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Time to prevent shutdown running out; House GOP makes case for impeachment inquiry; Dumbledore actor Michael Gambon dies; Miguel Cabrera's career winding down

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On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Sept. 29 at 7:06 a.m. CT:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is in a familiar position with little time left to prevent a government shutdown: It's effectively paralyzed as conservatives feud with Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The California congressman has pushed his Republican conference to embrace a short-term spending plan that would include a sweeping Republican proposal for the southern border. But a small group of hard-line conservatives has defied McCarthy’s leadership in a quest to get rid of stopgap funding plans even if it means a government shutdown. The conflict has resulted in a House Republican conference struggling to pass spending legislation just as government funding expires. The deadline is Saturday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have spent more than six hours making their case for pursuing an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden. They launched their first hearing Thursday promising to “provide accountability” as they probe the family's finances and the lucrative business dealings of Biden's son Hunter. Republicans so far have shown no hard evidence of wrongdoing by the president, and key witnesses said they do not yet see hard evidence of impeachable offenses. It all comes just before a potential government shutdown. The White House called the hearing a “baseless stunt.” Oversight Chairman James Comer later issued subpoenas for additional Biden family bank records.

The National Weather Service is warning of heavy rains and the chance of flooding in the Northeast, including New York City and Connecticut.

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii authorities are looking for a man who fled with a handgun after getting into a scuffle while trying to talk to soldiers at an Army base. No shots were fired but the Army treated it as an “active shooter situation” and two military bases on Oahu went into lockdown for several hours. The Army is working with the Honolulu Police Department to find the suspect, who is still at large. Wheeler Army Airfield also went into lockdown. Schofield Barracks is on Oahu and is about 20 miles north of Honolulu. It hosts the 25th Infantry Division and the 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Authorities in Pakistan say at least 52 people were killed and nearly 70 wounded after a powerful bomb exploded in a crowd of people celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday in the southwest of the country. The bombing, one of the deadliest in recent years, occurred in Mastung, a district in Baluchistan province, an area that has witnessed scores of attacks by insurgents. Videos showed an area near a mosque strewn with the shoes of the dead and wounded. Some of the bodies had been covered with bedsheets. Two people were killed in a separate blast at a mosque in the northwest.

A champion is crowned in the American League East, the Mariners win a crucial game with a late inning rally, the Blue Jays now have a firm hold on the American League's second wild card spot, the race for the final two wild card spots in the National League remains tight with weather adding a wrinkle to the already tension filled race, and the Lions move to 3-1.

On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. CT:

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are making the case for pursuing an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden. They launched their first hearing Thursday with testimony from outside experts in tax law, criminal investigations and constitutional legal theory. It’s a high-stakes opening act for Republicans as as they try to link the business dealings of Biden's son, Hunter, to the president. But so far they have no hard evidence of wrongdoing by the president. it comes just before a potential government shutdown. Oversight Chairman James Comer says they want to “provide accountability” to Americans. But Democrats argued Donald Trump who is Biden's chief rival in 2024 is egging them on, with no evidence of Biden wrongdoing.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Police in the Netherlands say a lone gunman wearing a bulletproof vest opened fire in an apartment and a hospital in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, killing three people, including a 14-year-old girl. The shooting sent patients and medics fleeing the Erasmus Medical Center in downtown Rotterdam, including some who were wheeled out of the building in beds. Police Chief Fred Westerbeke says the shooter was a 32-year-old student from Rotterdam. He was arrested at the hospital carrying a firearm. The suspect's identity has not been released, and the motive for the shootings remains under investigation.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a 2.1% annual pace from April through June, extending its sturdy performance in the face of higher interest rates, the government said Thursday, leaving its previous estimate unchanged. The second-quarter expansion of the nation’s gross domestic product — its total output of goods and services — marked a modest deceleration from the economy’s 2.2% annual growth from January through March. Consumer spending, business investment and state and local government outlays drove the second-quarter economic expansion. The economy and job market have shown surprising resilience even as the Federal Reserve has dramatically raised interest rates to combat inflation, which last year hit a four-decade high.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Pentagon says that the American soldier who sprinted into North Korea across the heavily fortified border between the Koreas more than two months ago was whisked to a Texas Army base for medical checks and interviews after his return to the U.S. North Korea abruptly announced a day earlier that it would expel Pvt. Travis King. The White House says his return was organized with the help of ally Sweden and rival China. While officials have said King is in good health and the immediate focus will be on caring for him and reintegrating him into U.S. society, his troubles are likely far from over. King ran into the North while on a civilian tour of a border village on July 18.

