer uses on his iconic shoe soles.

According to Sephora reviews, there are shoppers purchasing the luxury designer polish.

Although some are buying, the high-priced polish is still getting mixed reviews from Sephora shoppers.

“I can't even see my husband buying me something so absurd,” one wrote in an online review.

“Slightly pricey but worth the money,” another said.

Only 1,000 bottles of Starlight have been produced worldwide.

The designer’s original polish collection, Christian Louboutin Nail Colour, sells for a much lower price of $50 at Sephora.com.

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Driver of Recalled GM Vehicle Cleared of Negligent Homicide


Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(CANTON, Texas) -- A woman who had pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in 2004 in a car crash that killed her fiancé was declared innocent on Monday after a district judge determined that the crash was caused by a faulty ignition switch in the car -- the same faulty ignition switch that led millions of General Motors vehicles to be recalled.

An attorney for the woman, Candice Anderson, said in a statement on Monday that "GM knew this defect caused this death yet, instead of telling the truth, watched silently as Candice was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter." The attorney says that the judge granted a Writ of Habeas Corpus, "and in doing so declared Candice Anderson actually innocent of the death of her fiancé."

Hilliard urged GM to "double its efforts to find all victims of this defect." Instead of Anderson, he said that "now, it's time for the true criminal, GM, to have its conduct evaluated by district attorneys around the country so the world knows that billion dollar corporations and those that make the decisions inside those corporations can also go to jail and be subject to the criminal justice system."

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Budweiser Pulling Its Clydesdales from Holiday Ads


Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Budweiser is keeping its Clydesdales in the stable.

In a bid to stop the slide in Budweiser sales to young drinkers, the brand will not be using the traditional horses in holiday advertising.

“The self-proclaimed King of Beers is more of an afterthought among young consumers,” says The Wall Street Journal. “Some 44 percent of 21- to 27-year-old drinkers today have never tried Budweiser, according to the brand’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.”

Instead, Budweiser will be overhauling its marketing campaign, introducing new commercials and sponsoring events like food and music festivals designed to get Millennials to put down their craft beers.

Anheuser-Busch did say, however, that the Budweiser Clydesdales will "be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising."

"The Clydesdales play a strong role for the brand, representing Budweiser quality and care for more than 80 years. As icons of the brand -- and relevant symbols of integrity, perfection and team spirit for all generations -- they are important to the brand and our campaigns," Anheuser-Busch said in a statement Monday.

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Justin Bieber Tops 'Forbes'' List of Highest-Earning Celebrities Under 30


Lisa Rose/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- At just 20 years old, Justin Bieber is officially the highest-paid celebrity under 30 years old.

According to Forbes, the singer made $80 million over a 12-month period, putting him at the top of the publication's list of The Highest-Earning Celebrities Under 30.

Following Bieber is One Direction, which made $75 million, and 24-year-old Taylor Swift, who brought in $64 million.

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New York City Restaurant Serves Up $35,000 Thanksgiving


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s a feast fit for a king.

For a whopping $35,000 big spenders can enjoy a delicious nine-course Thanksgiving dinner. That’s $8,750 per person - and it’s being offered at Old Homestead restaurant in New York City’s Meatpacking District. But co-owner Marc Sherry says it isn’t about the money.

“It’s about the ingredients being used and giving people the Thanksgiving of a lifetime,” he tells ABC News. “For 150 years we’ve been doing the same old turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. This year we wanted to do everything over the top.”

The extravagant dinner includes edible 24-carat gold flakes, sweet potatoes topped with $16,000 Royal Osetra 000 Caviar, squab (young pigeon) stuffed with foie gras, and of course, a turkey.

“The whole turkey is surrounded by seven pounds of prized Wagyu from Japan,” Sherry says. “It’s the finest beef available in the whole world.” In addition to an array of high-end eats, the package comes with grandstand seating at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a $6,000 Bloomingdale’s shopping spree, door-to-door limousine service, and dance lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios to learn the Turkey Trot.

“We are always searing for the bigger event,” says Sherry. “I wanted to have the greatest event for a party of 4 – a Thanksgiving dinner with attitude.”

Old Homestead is hosting for just three parties of four. So far, the restaurant has sold two dinners. Only one of the $35,000 dinners is left up for grabs.

