National editor's pick of the top news stories in the nation and world at this hour:

Shoppers behaving badly as Black Friday frenzy starts early

Americans coast to coast celebrated Black Friday, sometimes as early as Thursday, with a shopping frenzy and the usual reports of people behaving badly. In San Antonio, Texas, a man tried to cut into a line outside a Sears, prompting an angry response that he answered by punching another shopper -- who then ran him off by pulling a gun. Walmart said nobody was injured when customers in Moultrie, Ga., began shoving, yelling and grabbing boxes in response to a deal over a prepaid cellphone with an unlimited usage plan. A 14-year-old boy in Maryland was robbed of his shopping bag by five men who accosted him at 2 a.m. outside a Bed Bath & Beyond. One video on the Internet shows police arresting a woman at a Walmart in Florida as she repeatedly screams, "Please stop!" And in Covington, Wash., a couple heading into a Walmart were hit by an SUV driven by a 71-year-old man who was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Egyptians protest power grab by 'Pharaoh' Morsi

Egyptians furiously protested President Mohamed Morsi's power grab, calling him "Pharaoh" and clashing with his Islamist supporters and riot police Friday. Critics said Morsi was assuming dictatorial powers with his decree Thursday that he could take any action necessary to stop "threats to the revolution" and that the courts could not overrule him. In Alexandria, Morsi's opponents attacked Muslim Brotherhood supporters emerging from a mosque, throwing stones, chunks of marble and firecrackers at them. At least 15 were injured and protesters stormed a Brotherhood office. In Cairo, riot police fired tear gas at protesters near Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands of people massed, chanting "Leave, leave" and "Morsi is Mubarak ... Revolution everywhere." Morsi addressed a small crowd of supporters in front of his palace, saying, "There are weevils eating away at the nation of Egypt," claiming that old regime loyalists were fueling instability and that judges were working under the umbrella of the courts to "harm the country."

Israel opens fire on Gazans at border, killing 1

Protesters storm an office of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and set fires Friday in the Mediterranean port city of
Protesters storm an office of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and set fires Friday in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Egypt. (Amira Mortada/El Shorouk Newspaper/AP Photo)

One Palestinian was killed and 19 wounded Friday when Israelis opened fire on Gazans testing a no-go zone within 300 meters of the Gaza Strip's border with Israel. Despite the bloodshed, a 2-day-old cease-fire between Israel and Hamas held. Hundreds of Palestinians approached the border fence in southern Gaza to see if Israel intended to enforce a no-go zone meant to prevent infiltrations into Israel. In one incident caught on Associated Press video, Palestinians taunted Israeli soldiers on the other side of the fence, saying "God is great" and "Morsi, Morsi," praising the Egyptian president who brokered the cease-fire. An Israeli soldier shouted in Hebrew, "Go there, before I shoot you," pointing toward Gaza, and then he assumed a firing position on one knee. A burst of automatic gunfire followed. Hamas security tried to defuse the situation by keeping crowds away from the fence, and a top official said the violence would not threaten the cease-fire.

Congo army chief out; rebels let bodies rot in streets

Congolese civilians Friday flee the rebel-captured  town of Sake, 27km west of Goma.
Congolese civilians Friday flee the rebel-captured town of Sake, 27km west of Goma. (Jerome Delay/AP Photo)

Congo's president has suspended the army's chief of staff, Gen. Gabriel Amisi, after a U.N. report claimed he was selling arms to eastern rebels, who have expanded their control by seizing the city of Sake. M23 rebels manned checkpoints, drank vodka and let the corpses of Congolese soldiers rot in the streets of Sake, the first town on the road from the captured city of Goma to the rebels' next major target, Bukavu. Tens of thousands of refugees filled a six-mile stretch of road leading to Goma, carrying mattresses, cooking pots, chickens, goats and babies. Negotiations continued in Uganda involving the presidents of Congo and Rwanda, which is believed to be backing the rebels, and a rebel leader named Bishop Jean-Marie Runiga. The leader of the rebellion is believed to be Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. The group calls itself M23 because of a March 23, 2009, peace deal that incorporated a former rebel group into the army.

Naked man with good balance climbs statue

A naked man climbed a large equestrian statue in London on Friday and struck a variety of poses before police talked him into coming down nearly three hours later. At one point, he balanced precariously on the head of the 19th-century duke of Cambridge, who is portrayed atop a horse in the Whitehall government district. Police and emergency services cordoned off the area, and the man was finally persuaded to come down. Scotland Yard said he was detained under Britain's Mental Health Act.

The Wire, a summary of top national and world news stories from the Associated Press and other wire services, moves weekdays. Contact Karl Kahler at 408-920-5023; follow him at twitter.com/karl_kahler.