lehighvalleynews

Shoppers hit the mall after Christmas

Author: , Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published: Dec 26 2013 05:03:34 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 26 2013 07:45:32 PM EST

Shoppers hit the mall after Christmas

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

Shoppers didn't waste any time getting out to the mall for Christmas returns and exchanges.

People were at the Lehigh Valley Mall the day after Christmas for any number of reasons.

"Once the snow dissipated and things cleared up people started coming in," said mall manager John Ferreira.

"A lot of returns, we had some sneakers to return, a book bag to return , hopefully we can just do easy swaps," said Andrea Grube, who was with her children. "It's always a given that the day after Christmas we're always out."

"We are just enjoying time off and enjoying time together and being soon-to-be parents, some sizes need to be exchanged," said Lauren Haas, who was with her husband.

Erik DiGirolamo, who was shopping with family, said "Returning gifts and using money I got for Christmas."

Edwin Velez said, "I'm here for the sales and all the specials and gift cards."

"We've had a very, very good year with gift cards, little better than last year," said Ferreira. "This week after Christmas is an extension of Christmas for us, that's when they all get used."

Many shoppers enjoyed the time off and having a chance to get out of the house for a little while, but that's not the case everyone.

"We never take a breather here. You still have customers, there are still people that we need to service," said Ferreira.

He added, "You cannot fight Mother Nature and we had some Mother Nature for three days during a very busy period. Without those we would have had an extremely good holiday season, this year we've had a very, very good holiday season."

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ISIS video is counterpoint to Obama speech

52-second video plays much like a trailer for an action-adventure movie

Author: By Ed Payne CNN
Published: Sep 17 2014 07:49:40 AM EDT   Updated:  5 MIN. AGO
ISIS flag carrier
(CNN) -

The production is slick. The imagery: ominous.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is out with a new video from its Al Hayat Media Center. ISIS also produced the videos of the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker.

It took nearly a week, but this appears to be the terror group's response to President Barack Obama's speech in which he said the U.S. objective in expanded airstrikes would be to "degrade, and ultimately destroy" ISIS.

The President is expected to speak Wednesday about the U.S. strategy for combating ISIS, which also calls itself the "Islamic State."

The 52-second video plays much like a trailer for an action-adventure movie.

There are plenty of slow-motion explosions, and flames are shown engulfing American troops.

There are cameos from President George W. Bush and his "Mission Accomplished" banner, along with plenty of menacing fighters with masks over their faces, ready to execute civilians.

The producers even toss in a clip from Obama at the White House: "American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq," he says.

A lingering explosion puts an exclamation point on the whole thing.

And then the logo, fit for a Hollywood blockbuster: "Flames of War -- fighting has just begun ... Coming soon."

The video fades to black.

An ISIS magazine

Named after a town in northern Syria, Dabiq magazine publishes stories portending a battle between Islam and the West. It has portrayed Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona as "crusaders" who will "bring about the complete collapse of the modern American empire."

It also carries images evoking apocalyptic battles between the Sunni extremist group's fighters and the rest of the world, including American soldiers enveloped in flames.

ISIS is taking a page from the playbook of al Qaeda, a former ally that has praised and advocated terrorist attacks in its glossy magazine, Inspire.

But experts say the terrorist groups don't appear have the same propaganda goals.

Inspire focuses more on practical advice for terrorists planning attacks, publishing guides on how to make bombs and get them onto planes.

Dabiq is a vehicle intended to spark desire in its readers to join and fight with ISIS, said Seth Jones, a security analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Kurds say they killed an ISIS commander

The Kurdish fighting force known as the Peshmerga killed an ISIS commander during battle Tuesday, according to a senior Peshmerga official who took part in the operation.

The Peshmerga killed ISIS commander Abu Abdullah during a Kurdish operation to push ISIS farther from Irbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region, the official said on condition of anonymity Wednesday.

In the battle, the Peshmerga reclaimed five Iraqi villages as well as a bridge along the main highway linking Irbil to Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, according to a senior Peshmerga official taking part in the operations.

The Peshmerga said the battle was meant to push ISIS fighters back toward Mosul, to the west of Irbil -- and part of the Peshmerga's larger plan to reclaim areas that ISIS claimed this year.

ISIS destroyed the bridge linking the two cities a month ago, hoping to prevent any opposing force from advancing on Mosul, but the Peshmerga said its forces went around the bridge for Tuesday's attack.

U.S. air power appeared to play a role in the offensive. Two U.S. airstrikes targeted an armored vehicle and ISIS fighting position northwest of Irbil, according to the U.S. military. That's the same area where the Peshmerga operation was under way.

 

On this Day

  • Civil War, Battle of Antietam painting

    Library of Congress

    On this day: September 17

    The U.S. Constitution is signed, the Civil War sees the bloodiest battle in American history, the prototype space shuttle Enterprise is unveiled, and the Camp David Accords bring peace between Egypt and Israel, all on this day.

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