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Wall Street pointed modestly higher in premarket trading  ahead of employment and inflation data that may offer hints about how aggressive the Federal Reserve’s next move will be in its battle against inflation. Futures for the Dow inched up 0.2% and futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.3% before the bell. The U.S. will release data on weekly unemployment claims on Thursday. The jobs market has been a strong area of an otherwise uneven economy, making it more difficult for the Fed to tame inflation. Oil prices rose Thursday after hitting lows for the year this week.

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Pennsylvania authorities say two firefighters died responding to a blaze in a house where a body was found in the yard. Two people who lived in the house were able to get out safely. The West Penn Township police chief called it an active crime scene, with state police and the federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms assisting the investigation. The house sits on a large plot of land in West Penn Township near Tamaqua in Schuylkill County.  The firefighters who died were identified as New Tripoli Assistant Fire Chief Zachary Paris and firefighter Marvin Gruber. The fire started around 4 p.m. and heavy smoke could be seen from miles away.

A new study is reassuring for women who are taking hormone-blocking pills after a breast cancer diagnosis and want to become pregnant. It finds that they can take a two-year break from these drugs to get pregnant without raising their short-term risk of cancer coming back. The women in the study returned to hormone-blocking therapy after the break. Results of the new study are being discussed Thursday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Breast cancer is more common in older women, but increasingly it’s being diagnosed during child-bearing years. Researchers will continue to follow the study participants.

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A former Border Patrol agent who confessed to killing four sex workers in 2018 has been convicted of capital murder. Juan David Ortiz receives an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole after prosecutors decided against seeking the death penalty. A jury in San Antonio convicted the 39-year-old Ortiz on Wednesday. Jurors heard a recording of Ortiz telling investigators that he killed the women because he wanted to “clean up the streets” of his South Texas hometown. The women’s bodies were found along roads on the outskirts of Laredo in September 2018. Ortiz expressed disdain for sex workers in his confession.

Authorities say the leader of a small polygamous group near the Arizona-Utah border had taken at least 20 wives and punished followers who didn't treat him as a prophet. An FBI affidavit released last Friday alleges that Samuel Bateman orchestrated sexual acts with followers and traded wives. It was filed in a case that charges three of his female followers with kidnapping children from state custody in Arizona and impeding a foreseeable prosecution. Two of the women appeared in federal court in Flagstaff on Wednesday and were ordered held. Bateman is facing state and federal charges of child abuse and tampering with evidence.