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Putin orders mobilization; another interest rate hike expected; Hurricane Fiona strengthens | Hot off the Wire podcast

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial mobilization of reservists in Russia. He is risking a deeply unpopular step that follows a string of humiliating setbacks for his troops nearly seven months after invading Ukraine. It’s the first mobilization in Russia since World War II.

The Russian leader also warned the West on Wednesday he isn’t bluffing over using all the means at his disposal to protect Russia’s territory, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Russia’s nuclear capability.

President Joe Biden is ready to make the case at the U.N. General Assembly that Russia's “naked aggression” in Ukraine is an affront to the heart of what the international body stands. In his address Wednesday morning, the American president is looking to rally allies to continue to back the Ukrainian resistance.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise its key short-term rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for the third consecutive time. Many Fed watchers will be paying particular attention to Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks at a news conference afterward.

Hurricane Fiona strengthened into a Category 4 storm Wednesday after lashing the Turks and Caicos Islands and was forecast to squeeze past Bermuda later this week. The storm was blamed for causing at least four direct deaths in its march through the Caribbean, where it unleashed torrential rain in Puerto Rico, leaving a majority without power.

In sports, Aaron Judge blasted his 60th homer, the Atlanta Braves clinched a playoff spot, the New York Mets rallied for a win, and Nathan MacKinnon is now the NHL's highest paid player.

The separatist leaders of four Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine say they are planning to hold referendums this week for the territories to become part of Russia as Moscow loses ground in the war it launched. The votes will be held in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.

There are reports that more migrants are on the move and will land in President Joe Biden's home state of Delaware.

A British official says around a quarter of a million people joined the huge queue to see Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin lying in state in London’s Westminster Hall. The figure was released a day after Britain ended 10 days of national mourning for the late monarch.

Jimmy Kimmel is celebrating his 20th anniversary as ABC’s late-night host early, signing a three-year contract extension for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” His show debuted in January 2003, and the new deal means he will remain with it into the 2025-26 season.

After a year spent off air, the Golden Globe Awards are returning to NBC in January, when the embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association will seek a primetime comeback. The 80th Golden Globes will be held January 10, airing both on NBC and Peacock.

Federal authorities have charged 47 people in what they're calling the largest fraud scheme yet to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by stealing and defrauding the government of $250 million.

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump are resisting independent arbiter Raymond Dearie's request for information about whether the seized records had been declassified, as Trump has maintained. In a letter to Dearie on Monday night, the lawyers said that issue could be part of Trump’s defense in the event of an indictment.

After bashing the proceedings on his web show, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has made his first appearance outside a courthouse in Connecticut where a jury will determine how much in damages he should pay for telling his audience the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. Jones showed up and made comments outside, but left a short time later.

An influential health guidelines group says U.S. doctors should regularly screen adults for anxiety. It’s the first time the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended anxiety screening in primary care for adults without symptoms.

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Authorities say a man suspected of kidnapping a Sikh family in central California tried to kill himself before police found him. The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday the suspect is hospitalized in critical condition. The family is still missing. The sheriff’s office statement said investigators identified 48-year-old Jesus Salgado after he used an ATM card belonging to one of the four victims. They were kidnapped at gunpoint Monday from the office of their trucking company in Merced. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said via Facebook that the kidnapper took the baby, Aroohi Dheri; the child’s mother, Jasleen Kaur; father Jasdeep Singh; and uncle Amandeep Singh. The sheriff said the kidnapper made no ransom demands or contact of any kind.

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