Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II dies; mortgage rates at highest point since 2008; cheaper electric vehicles coming | Hot off the Wire podcast

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Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, has died. She was 96. Elizabeth spent more than seven decades on the throne as the U.K. rebuilt from war, lost an empire, transformed its economy and both entered and left the European Union.

She was a constant presence, the only monarch most Britons have ever known, and she guided the institution of the monarchy through choppy waters. She likely met more people than anyone in history, and her image, which adorned stamps, coins and bank notes, was among the most reproduced in the world.

Her 73-year-old son Prince Charles automatically became king and will be known as King Charles III, his office announced. Charles’ second wife, Camilla, will be known as the Queen Consort.

In a statement, Charles called his mother’s death “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” adding: “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

British Prime Minister Liz Truss, appointed by the queen just 48 hours earlier, pronounced the country “devastated” and called Elizabeth “the rock on which modern Britain was built.”

The last time the Federal Reserve faced inflation as high as it is now, in the early 1980s, it jacked up interest rates to double-digit levels — and in the process caused a deep recession and sharply higher unemployment. On Thursday, Chair Jerome Powell suggested that this time, the Fed won’t have to go nearly as far.

A special prosecutor in Michigan has been appointed to investigate whether the Republican candidate for attorney general and others should be criminally charged for their attempts to gain access to voting machines after the 2020 election.

A French police officer is in custody after shooting to death a driver who failed to obey an order to stop. This is the latest in a string of similar incidents that are raising questions about the use of deadly force by French police.

Bernard Shaw, CNN’s chief anchor for two decades and a pioneering Black broadcast journalist best remembered for calmly reporting the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991 as missiles flew around him in Baghdad, has died. He was 82.

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped again this week to their highest level in almost 14 years, certain to keep even more potential buyers out of a housing market that’s cooled considerably since the Federal Reserve began jacking up its benchmark borrowing rate. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate jumped to 5.89%.

Auto companies are rolling out more affordable electric vehicles that should widen their appeal to a larger group of buyers. That’s despite rising battery costs. The latest EV came Thursday from General Motors, a Chevrolet Equinox small SUV. It has a starting price around $30,000 and a range-per-charge of 250 miles.

Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin has filed a lawsuit against his nephew accusing him of extortion, malicious persecution, abuse of law and damages stemming from false allegations that attorneys say cost the singer and actor millions of dollars in lost income.

Los Angeles Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel is taking the mound to the song “Let It Go,” known to millions as the big hit from the movie “Frozen.” The 2013 Kimbrel’s wife, Ashley, suggested the tune and it seems to be working. Kimbrel hasn’t given up a hit in his last six games since the song began blaring from Dodger Stadium’s speakers.