A week of extremes, gun violence debates and rising prices | Hot off the Wire podcast

Extremism came clearly into focus this week.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning that the US was in a “heightened threat environment” over the next six months. Reasons included the midterm elections as well as the immigration crisis at the border with Mexico.

The warning also noted the looming Supreme Court decision on abortion, a concern that became a reality Wednesday when a man was arrested in connection to an assassination attempt on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Stories of extremism did not stop there. On Thursday night in front of a national television audience, the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection included dramatic capitol police dispatch audio audio and details from panel members that placed the blame on former President Donald Trump.

Trump downplayed the investigation on social media and House Republicans believe the findings are a distraction from current problems that will backfire on Democrats during the midterms.

Earlier in the week, it was revealed five members of the Proud Boys will stand trial in August over conspiracy charges in connection to the events of Jan. 6. 

Following a deadly shooting in Buffalo, New York governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of new gun control laws. It included a ban of anyone under the age of 21 from buying or owning a semiautomatic weapon.

Beyond Buffalo, multiple shootings, most notably the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, led to hearings on Capitol Hill. The House ultimately passed bills that are unlikely to gain traction in the closely divided Senate. Let’s listen to those stories, as well as testimony from family and victims, as well as reactions from lawmakers. 

For the city of Detroit, urban violence will be the focus of law enforcement this summer.

Seven states held primaries on Tuesday with 78 seats for the House of Representatives on those ballots. But perhaps the most dramatic result of the day was a recall election for a sitting prosecutor in San Francisco. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there were a couple of stories related to vaccine options for Americans.

In other national news, parents in need of baby formula should start seeing more available in stores in the near future as a factory was reopened. Former Olympic gymnasts are among the assault victims wanting the FBI to be held accountable.

A stamp honoring Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was unveiled. A man accused of being a serial rapist is now facing additional charges. And man has been arrested after cocaine was discovered in an unusual location.

In international news, the week began with the conclusion of festivities honoring Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne.

Monday marked the 78th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy, France, and marked the return of larger ceremonies since the start of the pandemic.

In other news, the future of the pope is in question and tensions between Russia and the United States remain high. Russia began returning the bodies of dead Ukrainian soldiers from a steel plant, while more bodies are being discovered in the rubble. And President Biden spoke on the future of this hemisphere.

Gas prices have been soaring and by Thursday the national average for a gallon hit another record high. More on that story from the Associated Press, and for additional tips on how to save money on fuel, be sure to listen to the PennyWise podcast.

Did you ever pick up an item at a grocery store and think the packaging got a little smaller? Your eyes are not deceiving you. Shrinkflation is a thing and a way for producers to save money during times of rising prices.

We look at that story as well as rising mortgage rates, Target canceling orders, the global economic outlook and the status of workers.

And finally, one endangered species is getting some help in an effort to prevent extinction.

— Compiled and narrated by Terry Lipshetz from Associated Press reports