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Dow and S&P Continue to Climb to Record Highs


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 reached new record highs on Monday.

The Dow climbed 7.84 points to 17,817.90, and the S&P jumped 5.91 points to 2,069.41. The Nasdaq went up 41.92 points to 4,754.89.

Retailers were among the biggest gainers as traders hoped for a solid holiday shopping season. The consumer "discretionary" sector, which includes Coach, Urban Outfitters, and The Gap, led blue-chip gains.

Merck has entered a partnership with a small drug developer to research and manufacture a potential Ebola vaccine. The vaccine is under early development by BioProtection Systems, a subsidiary of NewLink Genetics Corp.

A third of employees have to work on Thanksgiving, which is down slightly from 37% last year. The percentage of employees who work on Thanksgiving has been dropping over the past 15 years, as nearly half worked on Thanksgiving in 2000.

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CPSC Chair Challenges Craigslist: It’s Time to ‘Step Up’


Craigslist founder Craig Newmark speaks with ABC News outside his San Francisco home in 2014. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a challenge to Craigslist to make its site safer for consumers following a joint investigation between ABC News and ABC affiliates across the country, which showed potentially hazardous recalled products for sale on the popular online ad site.

CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement over the weekend that the ABC News investigation “independently corroborated the fact that Craigslist allows the sales of dangerous, recalled products.” He also wrote that the network’s reporting "also appears to have contributed to a potential new stance on safety by Craigslist.”

Kaye called Craigslist’s current efforts to thwart dangerous product resales “clearly not sufficient” but said that he looks forward to meeting with company representatives.

“To the extent that Craigslist is finally ready to step up in a genuine fashion to protect children from the sale of recalled products, my team is more than willing to work together with [Craigslist CEO] Mr. [Jim] Buckmaster's team. I look forward to receiving his letter and communicating with him directly on a possible path forward that will protect consumers, especially children,” wrote Kaye.

The joint investigation conducted by ABC News' 20/20 and 17 local affiliates revealed the Craigslist site is loaded with items that are illegal to sell because they have been recalled for safety defects. Other major reseller sites, like eBay and Amazon, employ robust technological safeguards to flag or block posts of recalled products -- measures Kaye said Craigslist refuses to match.

But after ABC News started asking questions, Kaye said it appears Craigslist may be changing their stance.

“I am aware that Craigslist has posted a letter regarding some new steps they finally plan to take to prevent the sale of recalled products -- many of which can be deadly to children,” said Kaye. “I am hopeful that CPSC and Craigslist can work together to make the online marketplace far safer.”

Kaye’s statement was partly in response to an open letter posted online Friday by Buckmaster, which said that while he agrees the consumer product recall system is deeply flawed, he was “dismayed” by Kaye’s remarks in the ABC News reports, like when Kaye called the company “morally irresponsible” for not doing all it can to prevent the sale of recalled products.

“You rightly lamented to ABC [News] that for a typical recall, 95 [percent] of the recalled items are still in the hands of consumers 5 years after the recall notice…These figures are utterly shocking,” the letter from Buckmaster says. “Imagine our dismay when you and ABC ‘came out shooting’ at craigslist. Last we knew from your representatives, earlier this year, we were taking all appropriate steps to reduce the number of free classified ads for recall items by craigslist users.”

Buckmaster invited Kaye to San Francisco to “discuss how craigslist can further assist the CPSC in addressing product recalls.”

Kaye's full statement is below:

I commend Brian Ross, his investigative unit at ABC News, and ABC affiliates across the country, which independently corroborated the fact that Craigslist allows the sales of dangerous, recalled products. The network's reporting also appears to have contributed to a potential new stance on safety by Craigslist.

I am aware that Craigslist has posted a letter regarding some new steps they finally plan to take to prevent the sale of recalled products—many of which can be deadly to children. I am hopeful that CPSC and Craigslist can work together to make the online marketplace far safer.

To the best of our knowledge, as confirmed by ABC News, Craigslist has programmed their system to stop only one recalled consumer product (the Nap Nanny infant recliner, which is responsible for numerous infant deaths) from being posted for sale on their website. By monitoring CPSC's weekly postings of recalls on our website, as many online retailers do, Craigslist staff can actively identify dangerous products that should be blocked on their site. If they can stop the recalled Nap Nanny from being resold, we believe that Craigslist can keep children and consumers safe by stopping transactions involving other hazardous products.

