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MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin said Friday that President Vladimir Putin will seek binding guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion to Ukraine during a planned call with U.S. President Joe Biden, while the Ukrainian defense minister warned that Russia could invade his country next month.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s unemployment rate tumbled last month to its lowest point since the pandemic struck, even as employers appeared to slow their hiring — a mixed picture that pointed to a resilient economy that’s putting more people to work.

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Seven Broad Top area residents were administered the oath of office as Tussey Mountain school board members during a combined work/voting session and reorganization meeting held in the district office Wednesday evening in East Saxton.

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More than three dozen Bedford County residents have died of COVID-19 in the past two months as the total deaths in the county attributed to the disease nears 200.

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(Obituaries on Page A16)

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Throughout this year, the Bedford County Sestercentennial Celebrations Committee will be presenting a series of articles by means of the kind assistance of the Bedford Gazette (itself, a gem in the crown of Bedford County history). This series will be comprised of a variety of subjects caref…

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I passed (can’t say observed, it’s been too busy for that) a milestone early last month when I reached my 40-year anniversary in the newspaper business.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion social and environment package was a Broadway show, its seven months on Congress’ stage could qualify it as a hit. But lawmaking isn’t show business, and many Democrats worry that with the curtain falling soon on 2021, time is not their friend.

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BERLIN (AP) — Unvaccinated people across Germany will soon be excluded from nonessential stores, restaurants and sports and cultural venues, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Thursday, and parliament will consider a general vaccine mandate as part of efforts to curb coronavirus infections.

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Everett Seventh Day Adventist Church will host a blood drive from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Dec. 6. Walk-ins are welcome, but scheduled people are given priority. The church is located behind Hawthorne Manor off Route 30.

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Sixty-nine verses in the King James Bible include the word “fool.” The most well-known would probably be Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1; both tell us, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” The book of Proverbs contains more than half of the “fool” verses. It is interesting how Prove…

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CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett’s lawyer suggested Thursday that an aspiring actor and his brother committed an anti-gay, racist attack against the former “Empire” actor because they didn’t like him, then tried to get him to pay them each $1 million not to testify that he staged the assault.

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A ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday for Collective MKT, a new boutique located on Juliana Street in Bedford (next to Pigeon Hill Studios). It is a Mahendi “fair trade” shop whose products have been featured in local businesses like Lifestyle NEXT DOOR and the Omni Bedford Springs, but also i…

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — With rising numbers of COVID-19 cases predicted this winter, President Joe Biden on Thursday appealed for Americans to get their boosters and get behind his plan to tackle the new omicron variant through wider availability of vaccines and shots, but without new major res…

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While all eyes are on the new and little-understood omicron variant, the delta form of the coronavirus isn’t finished wreaking havoc in the U.S., sending record numbers of patients to the hospital in the Midwest and New England.

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Millions of health care workers across the U.S. were supposed to have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by this coming Monday under a mandate issued by President Joe Biden’s administration. Thanks to legal challenges, they won’t have to worry about it, at least for now.

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NEW YORK (AP) — OPEC and allied oil-producing countries decided Thursday to stick to their plans to boost oil production even as the new omicron variant cast a shadow of uncertainty over the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf followed through on his veto threat Thursday, rejecting Republican-penned legislation to allow people to carry a firearm openly or concealed, without a permit, adding to his total for Pennsylvania’s chief executive with the most vetoes in more than four decades.

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(Obituaries on Page A16)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a bill Thursday that funds the government through Feb. 18 and avoids a short-term shutdown after midnight Friday, but quick Senate approval was in doubt because of a fight over President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek lawmakers on Wednesday approved legislation making vaccination for COVID-19 mandatory for all residents aged over 60, to deal with an infection surge and the emergence of the omicron variant.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A person in California who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 became the first in the U.S. to have an identified case of the omicron variant, the White House announced Wednesday as scientists continue to study the risks posed by the new virus strain.

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LONDON (AP) — Some 30,000 people in the north of England and in Scotland have been without electricity for the better part of a week after a storm brought snow, ice and the most severe disruption to infrastructure in years, British officials said Wednesday.

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RIGA, Latvia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin could quickly order an invasion of Ukraine if he had a pretext for doing so but that NATO allies stand ready to inflict heavy sanctions on Russia’s economy if that happens.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense attorneys sought Wednesday to undermine a key accuser’s allegation that the British socialite helped financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse the woman for years, starting when she was 14.

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The chief of the European Union’s executive arm said Wednesday that EU nations should consider making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory because too many people still refuse to get shots voluntarily.

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LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands (AP) — A fresh river of lava from the volcano on Spain’s La Palma island threatened Wednesday to engulf a parish church that has so far survived the eruption that shows no signs of relenting after 10 weeks.

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(Obituaries on Page A16)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett, who is accused of lying to police when he reported he was the victim of racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago, appeared troubled when he was told that a surveillance camera did not record the alleged assault, a police detective testified Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government could be heading for temporary shutdown, with Republicans poised to stall a must-pass funding bill in their effort to force a debate in Congress on rolling back the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates for some workers.

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A pandemic-weary world faces weeks of confusing uncertainty as countries restrict travel and take other steps to halt the newest potentially risky coronavirus mutant before anyone knows just how dangerous omicron really is.

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The Gucci family is not pleased with the depiction of their relatives in the new film “ House of Gucci.” In a statement issued this week, they said the narrative is “anything but accurate” and that the filmmakers did not consult them at all.