Among the stories for Monday from The Associated Press:
NEW YORK â¿¿ As retailers have ramped up deals, it's estimated that this year's Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third year in a row. Coined in 2005 by a shopping trade group that noticed that online sales spiked on the Monday following Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday joins Black Friday and Small Business Saturday as days that stores are counting on to jumpstart the holiday shopping season. Research firm comScore predicts that this Monday, Americans will spend $1.5 billion, up 20 percent from last year. By Retail Writer Mae Anderson.
DHAKA, Bangladesh â¿¿ The fire alarm: Waved off by managers. An exit door: Locked. The fire extinguishers: Not working and apparently "meant just to impress" inspectors and customers. That is the picture survivors paint of the garment-factory fire Saturday that killed 112 people who were trapped inside or jumped to their deaths in desperation. For Bangladesh, where such factories commonly ignore safety as they rush to produce for retailers around the world, the tragedy was unusual only in scope: More than 200 people have died in garment-factory fires in the country since 2006. About 15,000 Bangladeshi workers protested blocks from the gutted fire Monday, demanding justice for the victims and improved safety. By Farid Hossain and Julhas Alam.
AP photos, video, audio
WASHINGTON â¿¿ Mary Schapiro is stepping down as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission after helping lead the U.S. government's regulatory response to the 2008 financial crisis. It isn't clear who will replace Schapiro. But several news reports suggest Mary John Miller, a top Treasury Department official, is a leading candidate. By Business Writer Marcy Gordon.
MARKETS & ECONOMY
FISCAL CLIFF-SPECIAL PLEADINGS
WASHINGTON â¿¿ Lobbying groups say there must be give-and-take in the negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of massive tax increases and spending cuts. But business groups say tax hikes are out of the question, while advocates for retirees are fighting cuts to Medicare and Social Security. So much for shared sacrifice. By Charles Babington.