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KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — A profane phone call and Jimmy Buffett’s inability to keep his daily planner organized 50 years ago in Miami set in motion events that changed the music world. Those events made the singer-songwriter one of the most beloved entertainers in America. And one of the wealthiest, with a net worth around $600 million.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Americans overlooked shortages, spiking prices and uncertainty over the omicron variant to break spending records during the critical holiday shopping season. But figures released Friday show that after spending robustly early in the holiday season, consumers sharply slowed their purchases from November to December.

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Benjamin Whitely headed to a Safeway supermarket in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to grab some items for dinner. But he was disappointed to find the vegetable bins barren and a sparse selection of turkey, chicken and milk.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 14-year-old was shopping for Christmas clothes last week with her mother when the pair heard screams and hid in a dressing room, where the girl was fatally shot by Los Angeles police after an officer fired a rifle at a suspect and a bullet pierced a wall, the family said Tuesday.

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Holiday sales rose at the fastest pace in 17 years, even as shoppers grappled with higher prices, product shortages and a raging new COVID-19 variant in the last few weeks of the season, according to one spending measure.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African Cabinet minister on Friday urged the cancellation of an upcoming U.S. auction of a key to the Robben Island prison cell where Nelson Mandela, the country's first Black president, was long jailed for his opposition to apartheid.

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — Police said Friday that they were searching for a man suspected of taking part in a shootout at a crowded suburban Chicago shopping mall in which four people were wounded, including another suspected gunman who was taken into custody.

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