Thousands gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania town for Phil’s annual ritual – and the lack of a shadow spells good news
After recent weather that has included freezing cold snaps, fierce tornadoes and then record-breaking seasonal highs, it’s perhaps not surprising that Americans are looking for climatic solace in bizarre places.
So the news that a small, fat, Pennsylvania rodent called Phil has predicted a looming end to winter will perhaps come as a relief.
Yes, it’s Groundhog Day in America.
In front of thousands of people at Gobbler’s Knob, a rural area near the small town of Punxsutawney, a group of town elders repeated the famous tradition of consulting the town’s famous groundhog on the prospects of when winter might turn to spring.
To the relief of many, they reported that Phil had emerged from his lair and did not see his shadow – a sign that winter is soon to end. If he had seen his shadow, it would have indicated at least six more weeks of cold weather.
The warm weather prognostication will please many in America’s north-east, who are currently enduring a return to freezing temperatures after a see-saw week which had included a couple days of warm, almost summery, days.
Punxsutawney Phil was made famous to the outside world via the classic comedy movie Groundhog Day in which a jaded newsman played by Bill Murray is trapped to repeat the same 24 hours over and over again after being forced to cover the event.
Since then, other groundhogs have popped up in towns elsewhere, no doubt with one canny eye on the hordes of tourists that descends on Phil’s hideout. There’s Staten Island Chuck in New York, General Beauregard Lee in Atlanta, and even the normally more staid Canadians have got in on the act with Wiarton Willie in Wiarton, Ontario.
This year, Staten Island Chuck is also reported to have missed seeing his shadow and thus predicted an end to winter. Not that such groundhog co-ordination is a sure sign of their forecasting skills. Last year, Phil predicting a continuation of freezing temperatures, only to see January to June come in as the warmest seven-month period since systematic records began in 1895.
Internet blown away by Giuliani’s ‘pants-sh*tting panic’ freak out on CNN’s Cuomo
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received harsh reviews of his Thursday evening appearance on CNN with anchor Chris Cuomo.
Many people worried about Giuliani's mental health after watching the interview.
Here is some of what people were saying about Trump's defense attorney.
Maddow is visibly shocked Trump is claiming in court the president can’t even be investigated
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC was flabbergasted by the latest court moves by President Donald Trump as he continues to hide his tax returns from investigators.
The host noted the ongoing legal battle Trump is waging to keep his accounting firm, Mazars, from handing over eight years of his tax returns to New York state investigators.
The host was shocked by the headline on the front-page of The Washington Post website.
[caption id="attachment_1544917" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Headline in The New York Times: "Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated" screengrab.[/caption]
WATCH: GOP congressman hides in an elevator as veterans try to confront him about his support for Trump
On Thursday, Common Defense, an activist group of combat veterans, followed Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) through a hallway and demanded to know why he isn't doing something about President Donald Trump's lawless conduct.
Crenshaw — himself a former Navy SEAL — tried to shoo them away, and eventually ducked into an elevator to get away from them.
"How can you let a criminal like Donald Trump run roughshod over our democracy and shred everything that you and I fought for?" demanded one of the protesters on a video uploaded by the group. "Like c'mon man. Like how can you just sit there idly by and not do your duty? We need your leadership right now. You cannot be complicit in this man's crimes. It is immoral. It's laid out clearly in the Mueller report."