Biden vows help for Puerto Rico; Walmart, Target offering deals early; mortgage rates climb | Hot off the Wire podcast

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The United States has made its case at the U.N. Security Council for why Russia should face further censure and isolation over the Ukraine invasion. It comes the day after Ukraine’s president laid out a forceful case against Russia’s invasion at the United Nations.

President Joe Biden says the full force of the federal government is ready to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricane Fiona. Speaking in New York Thursday, he said hundreds of FEMA and other federal officials are already on the ground with more help coming.

A former director of Mississippi’s welfare agency pleaded guilty Thursday to federal and state charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families. The scandal also raised questions about retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.

Wildlife experts have rescued 32 of 230 whales that were found stranded on the wild and remote west coast of Australia’s island state of Tasmania. 

A former professional tennis player-turned-coach from Chile has received a lifetime ban from the sport for a record-high number of match-fixing offenses.

Walmart and Target plan to begin offering deals and price matching offers earlier this year to keep up with Americans pressed by soaring inflation and looking for ways to take the sting out of holiday shopping.

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped by more than a quarter-point this week to their highest level since 2008, a result of the Federal Reserve’s intensified effort to tamp down decades-high inflation and cool the economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate climbed to 6.29% from 6.02% last week.

The fictional soccer team from the Emmy-winning “Ted Lasso” are included in the FIFA 23 video game from EA Sports.

Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, apologized “for any stress that I have caused” to ex-wife Kim Kardashian.