Massive storm brings tornadoes, blizzard threat; more free COVID-19 tests; bust of Dred Scott author could be removed | Hot off the Wire podcast

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On this version of Hot off the Wire:

» A massive storm blowing across the country has spawned several tornadoes that wrecked buildings and injured a handful of people in Oklahoma and Texas. Meanwhile, much of the central United States braced Tuesday for blizzard-like conditions, from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest.

» The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.

» French authorities say a car in the southern French city of Montpellier “violently hit” and killed a boy as crowds celebrated France’s victory in the World Cup semifinal.

» The bust of a U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote an infamous decision on slavery could soon be leaving the Capitol. The House approved a bill Wednesday that calls for removing the bust of Roger Taney, the nation’s fifth chief justice, who wrote the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision that held African-Americans were not citizens.

» In sports, Stephen Curry injured his left shoulder in a loss at Indiana, the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic had 43 points and the Wizards lost again, and France advanced at the World Cup.

Earlier reports:

» The Federal Reserve reinforced its inflation fight by raising its key interest rate for the seventh time this year and signaling more hikes to come. But the Fed announced a smaller hike than it had in its past four meetings at a time when inflation is showing signs of easing.

» Whether increased regulation would have prevented the spectacular collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX was fiercely debated at a hearing of the Senate’s banking committee Wednesday. However, new legislation is potentially on the way.

» Police say a shooting at an Amazon Flex warehouse facility in Arizona has left one contract worker at the facility wounded and the suspect dead.

» A San Francisco police sergeant has testified that the man accused of attacking the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was “evil in Washington” and he was targeting Pelosi because she is second in line to the presidency.

» Ukrainian authorities say they thwarted a Russian attack on Kyiv and the surrounding region as their air defense system destroyed 13 explosive-laden drones.

» This year’s nine Associated Press’ Breakthrough Entertainers of the Year includes actors and musicians who flowered in 2022. They are Sadie Sink, Stephanie Hsu, Tenoch Huerta, Joaquina Kalukango, Iman Vellani, Daryl McCormack, Tobe Nwigwe, Simone Ashley and Danielle Deadwyler.

» Twitter has suspended an account that used publicly available flight data to track Elon Musk’s private jet, despite a pledge by the social media platform’s new owner to keep it up because of his free speech principles.

» President Joe Biden says the U.S. “should have societal guilt” for the slow pace of action on restricting access to firearms as he marked the 10th anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

» Longtime “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss has died at the age of 40. Boss’ wife, Allison Holker Boss, confirmed his passing in a statement published Wednesday on

» General Motors is recalling more than 825,000 SUVs and cars in the U.S. and Canada because the daytime running lights may not turn off when the headlights are on.

» Company holiday parties are making a comeback. A survey of 252 U.S.-based companies by hiring firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas finds that more than 57% of companies are planning an in-person holiday party this year.