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SHOPPING

Target to open stores at midnight for Black Friday

NEW YORK | As the run-up to holiday shopping intensifies, Target Corp. said that its stores will open at midnight Thanksgiving night, beginning the traditional “Black Friday” shopping day four hours earlier than it did last year.

The Minneapolis-based chain’s 1,700 stores will stay open for 23 hours and close at 11 p.m. on Nov. 25. Target spokeswoman Susan Kahn said the change was a response to customers’ demands.

Retailers have expanded their Black Friday hours each year recently. The season’s kickoff overtook Thanksgiving Day last year, when Sears Holdings Corp. opened most Sears and Kmart stores Thanksgiving morning for the first time. Toys R Us stores opened at 10 p.m. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., whose supercenters already operate around the clock, opened most of its other stores by midnight last year.

EUROPE

China warns Europe it won’t play ‘savior’

SHANGHAI | China’s state media Sunday warned that the country will not be a “savior” to Europe, as President Hu Jintao left for an official visit to the region including a Group of 20 summit.

Mr. Hu’s visit has raised hopes that cash-rich China might make a firm commitment to the European bailout fund, but in a commentary, the official Xinhua news agency said Europe must address its own financial woes.

“China can neither take up the role as a savior to the Europeans, nor provide a ‘cure’ for the European malaise. Obviously, it is up to the European countries themselves to tackle their financial problems,” it said.

The Group of 20 major economies will meet in the French city of Cannes on Thursday and Friday, just a week after European Union leaders reached a last-ditch deal to tackle its debt crisis.

Europe is seeking to expand the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to one trillion euros ($1.4 trillion), possibly through a special purpose investment vehicle or the International Monetary Fund. China, holder of the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves at $3.2 trillion, said it wanted more clarity before investing in the bailout fund after head of the EFSF, Klaus Regling, held talks in Beijing to try to win help.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Kodak hopes patent sales can avert bankruptcy

ROCHESTER, N.Y. | Picture this: Kodak - the company that invented the first digital camera in 1975, and developed the photo technology inside most cellphones and digital devices - is in the midst of the worst crisis in its 131-year history.

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