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Mediators look to extend truce in Gaza; gas prices continue to ease; Sports Illustrated's failed AI experiment

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Hot Off The Wire

Hot Off The Wire is a collection of news, sports and entertainment reports. The program is produced by Lee Enterprises with audio provided by The Asso 
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On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Nov. 29 at 7 a.m. CT:

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — International mediators appeared to have made progress Wednesday on extending the truce in Gaza. They are encouraging the territory’s Hamas rulers to keep freeing hostages in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners and further respite from Israel’s air and ground offensive. The deal will otherwise expire within a day. Israel has welcomed the release of dozens of hostages in recent days and says it will maintain the truce if Hamas keeps freeing captives. But its other major goal is the annihilation of the armed group that has ruled Gaza for 16 years and orchestrated the deadly attack on Israel that triggered the war. That seems less and less likely.

TOKYO (AP) — A crew member who was recovered from the ocean after a U.S. military Osprey aircraft carrying six people crashed Wednesday off southern Japan has been pronounced dead. Japanese coast guard officials say the cause of the crash and the status of the five others on the aircraft were not immediately known. Initial reports said the aircraft was carrying eight people, but the U.S. military later revised the number to six. The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that can function as a helicopter and a turboprop aircraft. U.S. and Japanese officials say the aircraft belonged to Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo. U.S. Air Force officials at Yokota said they are still confirming information and had no immediate comment.

CLEVELAND (AP) — An early blast of cold and snow shut down schools in Cleveland on Tuesday and made driving on heavily traveled Interstate 90 in northern Ohio treacherous. A lake-effect snow warning was issued by the National Weather Service for areas from Cleveland eastward into Erie, Pennsylvania. Just before 11 a.m. Tuesday, the weather service said observers had reported 13 inches or more in Ashtabula County in Ohio and Erie County in Pennsylvania along with 11.6 inches in Lake County, Ohio. A foot or more of snow also had fallen across a largely rural stretch of upstate New York east of Lake Ontario, with one spot recording 23 inches.

PLAINS, Ga. (AP) — Rosalynn Carter is set to receive her final accolades and farewells in Plains, Georgia. It's the same tiny town where the former first lady was born. There, she and former President Jimmy Carter based his 1976 presidential campaign and returned after their White House years as they became global humanitarians. Rosalynn Carter died Nov. 19. Her funeral Wednesday will be held at Maranatha Baptist Church. The service comes on the last of three days of public tributes. The 99-year-old former president attended a memorial service Tuesday in Atlanta. Rosalynn Carter will be buried in a plot she will one day share with her husband.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The global economy, which has proved surprisingly resilient this year, is expected to falter next year under the strain of wars, still-elevated inflation and continued high interest rates. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated Wednesday that international growth will slow to 2.7% in 2024 from an expected 2.9% pace this year. That would amount to the slowest growth since the pandemic year of 2020. A key factor is that the OECD expects the world’s two biggest economies, the United States and China, to decelerate next year. The U.S. economy is forecast to expand just 1.5% in 2024, from 2.4% in 2023, as the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases restrain growth.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sean “Diddy” Combs has temporarily stepped down as chairman of his television network Revolt amid multiple sexual abuse allegations against the music mogul. Revolt announced Combs’ decision on social media Tuesday. It’s not clear when he will return to his media company – which said Combs previously had “no operational or day-to-day role” at the network. Combs declined to comment on the matter. The network has been preparing to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Earlier this month, R&B singer Cassie accused Combs of raping and beating her over the duration of their decadeslong, on-and-off relationship. After Cassie, two more women came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Emirati president-designate for the upcoming United Nations COP28 climate talks has forcefully denied a report alleging his nation planned to use the summit to strike oil and gas deal, a day before the summit was due to being. Sultan al-Jaber, who also leads the massive state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., called the allegations Wednesday from a BBC report “an attempt to undermine the work of the COP28 presidency” before the talks begin Thursday. The report cited what it described as “leaked briefing documents” the broadcaster described as showing the Emirates planned to discuss fossil fuel deals with 15 nations. The BBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) — Nikki Haley says former President Donald Trump causes too much chaos to be successful in a second White House term. She reiterated her argument about the GOP front-runner at a large town hall Monday in her home state of South Carolina. The former governor and United Nations ambassador drew the largest crowd of her primary campaign so far as she tries to close the gap with Trump just weeks before the Iowa caucuses kick off the Republican nominating calendar. Haley says the time is now right for a new generation in U.S. leadership. Officials at a satellite campus of the University of South Carolina said around 2,500 people gathered for the event.

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s not just you. Across the U.S., prices at the pump have felt milder in recent months. Gas prices have fallen or remained steady since September 19 — marking about a 70-day trajectory of decline. That's according to Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for motor club AAA. As of Tuesday, the national average for gas prices stood just below $3.25. That’s down 25 cents from a month ago and 30 cents less than this time last year. Experts point to recent declines in oil prices and a seasonal dip in demand, which is projected to continue in the coming months. A change in trajectory is always possible of course — particularly if there are shifts in the larger global market.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Federal Reserve official raised the possibility that the Fed could decide to cut its benchmark interest rate as early as spring if inflation keeps declining steadily. The official, Christopher Waller, cautioned that inflation is still too high and that it’s not yet certain if a recent slowdown in price increases can be sustained. But he sounded the most optimistic notes of any Fed official since the central bank launched its aggressive streak of rate hikes. Waller is regarded as a relatively “hawkish" official, meaning that he typically favors higher rates to combat inflation rather than low rates to boost job growth. But he has also become somewhat of a bellwether for the Fed’s overall rate-setting committee.

American consumers are feeling slightly more confident this month as the all-important holiday shopping season kicks into high gear. The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 102 from 99.1 in October. Analysts were expecting a reading of 101. The October reading was revised down from an original reading of 102.6. The index measuring Americans short-term expectations for income, business and job market rose to 77.8 in November from 72.7 in October. It was the third straight reading below 80 for future expectations, which historically signals a recession within a year.

NEW YORK (AP) — Sports Illustrated is the latest media company damaged by being less than forthcoming about who or what is writing its stories at the dawn of the artificial intelligence age. The website Futurism reported that the once-grand magazine used articles with “authors” who apparently don't exist, with photos generated by AI. The magazine denied claims that some articles themselves were AI-assisted, but has cut ties with a vendor it hired to produce the articles. The Gannett newspaper chain and the tech website CNET each had unsuccessful experiments with AI this past year and had kept readers in the dark about what they were doing.

College football's four unbeaten majors top the College Football Playoff rankings, the NBA's in-season tournament has its elite eight, college basketball's top-ranked team wins again, and a win for the Wild's new coach in his debut.

—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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