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Travis King back in US; GOP challengers attack Trump; Portland trades Lillard to Milwaukee; late-night TV shows announce their return

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On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Sept. 28 at 5:55 a.m. CT:

Video appears to show the American soldier who sprinted into North Korea across the heavily fortified border between the Koreas more than two months ago arriving back in the U.S. The White House said Wednesday that Pvt. Travis King’s return was organized with the help of ally Sweden and rival China. North Korea said it would expel King earlier the same day. King appeared to walk off a plane in San Antonio, Texas, early Thursday. King ran into the North while on a civilian tour of a border village on July 18. He had served in South Korea.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Several of Donald Trump’s rivals stepped up their attacks against him in Wednesday’s second Republican presidential debate. They were urgently trying to dent the former president’s commanding primary lead during an event that often seemed like an undercard without him. The debate’s tone was far removed from the campaign’s overall tone. Trump has dominated the field with attacks on his rivals and democratic institutions as well as his grievances about the criminal indictments and civil cases targeting him and his businesses. The moderators did not ask about the indictments or why the people onstage were better qualified than Trump.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — As his Republican rivals sparred onstage in California at their second primary debate, Donald Trump was in battleground Michigan Wednesday night working to win over blue-collar voters in the midst of an autoworkers’ strike. Trump in his speech lambasted President Joe Biden and his push for electric cars a day after Biden joined striking workers on the picket line in Detroit. The dueling appearances had the feel of the opening salvo of the 2024 general election, which is increasingly looking like a rematch between Trump and Biden, even though voting won't begin until next year.

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen says production is resuming after a problem with the German automaker’s information technology network caused a severe disruption. Volkswagen said on Wednesday evening that the IT disruption caused production to halt at its four vehicle manufacturing plants in Germany — its Wolfsburg headquarters, Emden, Zwickau and Osnabrueck. It also affected some other facilities, including at subsidiary Audi. The company said Thursday morning that the IT infrastructure problems were resolved during the night and production was resuming, German news agency dpa reported. It said there were no indications of any external cause for the disruption.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Powerball jackpot climbed to an estimated $925 million after no one beat the immense odds and won the giant prize. The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night were: 1, 7, 46, 47, 63 and red Powerball 7. With the latest bit of lottery losing, there now have been 30 consecutive drawings without a jackpot winner, dating back to July 19 when a player in California won $1.08 billion. That winless streak is due to the tough odds of winning the Powerball jackpot, at 1 in 292.2 million. Although the game highlights the $925 million prize, that is for a winner who is paid through an annuity over 30 years. Most winners choose the cash payout option. For the next drawing Saturday night, that will be an estimated $432 million.

DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 3.4 million vehicles in the U.S. and telling owners to park them outside due to the risk of engine compartment fires. The recalls cover multiple models from the 2010 through 2019 model years including Hyundai’s Santa Fe SUV and Kia’s Sorrento SUV. Documents posted Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators say the anti-lock brake control module can leak fluid and cause an electrical short. That can touch off a fire while the vehicles are parked or being driven. Dealers will replace the anti-lock brake fuse at no cost to owners, but owners won’t be notified by mail until November.

In sports: History was made by Ronald Acuna Jr. in Atlanta, the Marlins pull closer in the NL standings, the Astros created some separation in the AL, Terry Francona was honored in Cleveland, and a massive trade in the NBA sends Damian Lillard to the Bucks. 

On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. CT:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is marching ahead with a bipartisan approach to prevent a government shutdown. But on the House side, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is back to square one. The Republican leader laid out his strategy Wednesday behind closed doors. He asked hard-right Republicans to do what they've said they'd never do, and pass their own temporary measure to keep the government open. A House test vote is set for Friday, one day before the shutdown deadline. Their plan would cut spending by 8% and toughen border security. The Senate bill would fund the government, adding $6 billion for Ukraine aid and $6 billion for U.S. disaster relief.

