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BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese DJ was days away from moving to Riyadh to play for a month in one of the newest entertainment centers in Saudi Arabia's capital when a brief, polite Whatsapp message informed her that the contract won’t go through.

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The last holiday season was far from the most wonderful time of the year for the U.S. Postal Service: Sick and quarantined workers, a flood of packages from shoppers loath to set foot in stores and a last-minute dump of packages from overwhelmed private shippers.

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LITTLE ROCK Ark. (AP) — A crack in a steel beam that forced the closure of the Interstate 40 bridge connecting Arkansas and Tennessee for three months likely began when the span was fabricated in the 1970s and went undetected for years, a report by Arkansas' Transportation Department released Thursday said.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Amid an historic drought posing threats to future harvests, California farmers now say they have no way to export the crops they do have because of a kink in the global supply chain that has left container ships lined up off the Southern California coast with nowhere to deliver their goods.

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Retailers’ rules for delivery by Dec. 25 vary. Crate & Barrel’s deadline for standard shipping is Thursday. Lands’ End shoppers must order monogrammed gifts by Friday; the deadline for other items is Dec. 15. Macy’s and L.L. Bean give shoppers until Dec. 18 and 19, respectively.

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Retailers including Walmart and Best Buy that were already using their locations as hubs to ship e-commerce orders are now coming up with new strategies to get even faster. The moves come as they face a holiday crunch expected to tax shipping networks and likely result in delivery delays.

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