12 Black Friday tips and tricks to get you best deals at best price

It’s time for Black Friday 2016 already, and even as you are starting to panic in anticipation of the long queues and the endless noise that is part of the shopping crowd, we tell you how you can ease your woes and make the best of your energy, time, and of course, your money!

12 Tips That Will Ease Your Black Friday Shopping Plans

Try out these expert shopping tips that will help you shop smarter on Black Friday, and let you make the most of your time and effort.

1. Make That Wishlist – Even as you browse through various online catalogues to find out what deals are about to come up, keep selecting your favourite items and add them in the wish list. The best part is that you can always access them on your phone, even as you wait in the queue or run about from store to store.

2. Grab The Apps – Almost all your favourite brands and stores have an app that you can carry with you in your smartphone. So, instead of waiting to be surprised at the store and losing out on precious time, scan the apps and stay updated about what items are going to be available as part of the best deals. It will really help you plan out your shopping time accordingly.

3. Check Specific Black Friday Sites Or Apps – Instead of trying to find out about deals from various brands and stores, go to specific Black Friday sites and apps that can offer you curated information about the most happening deals across stores and sites. You can also take a look at our list of the 45 hottest Black Friday deals for 2016. Some such sites that can offer you all the information on Black Friday deals are RetailMeNot.com and TGIBlackFriday.com.

4. Compare And Hunt – Even before you go all gaga over that particular Black Friday ad that you saw about something you were meaning to pick up, make sure to do a little homework and compare the prices. Use a price comparing site, such as PriceGrabber, to help you compare the prices of the products you are planning to buy. If nothing else, it will show you whether or not you are really getting a good deal on something as part of a Black Friday sale, or if you can skip it and pick up later instead.

5. Go Online – Believe it or not, some of the best deals are even better when you shop for them online. In fact, you will see that the online deals are open even before the deals in store are on, so it is a good way to check for your specific shopping list online first, and then head out to the store. Look out for lightning deals and online ads that will showcase upcoming deals for Black Friday. Not just that, some online sites also allow you to book a particular Black Friday item online and avail the discounts, and later collect it from your nearest local store. In case you do not find it online, you can head out to the store on the main day.

6. Plan Your Electronic Shopping – Some of the best deals on electronic items are always available on Black Friday. So, if you are a gadget freak and love your gaming consoles, tablets, smart phones, smart watches and all of these wonderful goodies, make sure to get your electronic wish list ready and prepare to grab them during the massive sale weekend. The Black Friday deals that you get on electronics are undoubtedly the best you can expect to get through the year, so focus, plan and shop accordingly.

7. Be An Early Bird – If getting more out of the best deal is what you are looking for, make sure to queue up at the store before dawn, or even better, around midnight before the sale is officially even open. Some of the big brands are known to add extra gifts for their early customers by offering additional discounts or free gifts. It could be anything from a gift card to coupons that give you additional discounts on your overall purchase.

8. Split Up To Shop (With Your Group) – It is almost impossible to grab everything alone on your list on a Black Friday. Instead of missing out on great deals and not being able to find what you are looking for, a good way to do this is to plan an outing with friends. Make a list of which person goes to which store and who has to pick up which item Black Friday 2016 Ad. The more people you have in your group, the easier it will be for you to spread out and reach for more.

9. Get A Gift Receipt – Considering the fact that much of the items you buy will also be shared as gifts, it is important that you remember to ask for a gift receipt. A gift receipt will mention the item you bought, as well as the date of purchase, but will not mention the price, as it is a ‘gift’ item. The receipt will make it easier to return the product in case it has to be returned or exchanged for any reason.

10. Start From Thursday, Not Friday – If you are looking to maximise your Black Friday deals, the best day to start hunting is Thursday, and not actually Friday. Even though the biggest and most exclusive deals may be available on the main day itself, most stores have started to open their doors to the special deals a day in advance, which is, Thursday. Also, Black Friday will have the maximum number of shoppers at any given store, so if there are some items that you know will not be on huge discounts but that you still need to buy, you could well pick them up on Thursday. Also, most online stores will start their Black Friday sale from Thursday itself. So make sure to check those out as well.