NEW YORK (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey will address his Democratic colleagues on Thursday as calls grow for Menendez to resign over federal bribery charges. Schumer hasn't said that Menendez should step down, although more than half of the Democrats in the Senate have done so. Menendez pleaded not guilty Wednesday in New York to federal charges alleging he accepted bribes in exchange for exerting his political influence to secretly advance Egyptian interests and do favors for local businessmen. Menendez's wife and two businessmen named in the indictment also pleaded not guilty. Menendez was released on a $100,000 bond. His wife, Nadine, and the other co-defendants were also freed pending trial.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says the American soldier who sprinted into North Korea across the heavily fortified border between the Koreas two months ago has been released into U.S. custody. Pvt. Travis King's release was secured with the help of ally Sweden and rival China. Earlier Wednesday, North Korea said it would expel Pvt. King. The announcement has surprised some observers who expected the North to drag out his detention in the hopes of squeezing concessions from Washington at a time of high tensions between the rivals. King’s expulsion almost certainly does not end his troubles. His fate remains uncertain, having been declared AWOL by the U.S. government.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Lottery officials in Florida say the winner of the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot from August has come forward to claim the prize. Under a new Florida law, the winner’s name remains anonymous for 90 days. The winning ticket was sold at a Publix supermarket in Neptune Beach on the Atlantic Coast. In Florida, winners have 60 days to claim the lump sum amount or 180 days from the date of the drawing to take the full annuity, which is paid out in annual installments. Lottery officials did not say whether the winner chose to take the the lump sum or annuity.

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A moose which was found wandering down the tracks of the Stockholm subway and causing havoc was shot dead by a wildlife ranger on Wednesday after the service on the southern part of a busy line had to be suspended. The moose somehow managed to enter the enclosure that surrounds the track on a part of the subway network where the stations are above ground. As many as seven stations had to close, disrupting the service. After failed efforts to catch it, the moose was shot and killed at about 3 p.m. after which the traffic slowly resumed.

Damian Lillard is being traded by Portland to play alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement. The deal ends a three-month saga surrounding Lillard's wish to be moved elsewhere with hopes of winning an NBA title and his 11-year run with the Trail Blazers. The seven-time All-Star goes from the Trail Blazers to the Bucks in a three-team deal that sends Jrue Holiday from the Bucks to Portland, Deandre Ayton from Phoenix to Portland and Jusuf Nurkic from the Blazers to the Suns. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because none of the involved teams had announced the agreement.

NEW YORK (AP) — TV’s late-night hosts planned to return to their regular evening sketches and monologues as the flow of topical humor is set to return after five silent months due to the just-ended Hollywood writers strike. “Real Time with Bill Maher” will be back on the air Friday. The hosts of NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on CBS announced they’d also return, all by Monday. “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver will return to the air Sunday. Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” will return Oct. 16.

A NASA astronaut and two Russians are back on Earth after being stuck in space for just over a year. The trio landed in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, descending in a Soyuz capsule that was rushed up as a replacement. The extended mission means that NASA astronaut Frank Rubio now holds the record for longest spaceflight by an American. Rubio and his crewmates should have returned last spring from the International Space Station, but their flight ended up being doubled in length after their original capsule was hit by space junk and leaked all its coolant. The world record for a single spaceflight is 14 1/2 months, held by Russia.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Government test data shows new passenger vehicles in the U.S. are extremely safe, but roadway deaths are steadily rising. Some of the biggest increases are deaths of pedestrians and cyclists. That surge has coincided with a steep rise in sales of SUVs and pickup trucks. Experts say the height and boxy front ends of many of those vehicles create large blind spots. They also hit pedestrians higher in the body than sedans, meaning hits more often result in serious injury or death. U.S. safety ratings only consider the safety of people inside a vehicle. But a coalition of transportation safety groups wants the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin factoring the safety of those outside vehicles into its 5-star safety ratings.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of school systems around the country have adopted four-day weeks in recent years, mostly in rural and western parts of the U.S. Districts cite cost savings and advantages for teacher recruitment. Still, some experts question the effects on students who already missed out on significant learning during the pandemic. For parents, there is also the added complication, and cost, of arranging child care for that extra weekday. In Missouri, the number of districts routinely getting three-day weekends has more than doubled since the pandemic hit. Some lawmakers have pushed back, arguing students need more time with teachers.

—The Associated Press

About this program

Host Terry Lipshetz is a senior producer for Lee Enterprises. Besides producing the daily Hot off the Wire news podcast, Terry conducts periodic interviews for this Behind the Headlines program, co-hosts the Streamed & Screened movies and television program and is the producer of Across the Sky, a podcast dedicated to weather and climate.

Lee Enterprises produces many national, regional and sports podcasts. Learn more here.

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