US retailers reported bumper sales of $52bn over the Thansgiving Weekend when many stores advanced the traditional midnight opening on Thanksgiving night.

Online sales were up by one-third on 2010.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, told Parliament that the government's target of eliminating the UK's structural debit by 2014/15 would not be met. Some two million trade unionists in Britain's public service held a national one-day protest againt changes to their pension rights proposed by the government.

At least 24 Pakistan troops were killed in Nato air attacks on two frontier posts bordering Afghanistan. Although apologies were made by high-level Nato and US representatives the Pakistan government made clear that what had happened was “unacceptable” and would affect relations between the two countries.

Hillary Clinton became the first US Secretary of State to visit Burma for 50 years. She held talks with the recently elected reform-minded President Thein Sein and also met Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy who has been released from house arrest by the president.

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