11. Make Best Use Of Gift Cards – A lot of the brands offer huge benefits in terms of gift cards, when you shop for a particular amount or product. While doing your overall spending, calculate the amount on the gift card and try to use it at the same time, as it can help to bring down the price even further. Not just that, if certain brands or stores do not allow using the gift card on the same day or on the same purchase, you can always exchange it for another gift card at a gift card exchange site, such as Raise.

12. Stay Energised – While this is not really a shopping tip, it is definitely going to help you shop better. Remember that shopping on Black Friday means going without real food for hours, as you stand in queues or run from one store to the other. In such a scenario, make sure you have an early start and stock up on something filling to eat before you head out for your shopping. Remember to carry enough water or fluids to last you for some time, as well as stock up on some fruits, nuts or granola bars to munch on when you feel hungry. After all, it won’t really make sense to stand in a queue for hours, only to faint with hunger or exhaustion just when you are about to reach out for that item.

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Steve Jobs-inspired campus to open in April

Apple announced on Wednesday that it will begin moving employees into a 2.9 million-square-foot facility, the plans for which had been presented by the late co-founder Steve Jobs in his last public event in 2011, in April, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The facility’s plans were presented by Jobs during a city council meeting in Cupertino, California, where Apple is headquartered. According to the report, the spaceship-shaped building and tree-filled park will serve as the new campus for the tech giant. Further, the new campus has a new 1,000-seat auditorium which will be named in honour of the co-founder as the Steve Jobs Theatre. The building, the report added, cost Apple $5 billion and faced cost delays.

The new 175-acre Apple Park will be open to employees from April, while the construction of buildings and parklands is scheduled to continue through the year, the US tech giant announced.

In a press statement on its official website, Apple said that the process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six months.

“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The campus’ ring-shaped, 2.8 million-square-foot main building is clad entirely in the world’s largest panels of curved glass.

“Steve invested so much of his energy creating and supporting vital, creative environments. We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same Steve jobs enthusiasm and design principles that characterise our products,” said Jonathan Ive, chief design officer, Apple.

Apple Park will include a visitors centre with an Apple Store and cafe open to the public, a 100,000-square-foot fitness centre for Apple employees and development facilities and the Steve Jobs Theatre.

The Park has been designed in collaboration with “Foster + Partners” and it replaces five million-square-feet of asphalt and concrete with grassy fields and over 9,000 native and drought-resistant trees, and is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

Grammy 2017: Chance the Rapper wins again

Chance the Rapper won the Grammy for best rap album on Sunday night, something that he was not expecting at all.

“I didn’t think we were gonna win this one,” Chance said while accepting the gold saxophone for his album “Coloring Book”.

“It’s another one, baby!” the 23-year-old musician yelled to the crowd after thanking his team, his family and friends in his acceptance speech.

This was Chance’s third win at the award show. Earlier in the show, the “Blessings” rapper accepted the award for best new artist. Before the show began, he also got the Grammys 2017 for best rap performance for his hit track “No Problem”.

“Coloring Book” made headlines when it was first released back in May by becoming the first album to make it into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 based entirely on streams.

The other nominations in the category included the Kanye West’s “The Life Of Pablo”, Drake’s “Views”, De La Soul’s ” …And The Anonymous Nobody”, DJ Khaled’s “Major Key” and Schoolboy Q’s “Blank Face LP”.

The award show, honouring the best of music around the world, is taking place at the Staples Centre here.

How undocumented immigrants negotiate a place for themselves in the US

Once undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers arrive on American soil, they run the risk of being stopped by law enforcement officials who are charged with investigating their status. A Feb. 17 memo released by the Department of Homeland Security reveals how great this risk will be under President Donald Trump.

The department is planning to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents and has widened the scope of immigrants who are a priority for deportation. It also calls for an expansion of the 287(g) program that designates law enforcement officers as immigration officers, which poses a series of questions that are as of yet unanswered. What kind of training will they receive? Will they speak more languages than English? What are their competencies in areas such as cross cultural communications?

My research has indicated that many, if not most, encounters between noncitizens and police focus solely on the violation or crime, rather than immigration status. But accusations about arresting officers violating noncitizens’ rights through, for example, excessive force and abuse have raised questions about who is targeted, and why some migrants are arrested and others let go.

