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Toys R Us to hire 45K workers for Black Friday

Toys R Us to hire 45K workers for Black Friday

Toys R Us plans to hire 45,000 workers nationwide. Photo: Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Toys R Us plans to hire 45,000 seasonal workers at its stores and distribution centers, the same number as last year, as it ramps up for the all-important holiday season.

Coming off a slower-than-expected back-to-school season, analysts and stores are bracing for a tough holiday shopping period, which accounts for as much as 40 percent of stores’ annual revenue.

Stores typically begin to hire for the holidays in mid-September and ramp up hiring in mid-October.

Overall holiday hiring is expected to be relatively flat because of cautious consumer spending and uncertainty about the economic environment. Employer consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. estimates that overall seasonal hiring will not change significantly from last year’s total, when hiring rose 14 percent to 751,800 positions between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.

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Rice replaces ice in India bucket challenge

An Indian school boy eats a midday meal provided free at a government school in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. India has offered free midday school meals since the 1960s in an effort to persuade poor parents to send their children to school, a program that reaches some 120 million children. The country now plans to subsidize wheat, rice and cereals for some 800 million people under a $20 billion scheme to cut malnutrition and ease poverty.

The famous "ice bucket" challenge is inspiring thousands of Indians to follow suit, but with a twist - they are replacing ice with rice to help the country's hungry people.