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Black friday sales here are the best deals


´╗┐READY, set, shop.

Its that time of year again, when Christmas is looming and Santas elves are dusting off the sleigh.

Luckily, the global shopping phenomenon known as Black Friday is about to start, with millions of dollars worth of savings up for grabs.

The American tradition of hitting the shops straight after thanksgiving has spread Down Under, and a growing number of Australian retailers have jumped on board, with deals aimed at capturing some of the dollars spent online in the bargain-hunting frenzy.

As the start of the holiday season creeps ever earlier, retailers in the United States have been offering discounts on holiday merchandise since late October. Locally, Dick Smith and Kogan have been rolling out sales offers all week.

ut the majority of participating retailers will start the clock at midnight on Friday in the US thats 4pm AEST.

Last years sale saw millions of Australians jump on the websites of iconic American retailers like Macys, JC Penney, Walmart, Gap and Barnes & Noble.

Those brands are again offering big discounts off clothing, accessories, camping goods, furniture, appliances, books and more and Australians are expected to snap up plenty more this time around, despite the dismal state of our currency. (The Australian dollar is sitting at just 74 US cents).

Australia Posts eCommerce general manager Ben Franzi said that the US was still a popular buying location for Australians who are looking to purchase brands and products that they wouldnt normally be able to buy locally.

In the lead up to this years Black Friday sales, monthly registrations of our US freight forwarding service, ShopMate, tripled, Mr Franzi said.

In the past month we had about 13,500 new registrations, compared with our monthly average of 3000 to 4000 new registrations.

The national carrier is getting in on the discount action by offering ShopMate customers 15 per cent off shipping until December 31.

The service allows shoppers to bypass the requirement for a US postal address to buy goods online at local prices, and have them delivered to Australia.

ut despite all the Black Friday fever, most Australians still do their online shopping locally, with domestic purchases accounting for more than 70 per cent of digital sales.

So its not surprising that Australian retailers are delivering some hot deals of their own. Here are some of the best.

FASHION AND BEAUTY

Macys (US): bUp to 60 per cent off clothing, accessories, shoes, dining, bed and bath

Sephora: 20 per cent off site-wide

Marcs & Spencer (UK):Up to 50 per cent off selected items

David Jones: Up to 50 per cent off selected items storewide in David Jones three-day Christmas Spectacular

Myer: Up to 50 per cent off selected items storewide as part of Myers Super Cyber Sale

Peter Alexander:Up to 50 per cent off selected styles, with free standard delivery on orders over $150

Forever New: 25 per cent off site wide

Portmans: 30 per cent off all dresses and tops

The Iconic: 30 per cent off more than 20,000 styles

ASOS: 20 per cent off everything across the whole site, for a limited time and while stocks last

Topshop:Up to 50 per cent off selected items in store and online

New Balance: 50 per cent flash sale ends 7pm AEST

Cotton On:40 per cent off more than 5000 products

Urban Outfitters (US):Buy one, get one 50 per cent off all apparel

The Outnet (UK): Up to 80 per cent off clearance items from designers including Victoria Beckham, Isabel Marant, Follow the Sun and IRO

Millers:40 per cent off storewide

GADGETS, GAMES AND COMPUTERS

Apple:$70 Apple Gift Card with the purchase of iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus

Microsoft: Up to 50 per cent off Xbox accessories; 20 per cent off select Bose and Beats speakers

LIQUOR CABINET

Dan Murphys:Specials include Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky (700ml) for $38 and Annies Lane Shiraz for $9

Cellarmasters: Up to 50 per cent off wines, with free shipping

TRAVEL

Accor hotels:Two for the price of one hotels in Germany and Austria

Skiddoo: $30 off international flights, not including budget airlines Jetstar, AirAsia, Tigerair or Scoot

British Airways: Up to 15 per cent off sale fares to London, Europe and Singapore

Webjet:10 per cent off hotels in Asia

SANTAS HELPER

The Book Depository: Up to 66 per cent off

eBay: 10 per cent off everything

Lovehoney (NSFW): Half-price Lovehoney Big Box of Sexual Happiness sex toy kit for $200

Comparison site Finder has compiled a full list of all the best Australian deals.

Shoppers who missed out on $97 Beats headphones, a $99 Nikon camera and other Black Friday deals last year needn?t worry. Chances are those same items will be on sale again this year?for the same price. WSJ's Suzanne Kapner explains on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: Zuma Press

Calls to ban foreign students from owning pets after dog was dumped in a sydney street


´╗┐ANIMAL lovers are calling for a ban on pet ownership by international students, after a dog was callously dumped on the side of the road.

The adorable Labrador was found in Killara, on Sydneys upper north shore, and taken in by inner west vet Dr Sam Kovac.

A guy whos just finished his degree and is moving back to China and just dumped his dog in the streets of Killara, Dr Kovac, who treated the dog for a tic infection, said in a Facebook video.

Unfortunately in Sydney there are a lot of dogs who are adopted by international students who only spend a few years here and then go back to their countries and dont know what to do with their dogs.

Appealing to the Southern Cross Veterinary Clinics followers in the hopes of finding the unnamed pup a forever home, Dr Kovac described him as a really lovely Lab, adding that he was nowhere near as big as he looks in the video.

After the video was viewed more than 10,000 times, a new home was quickly found for the cute pooch, believed to be about four-years-old.

But Dr Kovac said the happy ending belied a bigger problem, saying the situation was not extraordinary and that in fact it does happen regularly.

He called for pet ownership and adoption to be restricted to permanent residents, arguing that a companion animal friend is forever commitment and the relationship should be permanent, not just allow them to be treated as a toy.

Jennifer Hart from the Pet Medical Crisis Fund, a Melbourne charity that helps pet owners pay for surgery they cant afford, agreed.

She said foreign students were known to pass around pets like pieces of sharehouse furniture when they left the country, with many eventually being put down.

Its an unstable life for a pet that ends up in their hands, Ms Hart said. They can have a very short and unfortunate life.

But even those who love and care for their pets can face unexpected challenges in providing appropriate care.

Three years ago, the Pet Medical Crisis Fund helped a Chinese engineering student pay for a $4000 veterinary procedure for her chihuahua cross toy poodle.

After coming home to her flat to find her dog favouring his rear left leg, the student rushed the dog to the vet and was told the bone was fractured, meaning amputation or euthanasia were the only non-surgical options. The Pet Medical Crisis Fund chipped in $1000 for the procedure.

Ms Hart told news.com.au that while the student had kept the dog, her case illustrated the danger of allowing international students to own pets.

Theres so much involved and these people come out, they might get sponsored by their parents but theyre often just sponsored on a shoestring and they dont seem to call home to get help to save the day if thats required.

She said lonely students who wanted animal companionship could take in pets through foster programs.

RSPCA shelters take in more than 130,000 dumped companion animals each year, according to the organisations latest data from 2014-15.

Dogs have been domesticated for longer than any other animal on the planet and humans have developed a unique relationship with their furry friends. We treat our pets like a part of the family, often like children, but are we more like our pets than we ever realised?