Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring
An end to winter’s bitter cold will come soon, according to Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog.
After a recent stretch of weather that’s included temperatures well below freezing as well as record warmth, tornadoes in the South and Midwest and torrential rains in the mid-Atlantic, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair Saturday in front of thousands but didn’t see his shadow.
Legend has it that if the furry rodent sees his shadow Feb. 2 on Gobbler’s Knob in west-central Pennsylvania, winter will last six more weeks. But if he doesn’t see his shadow, spring will come early.
NYC woman found dead in Turkey
A New York City woman who went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul was found dead Saturday, and police were questioning 11 people in the case, Turkey’s state-run news agency said.
Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, was last heard from Jan. 21, the day she was to fly home. Her disappearance attracted a lot of interest in Turkey, where the disappearance of tourists is rare, and Istanbul police had set up a special unit to find her.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the body of a woman was discovered Saturday evening near the remnants of ancient city walls and that police later identified it as Sierra’s.
The agency said she was found with a head wound and a blanket near her body.
Wrongly freed killer back in prison
Two days after a stunning series of errors allowed a convicted murderer to walk out of a Chicago jail where he did not need to be in the first place, police recaptured the man at a northern Illinois home where he was found watching TV.
Steven L. Robbins, 44, put up no resistance Friday night as police burst through the door of a townhome in Kankakee, about 60 miles south of Chicago, said Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Frank Bilecki.
By Saturday afternoon, Robbins was back in the Indiana State Prison, where he was serving a 60-year sentence for murder.
Thousands have offered their condolences via Facebook over the death of Barney, President George W. Bush’s beloved black Scottish terrier.
Bush and his wife, Laura, released a statement Friday saying their famous 12-year-old pooch had died after suffering from lymphatic cancer.
“Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House,” Bush said. “He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.”
The statement was reposted on the former president’s Facebook page and had drawn more than 31,000 comments by Saturday morning, expressing sympathy for the family’s loss.
Video of beating by police sparks anger
Egypt’s Interior Minister vowed Saturday to investigate the beating of a naked man by riot police that threatened to further inflame popular anger against security forces, but suggested that initial results absolve the police of direct abuse.
The beating was caught on camera by The Associated Press, and the video was broadcast live on Egyptian television late Friday as protests raged in the streets outside the presidential palace.
Less than 24 hours after the incident, several thousand anti-government demonstrators marched again on the palace Saturday denouncing the police and President Mohammed Morsi after a week of violent protests that claimed more than 60 lives nationwide.