Heat wave continues; gas prices fall; Americans support Supreme Court term limits; Ortiz inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame | Hot off the Wire podcast

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The National Weather Service says more than 85 million Americans are under excessive heat warnings or heat advisories, from the Pacific Northwest to the southern Great Plains to the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor.

A destructive wildfire near Yosemite National Park is burning out of control and has grown into one of California’s biggest blazes of the year. Thousands of residents were ordered to flee remote mountain communities. Some 2,000 firefighters are battling the Oak Fire, contending with steep terrain and hot weather.

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline plunged 32 cents over the past two weeks to $4.54 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says Sunday that the continued decline comes as crude oil costs also fall.

Two people were killed and at least five others were injured after gunfire erupted at a Los Angeles park. The LA Police Department says the shooting occurred around 3:50 p.m. Sunday at Peck Park in LA’s San Pedro neighborhood.

Authorities in the Bahamas say a boat carrying Haitian migrants apparently capsized at sea, and Bahamian security forces recovered the bodies of 17 people and rescued 25 others.

The men were told they were being treated for “bad blood.” In truth, the federal government enrolled around 600 black men from rural Alabama in a 40-year study of untreated syphilis. The federal government let hundreds of the men go untreated for syphilis in order to study the impact of the disease on the human body.

The men were denied access to a cure, even when one became widely available. The study came to an end nearly four months after a July 25, 1972, Associated Press report by investigative reporter Jean Heller.

About 2 in 3 Americans say they favor term limits or a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices. That’s according to a new poll that finds a sharp increase in the percentage of Americans saying they have “hardly any” confidence in the court.

In sports, David Ortiz was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Coopertown, New York, the Blue Jays completed a Boston sweep, Aaron Judge continued his home run binge, the Dodgers extended their winning streak, the Mets and Brewers stretched their division leads, the Tour de France has a winner and a back-nine comeback decided the 3M Classic.

President Joe Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, says Biden continues to “improve significantly” despite a lingering sore throat. Biden tested positive for the virus Thursday, and he’s been taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid.

O’Connor said Saturday the president likely became infected with a highly contagious variant, known as BA.5, that’s spreading throughout the country, and Jha said Sunday, “It is the BA.5 variant.”

Lottery officials have raised the Mega Millions grand prize to $790 million, giving players a shot at the nation’s fourth largest jackpot. The next drawing is on Tuesday.

Political divides in the U.S. seem deeper than ever, but one of the few shared sentiments right now from voters of all stripes is the desire for something different. The possibility that the 2024 presidential race could look like a rematch from 2020 has voters on both sides wondering if there’s someone else who can carry their parties into the future.

Liz Cheney’s pointed criticism of former President Donald Trump on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is likely to hurt her reelection chances in Wyoming. Many Cheney allies are prepared for Cheney to lose Wyoming’s Aug. 16 Republican primary against Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman.

But as primary day approaches, some on Cheney’s team believe her unorthodox strategy in 2022 may put her in a stronger position for the 2024 presidential contest. 

Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, has been convicted of contempt charges for defying a congressional subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The chief of the World Health Organization says the expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as a global emergency.

Health officials say two children have been diagnosed with monkeypox in the U.S. They are a toddler in California and an infant who is not a U.S. resident. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

The Supreme Court has taken a step that will allow new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the court, to take part in a case that could lead to the end of the use of race in college admissions. A Harvard dispute had been joined to a similar lawsuit involving the University of North Carolina. The court on Friday split the case in two, allowing Jackson to hear arguments and vote in the North Carolina case.

California is punching back against two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions as Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a gun control law patterned after a Texas anti-abortion law. He signed the bill Friday, a month after conservative justices overturned women’s constitutional right to abortions and undermined gun control laws in states including California.

South Korea says it plans to lift its decades-long ban on public access to North Korean television, newspapers and other publications as part of its efforts to promote mutual understanding between the rivals.