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A furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town has predicted six more weeks of winter during an annual Groundhog Day celebration. People gathered Thursday at Gobbler’s Knob as members of Punxsutawney Phil’s “inner circle” summoned him from his tree stump at dawn to learn if he has seen his shadow — and they say he did. According to folklore, if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring comes early. The annual event in Punxsutawney originated from a German legend about a furry rodent. The 2021 and 2022 forecasts also called for six more weeks of winter.

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House Republicans are preparing to oust Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The vote Thursday to remove the Somali-born Muslim lawmaker comes over her past comments critical of Israel. It's an escalation of tensions in the new Congress after Democrats booted far-right GOP lawmakers from committees over their incendiary, violent remarks in the last session. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy worked quickly to solidify wavering Republican support for moving against Omar. Some GOP lawmakers had expressed reservations about taking such a dramatic step. The Minnesota Democrat has apologized for comments that she has said she came to understand were antisemitic.

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Futures on Wall Street were mixed one day after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy is moving toward lower inflation but that more interest rate increases are planned. Futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.4% before the bell Thursday, while futures for the Dow fell 0.4%, one day after markets climbed to their highest levels since summer. The rally Wednesday came after the Fed increased its key lending rate by 0.25 percentage points, smaller than previous hikes. Thursday brings another slew of corporate earnings reports, with Alphabet, Amazon and Apple posting results after the bell. Ford and Starbucks also report.

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Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 137th celebration of Groundhog …

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Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 137th celebration of Groundhog …

  • Updated

Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 137th celebration of Groundhog …

  • Updated

Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 137th celebration of Groundhog …

AP
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Africa’s public health agency says countries with deadly cholera outbreaks on the continent have no “immediate access” to vaccines amid a global supply shortage. The acting director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told journalists on Thursday that the agency is working with the World Health Organization and the vaccine alliance GAVI on ways to obtain more doses. He said the Africa CDC is also working with two local manufacturers to explore if their facilities can be repurposed to manufacture cholera vaccines. WHO and partners agencies recommended in October that countries temporarily switch to using a single dose.