Black Friday, Venezuela, Florence Henderson: Your Friday Briefing

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Shoppers at Macy’s Herald Square in Manhattan during the Black Friday sales.

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Andrew Kelly/Reuters

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

• The next secretary of state.

The naming of the nation’s top diplomat isn’t expected before next week, but Republicans already appear divided over the top contenders for the job: Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, and Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former New York City mayor.

Mr. Romney’s previous criticism of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Mr. Giuliani’s foreign business dealings are viewed by rival factions as strikes against them. Gen. John Kelly of the Marines, and David H. Petraeus, the retired general and former C.I.A. director, have surfaced as alternative choices.

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• Trump’s economic team.

The president-elect is expected to select the billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary, which would make him the latest major Republican donor to join the administration. Todd Ricketts, an owner of the Chicago Cubs, is likely to be chosen as the deputy secretary.

This week, Mr. Trump said he would name Betsy DeVos, another prominent donor and a proponent of giving families taxpayer money to attend private schools, as his education secretary.

Green Party candidate pushes for recount.

Jill Stein’s campaign said on Thursday that it had enough financing to pay for a review of the election results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that Mr. Trump narrowly won.

The effort was not intended to help Hillary Clinton, whose supporters have also called for a recount in those states, the campaign said.

War on ISIS.

With a series of drone strikes, American and allied forces have killed some of the most important members of the Islamic State’s social media operations, a group the F.B.I. calls “the Legion.”

On Thursday, at least 80 people died in Iraq after an Islamic State suicide bomb attack targeting Shiite pilgrims. In Syria, the U.S. military suffered its first combat death in its fight there against the militant group.

• Fleeing Venezuela.

Venezuela was once one of Latin America’s richest countries because of its oil wealth, but its economic collapse has thousands of desperate residents streaming across the Amazon Basin to reach Brazil.

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Venezuelan migrants boarding a smuggler’s boat that will take them to the island of Curaçao.


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Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

“We’re already seeing Venezuelan lawyers working as supermarket cashiers, Venezuelan women resorting to prostitution, indigenous Venezuelans begging at traffic intersections,” a Brazilian official said.

• Crisis in California.

The Salinas Valley is called the salad bowl of the nation. But the workers who pick the crops there are facing poverty and malnutrition.

“The people who grow our food can’t afford to eat it, and they are sicker because of it,” said an advocate for farmworkers.

Business

• Black Friday is here. We’ll be reporting from malls around the country, collecting stories from shoppers.

And if your shopping will be done online, give our new holiday gift guide a look. It includes reviews for popular products to help you find good deals and avoid bad ones.

With cannabis cultivation becoming a big business in states where it is legal, power companies are struggling to handle the intensive energy demands needed for the crop.

A utility in Washington State offers grants to marijuana makers to switch to more efficient LED grow lights, which can cost up to $1,600 each.

How much is enough? That is the question of almost every inquiry into personal finances, our columnist writes.

Elizabeth Warren offered a bit of advice during her time as a professor: Spend 50 percent on needs, 30 percent on wants and 20 percent on savings.

• U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday; the markets were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Noteworthy

• In memoriam.

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Florence Henderson in 2014. Before “The Brady Bunch,” she had built an impressive reputation with stage work.

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Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Florence Henderson, the actress known best as the mom on “The Brady Bunch,” died on Thursday. She was 82.

Once asked how she would like to be remembered, she said, “Probably as someone who survived for a long time in a very tough business and, hopefully, managed to retain a sense of humanity.”

• Sandy slopes.

Snowboarding can be difficult to practice if there’s no snow. Our latest 360 video looks at how teenagers in Peru make do with sand.

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Sandboarding in Peru

Peruvian teenagers dream of snowboarding. There’s only one problem: There’s no snow. Watch how they make do with sand instead.


By KASSIE BRACKEN, SAMANTHA QUICK and VEDA SHASTRI on Publish Date November 25, 2016.


Photo by Kassie Bracken/The New York Times. Technology by Samsung. .

Watch in Times Video »

• At the movies.

Our movie critics parsed Hollywood’s latest offerings and chose five films worth seeing this weekend: “Moana,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Bad Santa 2,” “Arrival” and “Almost Christmas.”

What to read.

Year-end lists are appearing. Here’s one compiling the 100 notable books of 2016. Our critics also offer suggestions on books to give as holiday gifts.

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Residents of Tokyo woke up to something the city hasn’t had in November in over 50 years: snow.

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Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• Recipe of the day.

For something light, try this farro salad with tomatoes, arugula and pistachios.

Back Story

More than a billion tons of food is wasted each year, according to a U.N. agency, and the United States is the among the biggest offenders.

The country wastes about 400 pounds of food per person, yet one in seven Americans goes hungry each day, according to one estimate.

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Thanksgiving dinner being served in Scranton, Pa. The United States wastes about 400 pounds of food per person each year, yet thousands of Americans go hungry.

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Butch Comegys/The Times & Tribune, via Associated Press

But amid the gloomy news, a recent report by Harvard University outlined several innovative efforts taking place worldwide to minimize waste.

A pair of apps attack the problem in two ways. One in San Francisco locates places with unused food so that it can be driven to shelters and churches. Another serving the European Union alerts consumers to deals on items nearing their expiration dates.

Inhospitable climates can also contribute to food waste. A solar-powered refrigerator has been used to preserve food in a particularly hot region of India.

Sometimes it’s a matter of looks. Misshapen fruits and vegetables are often tossed. A company in Germany picks up “odd-looking” edibles and cooks them for catered events. Many French supermarkets offer discounts on “ugly” fruits and vegetables — sometimes as much as 30 percent.

The kitchen is also a focal point of a three-pronged program in Washington. Unemployed residents are trained to be chefs. Using unwanted food, they make meals for the homeless.

As for how we can reduce food waste at home, an expert offers a simple tip: Buy less and freeze more.

Kenneth R. Rosen contributed reporting.

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