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Shippers anticipate being able to meet holiday demand; why Americans feel gloomy about the economy

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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. 23 at 6 a.m. CT:

Carriers like the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and United Parcel Service have capacity to meet projected demand this holiday season, which is cheery news for shoppers and shippers alike. Like last year, there’s expected to be little drama compared to struggles during the pandemic when people hunkered down at home and turned to online shopping while major carriers including the Postal Service simultaneously struggled with absences and a flood of parcels. Satish Jindel from ShipMatrix says carriers have a capacity of delivering more than 120 million parcels daily compared to a projected holiday peak of 82 million parcels per day.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation has reached its lowest point in 2 1/2 years. The unemployment rate has stayed below 4% for the longest stretch since the 1960s. And the U.S. economy has repeatedly defied predictions of a coming recession. Yet according to a raft of polls and surveys, most Americans hold a glum view of the economy. The disparity has led to befuddlement, exasperation and curiosity on social media and in opinion columns. Many factors lie behind the disconnect, but economists increasingly point to one in particular: The lingering financial and psychological effects of the worst bout of inflation in four decades.

CHICAGO (AP) — Almost every major city in the United States generally allows drivers to turn right at red lights, but that could be changing. A dramatic rise in automobile accidents killing or injuring pedestrians and bicyclists has led to a myriad of policy and infrastructure changes. The debate over whether to ban right on red has sparked the most intense sentiments on both sides. Washington, D.C.'s City Council last year approved a right-on-red ban that takes effect in 2025. Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle have considered it too. Most U.S. cities have maintained the right-on-red rule since a 1970s mandate from the federal government aimed at conserving energy by preventing cars from idling at stop lights.

Nearly nine out of 10 parents believe their child is performing at grade level despite standardized tests showing far fewer students are on track. That's according to a poll released Wednesday by Gallup and the nonprofit Learning Heroes. Many parents rely on report cards for a sense of their children’s progress, but researchers say they might be missing the whole picture. Without that knowledge, parents may not seek opportunities for extra support for their children. In a federal survey, school officials said half of all U.S. students started last school year behind grade level in at least one subject.

MOUNT ANGEL, Ore. (AP) — In the face of human-caused climate change impacting water access and weather patterns in the Willamette Valley — a region known for hops growing — farmers are using all the new strategies they can get to stay afloat and provide for large and small breweries alike. Climate change is anticipated to only further the challenges producers are already seeing in hops and barley. Researchers are working with growers to help counter the effects of more volatile weather systems with improved hop varieties and by adding winter barley to the mix.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Error-ridden state reviews have purged millions of the poorest Americans from the Medicaid program in recent months. Poverty experts are questioning if the Biden administration is doing enough to stop states from wrongly removing people from the government health care program. Estimates show up to 30 million people could be dropped from Medicaid as states finish reviewing their rolls over the next year. Advocates interviewed around the country say problems with the government forms, websites and phone lines in states including Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Arkansas have led to the high number of people losing Medicaid. Arkansas' Department of Human Services says it tried to reach people with additional calls, emails and texts.

—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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