The stakes are extremely high for immigrants – especially at the borders and during traffic stops. Officers exercise discretion as to how to treat each case. The risk now is that officers’ decisions are being informed by a White House that claims undocumented people and asylum seekers are unwanted because they are criminals or terrorists. Research shows that exposure to anti-immigration laws can easily trigger negative racial attitudes within the population and among officers of the law. As the research of historian of ideas Marc Angenot has suggested, the social discourse is modified by proclamations coming from powerful voices, such as governments. So a version of reality that describes vulnerable migrants as criminals can affect what is said about migrants, and thus affect how an officer will choose to enforce the law.

Following up on my recent book, “Undocumented Immigrants in an Era of Arbitrary Law,” I’m focusing my new research on how language is at play during “first encounters” between migrants and officials in the US I’m interviewing officers and officials on the front lines to learn how language and communications affect whether and how they will enforce federal immigration rules, statutes and regulations.

From translating to interpreting

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented migrants in the US, including those living in mixed-status households. This suggests that officers will have to make tough choices about enforcement. Language, among many other factors, can play an important role in these decisions. Most undocumented migrants speak Spanish, but even in a single language there are issues of accents, intonations and inflection. A Spanish speaker trained in Spain may have great difficulty understanding a Cuban speaker, for example, and given how crucial are these first encounters, the resulting misunderstandings could be very damaging.

When a person with a viable asylum claim enters the US, or when an undocumented person is stopped by a police officer, the first challenge that the migrant faces is to simply make him or herself understood in English. In some cases, the officer has foreign language training, which can help. But even if there is adequate linguistic skill, US Immigration communication issues are more than just the rendering of one language into another.

An immigration lawyer I interviewed indicated to me: “There is a cultural barrier. For instance, Guatemalans tend to be very deferential, so they do not want to answer any question directly. Many of their answers begin with: ‘Thank God that…’ and then just continue along beginning at a point that is two years before anything happened. [Even] for a translator it’s very difficult, because they want to just go all over the place, and the answer has nothing to do with the question.”

In such a situation, the officer has to fill in a lot of the missing details in order to understand key facts.

The hesitations of this Guatemalan immigrant may be interpreted as the logical unfolding of a complex intercultural interaction. Or, they could be seen as evidence that he is nervous because he is harboring criminal intentions. This is where the transmission of information moves from translation to interpretation, from a purely linguistic act to a kind of negotiation.

Donald Trump calls China the ‘grand champions’ of currency manipulation

President Donald Trump declared China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation on Thursday, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analysing Beijing’s foreign exchange practices.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump said he has not “held back” in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan currency, despite not acting on a campaign promise to declare it a currency manipulator on his first day in office.

“Well they, I think they’re grand champions at manipulation of currency. So I haven’t held back,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

During his presidential campaign Trump frequently accused China of keeping its currency artificially low against the dollar to make Chinese exports cheaper, “stealing” American manufacturing jobs.

But Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday he was not ready to pass judgement on China’s currency practices.

Asked if the US Treasury was planning to name China a currency manipulator any time soon, Mnuchin said he would follow its normal process of analysing the currency practices of major US trading partners.

The Treasury is required to publish a report on these practices on April 15 and October 15 each year.

“We have a process within Treasury where we go through and look at currency manipulation across the board. We’ll go through that process. We’ll do that as we have in the past,” Mnuchin said in his first Donald Trump televised interview since formally taking over the department last week. “We’re not making any judgements until we go continue that process.”

A formal declaration that China or any other country manipulates its currency requires the US Treasury to seek negotiations to resolve the situation, a process that could end in punitive tariffs on the offender’s goods.

The US Treasury designated Taiwan and South Korea as currency manipulators in 1988, the year that Congress enacted the currency review law. China was the last country to get the designation, in 1994.

The current situation is complicated because China’s central bank has spent billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves in the past year to prop up the yuan to counter capital outflows.

The International Monetary Fund said last year that the yuan’s value was broadly in line with its economic fundamentals. The US Treasury also said in its last currency report in October that its view of China’s external imbalances had improved somewhat.

Trump’s pronouncements about the yuan could also complicate matters for Mnuchin as he prepares for his first meeting next month with his Group of 20 finance minister counterparts in Baden, Germany.

Govt yet to take unanimous stand on Apple demands

There is still no unanimity within the government over Apple Inc’s demand for various incentives to make iPhones in the country.

