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It's an understatement to say the holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers. The holiday shopping season is very, very, very (I could go on, but you get the point) important for retailers.

"For some retailers, the holiday season can represent as much as 30 percent of annual sales," the National Retail Federation says. "Overall last year, holiday sales represented nearly 20 percent of total retail industry sales."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This fall's statewide elections in Virginia and New Jersey are the first big test of security measures taken in response to last year's attempts by Russia to meddle with the nation's voting system.

Virginia was among 21 states whose systems were targeted by Russian hackers last year for possible cyberattacks. While officials say the hackers scanned the state's public website and online voter registration system for vulnerabilities and there's no sign they gained access, state authorities have been shoring up the security of their election systems.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This week Bobbi Conner talks with Dr. Angela Choi about the importance of good health before pregnancy and also preconception check-ups.  Dr. Choi is an Assistant Professor and an Obstetrician and Gynecologist at MUSC Women’s Health.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Our country and our state’s population continues to get older.  Which means more and more people are turning 70 ½, which requires them to begin taking minimum distributions from their IRAs, if they haven’t already started.  Do you know what those requirement details are and what your alternatives might be?

President Trump's brand faces a major test on Tuesday in the Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff.

His preferred candidate is Luther Strange, the incumbent senator who has consistently trailed in the polls to firebrand conservative Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court justice.

Trump was just in Alabama stumping for Strange on Friday, where he landed himself in controversy, calling for the firing of NFL players who don't stand for the national anthem.

Himanshu Patel ran a convenience store in Georgia until about a year ago, when his liver failure got so bad he had to quit.

"I just couldn't stand up on my feet at all," says Patel, 39, of Waycross, Ga. "I just had to stop working."

Now, he's waiting anxiously to learn if his doctors have found a liver for him so he can undergo a transplant.

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