Lawmakers probing the cause of last month’s deadly Maui wildfire did not get many answers during Thursday’s congressional hearing on the role the electrical grid played in the disaster. Hawaii’s top public utility officials and the president of Hawaiian Electric testified in the hearing about the role the electrical grid played in last month’s deadly Maui wildfire. Hawaiian Electric president Shelee Kimura promised to provide the committee with more details about the timeline that day. The Lahaina fire killed at least 97 people and destroyed more than 2,000 buildings. It erupted on Aug. 8, when strong winds appeared to cause a Hawaiian Electric power line to fall, igniting dry brush and grass near a large subdivision.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — From Sunday, workers at the main United States base in Antarctica will no longer be able to walk into a bar and order a beer, after the federal agency overseeing the research program decided to stop serving alcohol. The National Science Foundation says researchers and support staff can still buy a weekly ration of alcohol from the McMurdo Station store. But the changes could prove significant because the bars have been central to social life in the isolated environment. The changes come as concerns grow that sexual misconduct has been allowed to flourish at McMurdo. An investigation by The Associated Press last month uncovered a pattern of women who said their claims of sexual harassment and assault were minimized by their employers.

BOSTON (AP) — A California man has pleaded guilty to arranging hundreds of sham marriages in an effort to circumvent immigration laws. That is according to federal prosecutors. Forty-nine-year-old Marcialito Biol Benitez, a Philippine national living in Los Angeles, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and immigration document fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper scheduled sentencing for Jan. 10. The U.S. attorney’s office in Boston said Benitez operated a large-scale marriage fraud agency in which he arranged marriages between foreign nationals and American citizens. Prosecutors alleged the agency charged up to $35,000 to submit false paperwork substantiating the sham marriages.

NEW YORK (AP) — Hollywood actors will resume negotiations with studios and streaming services next week. The announcement Wednesday comes the same day that a nearly five-month writers strike formally ended. That strike's end quickly led to announcements that TV’s late-night hosts would return to the air by Monday. That's the same day negotiators from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists will resume talks on a new contract. They've been on strike more than two months, leading to a complete shutdown of movie and film productions. This week's end to the writers strike raised hopes that a deal with actors could be reached soon.

LONDON (AP) — Michael Gambon, the Irish-born actor knighted for his long and storied career on the stage and screen and who gained admiration from a new generation of moviegoers with his portrayal of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight “Harry Potter” films, has died. He was 82. A statement by his family, issued by his publicist on Thursday, said he died following “a bout of pneumonia.” While the Potter role raised Gambon’s international profile and found him a huge audience, he had long been recognized as one of Britain’s leading actors. His work spanned TV, theater, film and radio over five decades. He was cast as the much-loved Dumbledore after his predecessor, Richard Harris, died in 2002.

DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera's career will end with the Detroit Tigers on Sunday against Cleveland at Comerica Park, where a sold-out crowd will include a few thousands fans paying for standing-room only tickets to cheer for him one more time. The 12-time All-Star leaves the game with quite a legacy. The popular player has also provided a desperately needed jolt of joy in his native Venezuela during a crisis that has pushed millions into poverty and compelled 7.3 million people to migrate. Cabrera has put himself in the conversation with all-time greats at the plate.

NEW YORK (AP) — Elton John, Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews, H.E.R., Chris Stapleton, St. Vincent and New Edition will perform at this fall’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will be broadcast live for the first time. The ceremony will be live on Disney+ on Nov. 3 and streamable afterward. ABC will air a special featuring performance highlights and standout moments on Jan. 1. The inductees this year include Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Chaka Khan, “Soul Train” creator Don Cornelius, Kate Bush and the late George Michael. Nominees were voted on by more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals.

The curtain is finally coming down on Netflix’s once-iconic DVD-by-mail service, a quarter century after the birth of a concept that obliterated Blockbuster video stores while providing a springboard into video streaming that has transformed entertainment. The DVD service that has been steadily shrinking in the shadow of Netflix’s video streaming service will shut down after its five remaining distribution centers mail out their final discs Friday to the fewer than 1 million remaining subscribers. It marks the end of a service that began when a first-class stamp cost 32 cents, less than half today's price, and went on make its red-and-white envelopes a welcome sight in mailboxes.

—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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