While the demand may be well received by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the finance ministry is yet to make up its mind on the issue.

“DIPP is favourably considering Apple Inc proposal for incentives this time. But these are yet to be considered by the finance ministry,” a government official said. The Cupertino-based tech giant is asking for tax concessions, including lower import and manufacturing duties, as well as relaxation in domestic sourcing norms to make iPhones in India, which were rejected by the finance ministry.

Apple also wants to open its own stores in India.

Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year with regard to the company’s plan to enter the Indian manufacturing and retail space.

No new Rs 1,000 notes are being printed: Shaktikanta Das

After reports surfaced of new Rs 1,000 and higher denomination notes coming into circulation, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das has refuted it.

Earlier on Wednesday, Das took to Twitter to issue a clarification on the aforementioned matter. “We have no plans of introducing new Rs 1,000 notes,” stated Das.

“The focus will be on increasing production and supply of Rs 500 and other notes of lower denomination,” Das further clarified. In a tweet that followed, Das assured India Economy News that the request to monitor the withdrawal of cash is being assessed.

“I request everyone to withdraw only the amount that is required, since excessive withdrawal of cash deprives cash for others,” Das urged. In December 2016, new Rs 500 notes were released for circulation, aiming to ease the situation post demonetisation, the initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in order to curb circulation of black money in the economy.

After circulation of Rs 500 and 1,000 notes came to a standstill, rumours surfaced regarding a possibility of the introduction of completely new notes.

Trump plans to deport Mexico immigrants, regardless of nationality

Buried deep in the Trump administration’s plans to round up undocumented immigrants is a provision certain to enrage Mexico – new authority for federal agents to deport anyone caught crossing the southern border to Mexico, regardless of where they are from.

If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico. Currently, such people are detained in the U.S. and allowed to request asylum.

President Trump wants them to do so from Mexico, communicating via video conference calls with U.S. immigration officials from facilities that Mexico would presumably be forced to build.

“This would say if you want to make a claim for asylum or whatever we’ll hear your case but you are going to wait in Mexico,” a DHS official said. “Those are details that are being worked out both within the department and between the US government and the government of Mexico … there are elements that still need to be worked out in detail.

Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Mexico later this week to meet with representatives of the Mexican government. It remains unclear if they will discuss this issue.

The new authority for immigration agents is among the dramatic, some would say untenable, tactics the Trump administration is preparing to deploy as it upends President Obama’s policies on illegal immigration.

A pair of memos signed by John Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, and publicly released on Tuesday outline the plans for what present and former government officials say will be a massive roundup of undocumented immigrants. Near final drafts of the memos had leaked over the weekend and had been first reported by McClatchy.

Officials disclosed that two former Senate aides to Attorney General Jeff Sessions drafted the plan without input from career DHS policy staffers. The ideas aren’t new. Many of the approaches described in the memos come from a 1996 law that policy makers and law enforcement agents had disregarded as either unenforceable or absurd.

“Most of these provisions of law have been there for decades,” the DHS official said. “We are simply trying to execute what Congress has asked us to do.”

Among them was the Mexico part of the plan, for example, which calls for returning undocumented immigrants “to the foreign contiguous territory from which they arrived.” The memo goes on to point out how foisting the immigrants onto Mexico would benefit DHS’s budget, saying that it would, “save the Department’s detention and adjudication resources for other priority aliens.”

However, former senior Mexican and American immigration officials said it could very well create new security problems along the border, as authorities in each country push unwanted migrants back and forth.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association said that the proposal would violate U.S. law and international treaty obligations. Mexico is as likely to embrace the plan as it did the notion of paying for a wall. “I would expect Mexico to respond with an emphatic ‘No,'” said Gustavo Mohar, a former senior Mexican immigration and national security policy official.

Whether viable or not, the Trump administration’s deportation plans mark a dramatic departure from decades of policy and practice. Current and former immigration policy officials say that while the details of how the administration intends to carry out the plans remain unclear – if not insurmountable – the administration’s overall message to enforcement agents across the country is clear: the limits have been lifted.

President Obama attempted to focus enforcement efforts on immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes, and on those who were caught while or shortly after illegally entering the country. Still, his administration deported record numbers of immigrants, most of whom had only been accused of minor crimes and immigration violations.

