News Update for Thursday, November 23

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Thanksgiving Day and Macy’s

Source: The New York Times

The Thanksgiving parade in 1948. Credit: Meyer Liebowitz/The New York Times

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an indelible and durable holiday tradition. However, battered by e-commerce competition, the company is struggling to stay afloat, and the magic of the department store has faded in this era of instant online gratification and free home delivery. Today, the company’s main asset are the properties that it owns.  It’s real estate value, an estimated $16 billion, is worth more than the company’s market value of $6.4 billion. Although the Manhattan flagship, a tourist attraction in New York, will not be sold, many other buildings are being disposed of and turned into offices and condominiums. Perhaps the most vivid marker of that change is the conversion of much of the Macy’s store in downtown Seattle into offices. The new tenant will be Amazon — the very force that is pushing Macy’s and other retailers to rethink the need for many of their stores.


Bosnian Warlord Convicted

Source: The New York Times

Dimitar Dilkoff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

After a trial that lasted 22 years, the Bosnian Serb warlord Ratko Mladic, 75, was sentenced to life in prison by a U.N. tribunal. He was convicted of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in the slaughter of Bosnian Muslims during the breakup of Yugoslavia. People celebrated the sentence in Srebrenica, where 8,000 men and boys were executed by Mr. Mladic’s forces.


Argentine Sub Still Missing

Source: Los Angeles Times

Brazilian navy Capt. Jose Americo Alexandre Dias climbs the hatch of the Brazilian submarine Timbira. Brazil and other nations are taking part in an international search for the missing Argentine submarine San Juan. (Leo Correa / AFP/Getty Images)

Despite a multinational search and rescue effort involving aircraft, ships and personnel lent by a number of countries, not a trace of the Argentine submarine has been found, nor has a distress signal been received since sub Capt. Pedro Martin Fernandez reported a battery short circuit on Nov. 15, a problem he later said had been repaired.

With the ship’s oxygen supply running low or having run out, family members and Argentine officials are preparing themselves for what may be a tragic outcome.


Found Innocent after 39 Years

Source: Los Angeles Times

Craig Coley is shown when he was booked on suspicion of murder, left, and recently, after he was informed by authorities that he’d been cleared. (Simi Valley Police Department)

Craig Coley has been pardoned by Governor Jerry Brown of California after spending 39 years in prison for two murders he did not commit. In 1978, Simi Valley was shocked by the violent deaths of a young mother and her 4-year-old son, and Coley was convicted and sentenced to life without parole after a second trial. During his almost four decades behind bars, he maintained his innocence. Investigations in recent years concluded that he was telling the truth. Coley had no criminal history and was a model inmate during his incarceration, avoiding gangs and dedicating himself to religion. “The grace with which Mr. Coley has endured this lengthy and unjust incarceration is extraordinary,” Brown wrote in the pardon.

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