Uvalde school board fires police chief; Amazon to shutter virtual health care service | Hot off the Wire podcast

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The Uvalde school district’s embattled police chief has been fired following allegations that he made several critical mistakes during a mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

The district’s board of trustees said Wednesday day that it voted to dismiss Chief Pete Arredondo, who has faced criticism since the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Officers armed with rifles waited in a school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the shooting.

President Joe Biden has announced his long-awaited plan to deliver on his campaign promise to provide $10,000 in student debt cancellation for millions of Americans — and up to $10,000 more for those with the greatest financial need.

Biden announced in a Wednesday tweet that borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or families earning less than $250,000, would be eligible for the $10,000 loan forgiveness. For recipients of Pell Grants, which are reserved for undergraduates with the most significant financial need, the federal government would cancel up to an additional $10,000 in federal loan debt.

A Ukrainian official says the death toll from a Russian rocket attack on Ukraine’s Independence Day has risen to 25. The deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office reported Thursday that the victims included an 11-year-old boy found under the rubble of a house and a 6-year-old killed in a car fire near a train station that was the target.

Three journalists are on trial in Finland on charges of revealing national defense secrets for allegedly publishing classified documents in a newspaper article.

Amazon is shutting down the hybrid virtual, in-home care service it’s spent years developing. It’s a surprising move that underscores the challenges Amazon faces as it moves into health care. Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said in an email sent to staff that Amazon Care will end by Dec. 31. 

A new study adds evidence that a fossil species from Africa could be our earliest known ancestor. Researchers examined arm and leg bones linked to a 7-million-year-old skull that was found two decades ago. 

The Braves moved closer to first, the Guardians added to their lead in the AL Central and more highlights and news in the world of sports.

First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 again in an apparent “rebound” case, after she initially tested negative for the virus over the weekend. President Joe Biden, who spent three days with his wife at their Rehoboth Beach, Del. vacation home, continues to test negative, the White House said.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has rejected clemency for a man facing execution for the 1997 hammer killing of a man. Stitt’s decision on Wednesday paves the way for 50-year-old James Coddington to be executed by lethal injection on Thursday.

A psychologist who treated Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz when he was 8 years old testified that Cruz was a “peculiar child” who had many behavioral and developmental issues. Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 murders in 2018 at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The trial will determine if he’s sentenced to death or life without parole.

Israel’s prime minister says the West is letting Iran manipulate talks over an emerging “bad deal” to curb Tehran’s nuclear capabilities. The Israeli caretaker premier, Yair Lapid, told reporters in Jerusalem on Wednesday that Israel staunchly opposes any agreement with Iran. He spoke as the Biden administration was expected to consider terms of a deal as soon as this week.

A special House panel looking into the government’s coronavirus response says the Trump White House tried to pressure U.S. health experts into reauthorizing the drug hydroxychloroquine that had been discredited as a COVID-19 treatment. The report by the Democratic-led subcommittee provides new evidence of the administration’s efforts to override Food and Drug Administration decisions early in the pandemic.

Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, who helped the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title, died Wednesday. The MVP of the Chiefs’ victory over the Vikings in January 1970 had been in declining health for years.

Drummer Jerry Allison, who played and co-wrote songs with rock pioneer and childhood friend Buddy Holly and whose future wife inspired the classic “Peggy Sue,” has died. He was 82.

Finland’s prime minister has apologized after the publication of a photo that showed two women kissing and posing topless at the official summer residence of the country’s leader. The photo came out after a video leaked last week showed Prime Minister Sanna Marin dancing with friends prompted a debate about whether the 36-year-old head of government is entitled to party.

A 17-year-old pilot has become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a small aircraft after he landed in Bulgaria. That’s the country where Mack Rutherford’s journey kicked off five months ago.