The Trump administration says it, too, is focused on deporting criminals, but it has redefined crimes to include any activity that might bring a conviction, including entering the U.S. without permission. Effectively, that makes virtually everyone in the U.S. without a proper visa subject to roundup at their workplace or home.

“If you are present in the U.S. without being admitted or paroled or having overstayed your visa, the immigration laws of the U.S. subject you to removal,” the DHS official said. “Everyone who is in violation of the laws is theoretically subject to enforcement. The Department has limited resources and we will, to the extent that we can, focus on folks who have committed serious crimes.”

The only clear exception, according to the enforcement plan and the DHS briefing, is for immigrants who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers.

“Anyone who complained about Obama as the deporter-in-chief,” said David Martin, formerly DHS’s principal deputy general counsel, “is unfortunately going to get a taste of what it’s like when someone is really gung-ho.”

Greg Chen, the policy director at AILA, said the Trump plan would “effectively unleash a massive deportation force with extremely broad authority to use detention as the default mechanism for anyone suspected of violating immigration law.”

The question looming over the proposals is how many of them, with all their legal and logistical obstacles, will the president actually be able to carry out.

The memos, for example, authorize the Border Patrol to hire 5,000 new agents, even though the force has never been able to fill the slots it has already been allotted. Some 60 percent of applicants to the Border H-1B visas Patrol fail the required polygraph, and those who pass take 18 months to get sent out into the field.

The Trump plan calls for the expansion of a George W. Bush-era program, known as 287g, which allows DHS to deputize state and local police as immigration agents. It was touted after 9/11 as a critical “force-multiplier.” But by 2010, some of the country’s largest police departments were refusing to participate because they believed it would shatter the trust between their officers and the communities they were sworn to protect. Meanwhile, participating agencies, which foot the bill for the program, were suddenly saddled with new debts and hounded by accusations of racial profiling and other abuse, forcing the Obama administration to suspend expansion of the program.

Until now, the enforcement of summary deportation laws, known as “expedited removal,” have been limited to those apprehended within 14 days of illegally entering the country and within 100 miles of Canada or Mexico. The memos signed by Kelly would allow use of those laws anywhere in the country against anyone who entered illegally within the past two years.

Lucas Guttentag, a former DHS adviser and Stanford law professor, said this would “unleash chaos,” violate due process, and meet challenges in court, similar to those that scuttled the administration’s travel ban.

There would also be aggressive challenges, lawyers said, to plans that would allow immigration agents to deport unaccompanied minor children who crossed the border illegally, rather than uniting them with parents or other relatives in the U.S.

The reason for discussing unaccompanied minors is ” that they have been abandoned by their parents or legal guardians,” the DHS official said. If it is “determined that there is a parent or guardian in the U.S. that they can be handed over to, then DHS needs to take a hard look over whether that person is actually” an unaccompanied minor.

“There will be a renewed focus on ensuring that folks don’t abuse the system,” the DHS official added.

They also expect legal opposition to a proposal that would strip undocumented immigrants of existing privacy protections, allowing personal information such as asylum cases or immigration violations to be publicly disclosed.

“We want to ensure that our privacy policies are consistent with the law,” the DHS official said. “The Privacy Act applies by statute to citizens” and green card holders. “The President has asked us to align our laws with what congress has directed.”

“The Trump people have clearly bought into the model of harsh enforcement. They apparently think, ‘we’ll be tough, and a lot of people will leave on their own,'” said Martin, an immigration law professor at the University of Virginia. “They believe they’ll win in the court of public opinion. I’m not sure about that. A lot of Americans know hard-working undocumented immigrants. The kind of enforcement Trump’s people are talking about will visibly create many more sympathetic cases than unsympathetic ones.”

Some of the provisions explicitly acknowledge that it could take years before DHS has the manpower and money to pull off what the president has ordered. Immigration enforcement agents, however, have already begun filling the policy void by launching raids and deportations, including some that advocates worry are meant to test the limits. Meanwhile panic has taken hold in many immigrant communities.

“The level of fear is more than anything we’ve ever seen,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. She said the plan’s sweep, “sent a chill to my bones,” because it threatens to do irreparable harm to millions of families. She added, “This all seems aimed at changing who we are as a nation.”