Biden plans to release oil; conviction in Kristin Smart case; MLB playoffs continue; NBA season begins | Hot off the Wire podcast

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In Kherson, among the first Ukrainian cities seized by Russian forces in the February invasion, Moscow-installed authorities are bracing for a Ukrainian push to take it back, telling residents to expect shelling and to evacuate.

President Joe Biden will announce the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve as part of a response to recent production cuts announced by OPEC+ nations. That’s according to senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to outline Biden’s plans.

A new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll shows that many adults remain pessimistic about the state of U.S. democracy and the way elected officials are chosen.

Authorities say the airport in Norway’s second-largest city briefly closed after area residents spotted at least one drone nearby. At least six Russian citizens were detained over the past few weeks for flying drones or taking photographs of sensitive sites in Norway.

The federal government wants to expand all-hours mental health and substance abuse care in communities around the country. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Tuesday that the government will award millions of dollars for states to plan how clinics can offer more on-demand help for people in crisis.

The federal government has announced a program to provide $1.3 billion in debt relief for about 36,000 farmers who have fallen behind on loan payments or face foreclosure. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the farm loan relief program funded from $3.1 billion set aside in the Inflation Reduction Act allocated toward assisting distressed borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans administered by USDA.

Paul Flores, the last man seen with Kristin Smart, was convicted of killing the college freshman, who vanished from a California campus more than 25 years ago. Smart is presumed dead and her body remains missing.

In sports, the Yankees advanced to the ALCS, the Phillies homered their way past the Padres in Game one of the NLCS and the NBA season gets started.

The national average for a gallon of gas was $3.87 a gallon on Tuesday, five cents cheaper than a week ago but still high. The White House rejected claims that President Joe Biden’s efforts to lower gas prices is an attempt to boost Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

French cement company Lafarge has pleaded guilty to paying millions of dollars to the Islamic State group so a plant in Syria could remain open, a case the Justice Department describes as the first of its kind. Lafarge has agreed to pay fines of $91 million and forfeit $687 million.

A small plane has crashed into a car dealership parking lot near the border of Ohio and West Virginia, killing two people on board and sparking a large fire.

Police in eastern Oklahoma say that 67-year-old Joe Kennedy, wanted for questioning about the deaths and dismemberment of four men, has been arrested in Florida.

A new report finds preliminary agriculture losses in Florida from Hurricane Ian’s high winds and drenching rains could reach $1.56 billion, with citrus, cattle, vegetable and melon operations hit the hardest.

Iranian Elnaz Rekabi competitive climber has left South Korea after competing at an event in which she competed without her nation’s mandatory headscarf covering. Farsi-language media outside of Iran have warned that she may have been forced to leave early by Iranian officials and could face arrest back home.

Defending national champion South Carolina is the unanimous No. 1 team in the preseason AP Top 25 women’s basketball poll.

President Joe Biden is promising that the first bill he sends to Capitol Hill next year will be one that codifies Roe v. Wade — if Democrats control enough seats in Congress for Biden to sign abortion protections into law.

The NASA astronaut who commanded the Apollo 9 mission has died. NASA said Monday that James McDivitt died last week in Tucson, Arizona, at age 93.

The media organization Semafor launched Tuesday with no less an ambition than reinventing the news story. The much-publicized news site is the brainchild of Ben Smith, former media columnist at The New York Times, and Justin Smith, ex-CEO of Bloomberg Media.

This has not been a good week for Liz Truss. Britain’s prime minister is powerless, humiliated, labeled a “ghost” prime minister and compared unfavorably to a head of lettuce. Truss is scrambling to recover her grasp on power after her economic plans were ripped up and repudiated by a Treasury chief whom she was forced to appoint to avoid meltdown on the financial markets.