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Temperatures in many areas of the Northeast U.S. climbed to the mid-40s Fahrenheit on Sunday, a day after the region suffered through temperatures that plummeted into the negative teens and felt like minus 45 to minus 50 degrees with the wind chill. Atop 6,288-foot Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the temperature rose to a relatively balmy 18 degrees a day after the actual temperature nosedived to minus 47 F and the wind chill was measured in excess of minus 108 degrees.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America. China insisted the flyover was an accident involving a civilian aircraft and threatened repercussions.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed a planned high-stakes weekend diplomatic trip to China as the Biden administration weighs a broader response to the discovery of a high-altitude Chinese balloon flying over sensitive sites in the western United States, a U.S. official said Friday. The abrupt decision came despite China’s claim that the balloon was a weather research satellite that had blown off course. The U.S. has described it as a surveillance satellite.

BEIJING (AP) — China said Friday that a balloon spotted over American airspace was used for weather research and was blown off course, despite U.S. suspicion it was spying. The discovery further strained already tense relations between Beijing and Washington. The Pentagon decided not to shoot down the balloon, which was potentially flying over sensitive sites, because of concerns of hurting people on the ground.

Rising temperatures offered some hope Friday for frustrated Texans days after they lost power — and in many cases heat — in a deadly winter storm, while a new wave of frigid weather rolling into the Northeast led communities to close schools and open warming centers. Wind chills in some higher elevations of the Northeast could punch below minus 50 as an Arctic front swept in from Canada, forecasters said.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple of days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down over concerns of hurting people on the ground, officials said Thursday. The discovery of the balloon puts a further strain on U.S.-China relations at a time of heightened tensions. A senior defense official told Pentagon reporters that the U.S. has “very high confidence” it is a Chinese high-altitude balloon and it was flying over sensitive sites to collect information.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A mess of ice, sleet and snow lingered across much of the southern U.S. as thousands in Texas endured freezing temperatures with no power, including many in the state capital of Austin, but a warming trend was forecast to bring relief from the deadly storm Thursday. However, an Arctic cold front is expected to move from Canada into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest and sweep into the Northeast by Friday, bringing snow and bitter cold with windchills of more than minus 50 degrees in northern New England, according to the National Weather Service.

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — 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 the groundhog 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.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tyre Nichols ’ family and friends gathered Wednesday for a funeral intended to celebrate his life three weeks after he died following a brutal beating by Memphis police that has sparked a new round of calls for police reform. As the service began, a group of singers and drummers beating African instruments proceeded to the front of the church where Nichols' black casket was draped in a large white bouquet of flowers.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Bands of sleet and snow that brought traffic to a standstill across the nation's midsection, canceled thousands of flights and were blamed for six deaths caused dangerous conditions for a third day Wednesday in several Southern states. Watches and warnings stretched from Texas to West Virginia. Several rounds of mixed precipitation, including freezing rain and sleet, were in store for many areas throughout the day, meaning some regions could be hit multiple times, forecasters said.

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