Jan. 6 hearings and elections, the BA.5 variant and COVID-19 cases, and no signs of economic improvement | Hot off the Wire podcast

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The House committee investigating the Capitol uprising on January 6, 2021, resumed with a primetime hearing Thursday that looked at former President Donald Trump’s actions that day.

In other news, Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the role of the Justice Department as it weighs potential criminal charges. We also look at misinformation about Jan. 6 and the possibility that Congress will change how electoral votes are counted to avoid a repeat of events of that day.

And in other election news, a New York gubernatorial candidate was attacked and Maryland held its primary.

COVID-19 restrictions have largely been lifted and many Americans are going without masks in public settings. However, there is growing concern that there will be another surge in cases tied to the new BA.5 variant.

We also look at how health rates are increasing as more people make health care visits, President Joe Biden’s positive COVID-19 test, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s plans for the future, the last large nation to have an outbreak and the health issues many people are now dealing with.

Prior to the news of his positive COVID test, it was a busy week for Biden, who wrapped a trip to the Middle East. He also signed an executive order related to American detainees in other countries and pushed his economic and climate agendas.

According to a new poll, most Americans support a federal law protecting access to abortion. However, it’s complicated as many also want some restrictions. Let’s learn more about the poll as well as the arrests of lawmakers that were protesting outside of the Supreme Court.

In court cases with national interest, a police officer involved in the death of George Floyd was sentenced, indictments in the case of migrants found dead in Texas and former lawyer pleads not guilty to killing his wife and son.

The House is pushing for more gun restrictions, but new laws are unlikely in a closely divided Congress. There was also another mass shooting, this time at an Indiana mall. And now the gun violence has houses of worship rethinking security.

And in other national news, Emmett Till’s Chicago home is one of more than two dozen historically significant sites that will share $3 million in grant money from The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

The state of the economy remains a concern as soaring diesel costs are leading to increased prices for consumers. Home sales have slowed as prices and interest rates increase.

Unemployment claims have also been on the rise. In other news, Elon Musk lost his bid to delay Twitter’s lawsuit, Amazon looks to expand further into medical services, GM wants to be a leader in electric vehicles and Delta will expand its fleet of airplanes.

In other news, researches want to see how stem cells fare in space, concern grows over monkeypox, a rare polio case in the U.S., the oldest male panda dies and monarch butterflies have been added to the list of endangered species.

Finally, in international news, Europe was dealing with extreme heat, the field to replace Boris Johnson narrowed, the economic and energy impact from Russia’s war in Ukraine and Prince Harry speaks at the United Nations.

—Content provided by The Associated Press. Material compiled and narrated by Terry Lipshetz, senior producer for Lee Enterprises