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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter as solid consumer spending offset the drag from weak business spending on equipment, suggesting a steady momentum that could bring the Federal Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year. "This was a very constructive report and given the supportive domestic economic backdrop, we expect this positive momentum in activity to be sustained in the coming months, providing the Fed with the necessary justification to raise rates this year - perhaps as early as September," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York. The report also showed a pick-up in inflation during the quarter, which economists say keeps the Fed on track for its first interest rate hike since 2006.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not been able to contact the American dentist accused of killing a beloved lion in Zimbabwe, agency director Dan Ashe said on Thursday. Ashe, in a post on Twitter, called the killing of Cecil the lion "tragic" and said his agency will "go where facts lead" in its investigation of the lion's death. Suburban Minneapolis dentist Walter Palmer has admitted to killing the animal but said he believed the hunt was legal.