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North Korea will expel US soldier; Hollywood writers strike is over; baseball legend Brooks Robinson dies; Travis Kelce jerseys sales surge

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On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Sept. 27 at 6:39 a.m. CT:

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says that it will expel a U.S. soldier who crossed into the country through the heavily armed border between the Koreas in July. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday that authorities have finished their questioning of Pvt. Travis King. It said that he confessed to illegally entering the North and quoted him criticizing the U.S. Verifying the authenticity of the comments attributed to King is impossible. The agency did not say when authorities plan to expel King or to where. The White House, the State Department and the Pentagon did not have any immediate comment on the report.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The strike by Hollywood screenwriters is over. Leaders of the writers union declared their nearly five-month-old strike over Tuesday after board members approved a contract agreement with studios. The governing boards of the eastern and western branches of the Writers Guild of America both voted to accept the deal, and afterward declared that the strike would be over and writers would be free to work starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The vote came after numerous writers joined striking actors on picket lines. The writers deal brought renewed optimism to the pickets. There are currently no negotiations set between the actors and the alliance of studios, streaming services and producers.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police and witnesses say groups of teenagers swarmed into stores in Philadelphia’s Center City, stuffing plastic bags with merchandise and fleeing. Police made several arrests. Police say an Apple store was one of those hit Tuesday, but fleeing teenagers dropped iPhones and a pile of iPads. Eyewitness video and news reports showed mobs of masked youngster in hoodies at that store, Lululemon and Foot Locker, where a guard reportedly was assaulted. Police say some arrests were made. No injuries were immediately reported.

NEW YORK (AP) — Target says it's closing nine stores in four states, including one in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood, and three in the San Francisco Bay Area. It says theft and organized retail crime have threatened the safety of its workers and customers. The closings will be effective Oct. 21 and will also include three stores in Portland, Oregon and two in Seattle. The Minneapolis retailer said Tuesday it will offer affected workers the opportunity to transfer to other stores. The store closings account for just a fraction of the 1,900 stores Target operates nationwide. But they underscore the challenges that retailers face in reducing theft in stores as they wrestle with protecting their workers and customers while trying to serve the community.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Republicans are meeting for their second presidential debate as top rivals seek to blunt the momentum of Donald Trump. The former president is so confident that he will continue to cruise through the party’s primary that he’s again forgoing sharing a stage with his competitors. Seven GOP White House candidates are squaring off at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California for a debate Wednesday sponsored by Fox Business. Rather than attend, Trump will be in Detroit, delivering a primetime speech that will compete for airtime with the debate and take place before a crowd of current and former union members.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran is claiming that it has successfully launched an imaging satellite into space. The state-run IRNA news agency is quoting the country’s communication minister as saying the Noor-3 satellite had been put in orbit 450 kilometers, or 280 miles, above the Earth’s surface. There was no immediate acknowledgment from Western officials of the launch or of the satellite being put into orbit. Iran has had a series of failed launches in recent years. The United States has alleged that Iran’s satellite launches defy a U.N. Security Council resolution and has called on Tehran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (AP) — The National Park Service says a South Carolina woman died after falling from a scenic overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina. The park service says dispatchers received a report of a woman who fell down a cliff at Glassmine Falls Overlook on Saturday afternoon. Rescuers found the woman about 150 feet below the overlook. Officials identified the woman as 61-year-old Nancy Sampson of Greer, South Carolina, and confirmed she had succumbed to injuries from her fall. The parkway known for its views of the Appalachian Highlands stretches 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina.

In sports: The Brewers clinch the NL Central, the NL wild card race remains right, the Orioles win a game but lose a legend, and the Rangers maintain their lead in the AL West despite a loss.

BALTIMORE (AP) — Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, whose deft glovework and folksy manner made him one of the most beloved and accomplished athletes in Baltimore history, has died. He was 86. The Orioles announced his death in a joint statement with Robinson’s family. The statement did not say how Robinson died. Coming of age before the free agent era, Robinson spent his entire 23-year career with the Orioles. He almost single-handedly helped Baltimore defeat Cincinnati in the 1970 World Series and homered in Game 1 of the Orioles’ 1966 sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers for their first crown.

NEW YORK (AP) — Breanna Stewart won the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player award for the second time in her career Tuesday in a very close race. There were only 13 points separating Stewart from second-place finisher Alyssa Thomas of Connecticut and last year’s MVP, A’ja Wilson of Las Vegas. Stewart received 446 points. Thomas had 439 points and Wilson received 433 points. All the WNBA awards are voted on by a 60-person national media panel and had them vote for their top five choices for the MVP award.

On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. CT:

VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden has joined picketing United Auto Workers in Michigan on the 12th day of their strike against major carmakers. It's a demonstration of support for organized labor unparalleled in presidential history. He told workers Tuesday to “stick with it." He exchanged fist bumps with grinning workers a day before former President Donald Trump makes his own visit to meet with UAW members. Biden has repeatedly sided with the UAW during the strike. Strikers chanted “no deals, no wheels” and “no pay, no parts” as Biden arrived at the General Motors distribution center west of Detroit.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Relatives of a man shot and killed by a Philadelphia police officer during a traffic stop for erratic driving are stunned and distraught by a judge's dismissal of all charges. Relatives of Eddie Irizarry said Tuesday after the ruling that police should not need to fatally shoot someone just because they speed or act irrationally. The judge dismissed a murder count and other charges against Officer Mark Dial after watching police bodycam video of the traffic stop and shooting. The defense asserted that Dial acted in self-defense when he fired through the driver’s side window of Irizarry’s sedan in August.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Cory Booker is calling on fellow New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez to resign. Booker said in a statement Tuesday that the federal bribery charges against Menendez, also a Democrat, contain ”shocking allegations of corruption and specific, disturbing details of wrongdoing.” Booker’s statement comes as a growing number of Democratic senators are calling for the three-term senator to step aside. Menendez, the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife Nadine were indicted on Friday, accused of using his position to aid the authoritarian government of Egypt and also to pressure federal prosecutors to drop a case against a friend.

The Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon. They allege the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices on and off Amazon, overcharge sellers and stifle competition. The complaint is the result of a yearslong investigation into Amazon’s businesses and one of the most significant legal challenges brought against the company in its nearly 30-year history. The agency and states that joined the lawsuit are asking the court to issue a permanent injunction that they say would prohibit Amazon from engaging in its unlawful conduct and restore competition. Amazon says the FTC is “wrong on the facts and the law."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law that will raise taxes on guns and ammunition. The federal government already taxes guns at 10% or 11%. The law Newsom signed on Tuesday adds an 11% tax on top of that. The money will pay for things like security improvements in public schools and violence prevention programs. The law takes effect July 1, 2024. Newsom also signed laws to overhaul the state’s rules for carrying concealed weapons and require semiautomatic pistols to have microstamping technology. The California Rifle and Pistol Association has promised to challenge California’s new tax in court.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Striking actors have voted to expand their walkout to include the lucrative video game market, a step that could put new pressure on Hollywood studios to make a deal with the performers who provide voices and stunts for games. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists announced the move late Monday, saying that 98% of its members voted to go on strike against video game companies if ongoing negotiations are not successful. The announcement came ahead of more talks planned for Tuesday. Acting work in video games can include voice, motion capture and stunts.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is allowing work to proceed on a new Alabama congressional map with greater representation for Black voters. The new districts could help Democrats trying to flip control of the House of Representatives. The justices Tuesday rejected Alabama’s plea to retain Republican-drawn lines turned down by a lower court. The justices left in place an order directing a court-appointed special master to propose new lines for the state with a second district where Black voters constitute a majority or close to it. The lead plaintiff in the redistricting case calls the ruling a “victory for all Alabamians.” Federal lawsuits over state and congressional districts are pending in Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A political adviser to Rudy Giuliani is slamming Hunter Biden’s lawsuit against the former mayor. Hunter Biden sued Giuliani and another attorney on Tuesday, claiming the two wrongly accessed and shared his personal data after obtaining it from the owner of a computer repair shop. Giuliani adviser Ted Goodman says it was false to claim Giuliani manipulated the laptop hard drive, but that he was “not surprised ... considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing.” The lawsuit is the latest in a new strategy by Hunter Biden to strike back against Republican allies of Donald Trump who have traded and passed around his private data including purported emails and embarrassing images in their effort to discredit President Joe Biden.

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump are slamming prosecutors’ request for a narrow gag order in his 2020 election subversion case in Washington, calling it an effort to “unconstitutionally silence” his political speech. Trump's attorneys in court papers filed late Monday urge U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to deny the proposal to bar the Republican ex-president from making inflammatory and intimidating comments about witnesses, lawyers and other people involved in the criminal case. Special counsel Jack Smith’s team in seeking the order pointed to what it calls a pattern of “false and inflammatory” statements from Trump about the case.

NEW YORK (AP) — A former aide in Donald Trump's White House says chief of staff Mark Meadows burned papers so often after the 2020 election his wife complained his suits smelled “like a bonfire.” Cassidy Hutchinson describes the burning papers in a book being released Tuesday. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the book, titled “Enough.” Hutchinson was a White House staffer in her 20s who worked for Meadows. Hutchinson testified on national television about the inner workings of the White House leading up to and including the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A Meadows lawyer hasn't responded to a request for comment.

NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift’s trip to watch the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce didn’t just have the internet talking nonstop. Following the 12-time Grammy Award winner’s appearance at Arrowhead Stadium, jersey sales for the All-Pro tight-end seemingly skyrocketed. According to sportswear and fan merchandise company Fanatics, Kelce saw a nearly 400% increase in sales the same day that Swift went to watch the Chiefs. Kelce did not speak to reporters afterward, but he was spotted leaving Arrowhead with Swift by his side. Swift, who is currently on a break from her Eras tour, has always been reluctant to discuss her personal life in public — but rumors have been flying about the popstar and the pro football player in recent months.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor David McCallum, who became a teen heartthrob in the hit series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in the 1960s and was the eccentric medical examiner in the popular “NCIS” 40 years later, has died. He was 90. "The Man From “U.N.C.L.E” drew mixed reviews but eventually caught on, particularly with teenage girls attracted by McCallum’s good looks and enigmatic, intellectual character. McCallum’s work with “U.N.C.L.E.” brought him two Emmy nominations, and he got a third as an educator struggling with alcoholism in a 1969 Hallmark Hall of Fame drama called “Teacher, Teacher.” McCallum returned to television in 2003 in another series with an agency known by its initials — CBS’ “NCIS.”

—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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