After the reports by Brian Ross and ABC affiliates started airing, it appears that Craigslist added a caution notice when a seller selects the “baby and kids stuff” category. The warning states, ‘no illegal sales of recall items, e.g. drop-side cribs, recalled strollers.’ This is a positive step forward. Yet, even with the caution notice and link to CPSC’s website, sellers can still post most recalled items. Thus, that step alone is clearly not sufficient.

To the extent that Craigslist is finally ready to step up in a genuine fashion to protect children from the sale of recalled products, my team is more than willing to work together with Mr. Buckmaster's team. I look forward to receiving his letter and communicating with him directly on a possible path forward that will protect consumers, especially children.

Elliot F. Kaye Chairman U.S. CPSC

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Save Cash on Thanksgiving Dinner Despite Higher Food Costs


John E. Kelly/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The price of Thanksgiving dinner might be going up, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank to get turkey and all the fixings on the table.

This year, various foodstuffs popular around the holiday are more expensive -- including sweet potatoes, cream, milk and pumpkin pie mix.

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people will cost $49.41, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, up 37 cents from last year.

Chef Candice Kumai told ABC News that when it comes to deal-hunting around the holidays, she turns to her mom, Miho Kumai Gwiazdowski, to find out how to cut corners without sacrificing taste. If you're pinching pennies but also hosting, here's how to get the most bang for your buck:

Skip the Sweet Potatoes

The price of sweet potatoes is up this year, but most guests will be plenty happy with an alternative starchy side: garlic mashed potatoes or potatoes au gratin, for example.

"Look in the ads and see which place has the best prices. Usually, you can get a 10-pound bag of russet potatoes during the holidays for a couple dollars!" Kumai said, noting that it's one of her mom's favorite money-saving tricks.

If you're really craving the sweet potato side dish, consider mixing them with regular potatoes.

"You could take the sweet potatoes and combine them with a little bit of russet as well, and make a sweet potato mash," Kumai said. "If you're really on a budget you can combine things like that to bulk them up. And that way, you can still incorporate a little cinnamon and sugar, and do a sweet mash."

Get Creative with Dairy

Dairy is also more expensive this year, but there's a clever shortcut if you don't already have cream on hand.

"So everybody today usually has Greek yogurt or regular yogurt in their fridge," Kumai said. "And I typically put a little Greek yogurt in my mashed potatoes to keep them creamy, without adding extra milk or cream. So it saves on calories and you won't actually have to go out and buy milk."

"That can take the place of everything from sour cream to milk and heavy cream," she added.

Stock Up on Turkey

Turkeys are actually cheaper this year, so no need to skimp on the main part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, Kumai recommends stocking up on the birds.

"Most shopping centers have this deal where if you spend $25 or $50 at the store, they give you a discounted turkey," she said. "They basically want you to buy your whole meal there."

"My mom got a 20-pound turkey for $12 this year by doing that! She loves the deal so much that she buys two turkeys during Thanksgiving, because it's always cheaper, and then she freezes one for Christmas," she said.

Delegate Desserts

The price of pumpkin pie mix is up this year, but another popular sweet -- cranberries -- is cheaper. So keep that in mind when making desert.

You might swap pumpkin pie for ice cream or sorbet topped with leftover cranberries, or cranberry cheesecake, Kumai said.

Or, you can always ask someone else to bring the pie.

Dilute Booze, But Don't Skimp on Coffee

If the American Farm Bureau Federation's price estimate sounds cheap to you, it's probably because the group doesn't take alcohol into consideration.

Drinks could end up being the priciest part of hosting dinner, Kumai said. She suggests offering wine spritzers instead of wine to save cash and stretch your supply. Plus, you'll reduce your risk of drunk guests.

"Especially because you don't want to drink and drive during the holidays," she added.

The AFBF notes coffee prices are up this year, too, but that doesn't mean you can get away with only serving post-dinner tea.

"It's a personal preference thing," she said. "It's best to have both on hand. You can offer tea, but don't push."

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wsar storm cancellations for SouthCoast, and Rhode Island

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ACTIVE CANCELLATIONS

 

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When the weather turns bad

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