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Ron DeSantis ends presidential bid, backs Donald Trump; NFL highlights; 'Mean Girls' remains No. 1 at box office

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On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Jan. 22 at 5 a.m. CT:

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended his Republican presidential campaign just before the New Hampshire primary and endorsed Donald Trump. He ended his White House bid Sunday after failing to meet lofty expectations that he would seriously challenge the former president and after finishing a distant second in the leadoff Iowa caucuses. Early primary polls had suggested DeSantis was in a strong position to challenge Trump. He and his allies amassed a political fortune well in excess of $100 million. But his campaign was hamstrung by missteps. He now turns to completing his second and final term as Florida governor, ending in 2027.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A politically treacherous dynamic is taking hold in Congress as negotiators work to strike a bipartisan deal on the border and immigration, with vocal opposition from the hard right and former President Donald Trump threatening to topple the carefully negotiated compromise. Senators are finalizing the details of an agreement on border measures that could unlock Republican support for Ukraine aid in the Senate as soon as next week. But the deal is already wobbling as House Speaker Mike Johnson faces pressure from Trump and his House allies to reject a bipartisan compromise.

A lawyer for a writer who says Donald Trump sexually abused her in the 1990s and then defamed her while president in 2019 says the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape and two women who accused Trump of abuse will not be put before a New York jury. Attorney Roberta Kaplan said Saturday that she would not show jurors the 2005 tape in which Trump is heard speaking disparagingly of women. And she says she won't call other Trump accusers as witnesses. The jury is considering whether Trump owes writer E. Jean Carroll more than the $5 million that a jury last year awarded her.

A man convicted in a post-9/11 terrorism sting was ordered freed from prison by a judge who criticized the FBI for relying on an “unsavory” confidential informant in an agency-invented conspiracy to blow up New York synagogues and shoot down National Guard planes. U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon on Friday granted James Cromitie compassionate release from prison. The order came six months after she ordered the release of his three co-defendants for similar reasons. The men are known as the Newburgh Four, and they were convicted of terrorism charges in 2010.

In sports: Jared Goff throws two TD passes and the Lions advance to the NFC title game with a 31-23 win over the Buccaneers. Christian McCaffrey's second TD rallies the 49ers to a 24-21 playoff win over Jordan Love and the Packers. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens pull away in the second half to beat the Texans 34-10 and reach AFC title game. Stanford's Tara VanDerveer is the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history with her 1,203rd career victory.

The jobs of people who produce Sports Illustrated were in limbo after the company that paid to maintain the iconic brand’s print and digital products told staff that its license was revoked. In an email to employees Friday morning, the Arena Group, which operates Sports Illustrated and related properties, said that because of the revocation, “we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand.” Authentic later said in a statement it intends to keep Sports Illustrated going. The company is negotiating with Arena and other publishing entities to determine who will do that, according to a person with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about them.

NEW YORK (AP) — On a quiet weekend in movie theaters, “Mean Girls” repeated atop the box office with $11.7 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday, while a handful of awards contenders sought to make an impact ahead of Oscar nominations on Tuesday. Only one new film debuted in wide release: “I.S.S.,” a modestly budgeted sci-fi thriller starring Ariana DeBose. The film debuted with $3 million on 2,518 screens. Even for January, historically a low ebb for moviegoing, it was a sparsely attended weekend, with paltry options on the big screen. The top 10 films collectively accounted for just $51.3 million in box office, according to Comscore.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Alec Baldwin once again is facing a felony involuntary manslaughter charge after a grand jury indicted the actor in connection with the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer on the set of a Western movie in New Mexico. The new charge was filed Friday and defense attorneys indicate they'll fight it. Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal outside Santa Fe when the gun went off, killing her and wounding director Joel Souza.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Adam Harrison, one of three sons of reality TV show “Pawn Stars” celebrity Richard “Rick” Harrison, has died in Las Vegas at age 39. A family representative confirmed Saturday that Adam Harrison died Friday and said a drug overdose was suspected. A family statement expressed extreme sadness and asked for privacy to grieve his loss. Las Vegas police didn't immediately respond Saturday to messages about an investigation of the death. “Pawn Stars” dates to 2009 on the History Channel. Adam Harrison was not a featured character.

Getting through winter healthy means trying to protect yourself from respiratory viruses. January can be the worst month for these illnesses and vaccination rates are low. When relatives, friends and co-workers are coming down with coughs, nasal congestion, fatigue and fever, keeping viruses at bay means thorough hand-washing, good ventilation and wearing a mask in crowded areas. If you do get sick, prompt testing can help determine whether you have COVID-19 or influenza. That’s important to see if you need one of the medicines that can help prevent severe illness: Paxlovid for COVID-19 and Tamiflu for flu.

In this week's religion roundup: A Franciscan friar has the pope's ear on Artificial Intelligence and Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue begins demolition.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his willingness to visit the North at an unspecified “early date” as the countries continue to align in the face of their separate, intensifying confrontations with the United States. The North Korean Foreign Ministry highlighted Putin’s intent for a visit following North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui’s meetings with Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow last week. North Korea has been actively strengthening its ties with Russia as leader Kim Jong Un tries to break out of diplomatic isolation and strengthen his footing.

MOSCOW (AP) — More than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for a train conductor in Russia to lose her job after she threw a pet cat off a train, believing it was a stray. The white and ginger tom cat, known as Twix, escaped from his carrier on a train traveling between Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg on Jan. 11. He was found by the conductor, who forcibly ejected the animal as the train was stopped in the town of Kirov, east of Moscow. Hundreds of people banded together in sub-zero temperatures to search for Twix, who was later found dead, sparking widespread outrage on social media.

31 A pet cat thrown off a train died in cold weather. Now thousands want the conductor to lose her job

—The Associated Press

About this program

Host Terry Lipshetz is managing editor of the national newsroom 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 former 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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