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Amazon Raises Minimum Purchase For Free Shipping By $10

Customers who hope to buy enough from Amazon's website to garner free shipping are now facing a higher bar, as the giant retailer raised its minimum order size from $25 to $35. The change took effect Monday, as the busy holiday shopping season looms.

"This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the US," the company said in announcing the change.

The shift doesn't affect Amazon customers who use its Amazon Prime service, which provides free two-day shipping on many items, the company said. It used a large portion of its statement about the new policy to tout the benefits of being a Prime member.

"The service is so popular that more than a year ago we began shipping more items with Prime than with free shipping," Amazon says.

As a visit to its Web page explaining its standard shipping rates shows, Amazon has developed an intricate pricing system for shipping a single item or a single shipment of items. The prices fluctuate based on product type and other criteria.

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NPR

A Dying Japanese Village Brought Back To Life — By Scarecrows

A remote mountain village once was home to hundreds. Now it has just 30 residents. Tskukimi Ayano, 67, is one of the younger ones. She has repopulated the village by making scarecrow-like figures.
NPR

America's Real Mountain Of Cheese Is On Our Plates

To help dairy farmers hurt by a glut, the USDA said this week it'll buy $20 million worth of cheese and give it to food banks. But we eat so much of the stuff, that's hardly a drop in the bucket.
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Friday News Roundup - International

Italy searches for survivors after a devastating earthquake. Turkey escalates its role in the fight against ISIS. And Colombia and the FARC rebels sign a peace treaty ending a half-century-long guerrilla war. A panel of journalists joins guest host Derek McGinty for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

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