Gas prices falling but remain high; Biden vows abortion legislation; Apollo 9 astronaut McDivitt dies | Hot off the Wire podcast

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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.