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Obama marks Thanksgiving with calls to service members

President Obama celebrated Thanksgiving quietly at the White House with his family, friends and some White House staff members after phoning 10 members of the U.S. armed services in Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama, as has been his practice during previous holidays, reached out to service members from the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy.

“The president thanked each of them for their service and sacrifice and wished them and their families a happy Thanksgiving,” the White House said.

The president joined first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, later Thursday for dinner, where they were joined by White House staff members and guests.

The Thanksgiving dinner menu included ham, oyster stuffing, and macaroni and cheese, along with the traditional turkey, sweet potatoes and green-bean casserole. For those with a sweet tooth, there were a half-dozen pies, including huckleberry.

PENNSYLVANIA

Potential Corbett challengers lining up for 2014

HARRISBURG — The Democratic sweep at the top of Pennsylvania’s ballot has so energized the party that three prospective candidates are already sending out strong signals of interest in contesting Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s re-election bid two years from now.

York businessman Tom Wolf, Philadelphia millionaire Tom Knox and state government veteran John Hanger said in recent telephone interviews they are seriously considering seeking the 2014 Democratic nomination or have already decided to run.

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired Navy vice admiral who narrowly lost his 2010 bid for U.S. Senate, declined to be interviewed by telephone. In an email, he said he is “very interested” in returning to public service, but would not discuss his plans for 2014.

Several other Democrats did not rule out campaigns, including Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, state Treasurer Rob McCord and retiring state Auditor General Jack Wagner.

INDIANA

State Senate leader: Make casinos more competitive

HAMMOND — A top legislative leader wants to make Indiana’s riverboat casinos more attractive so they can compete better with newer venues in neighboring states.

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