On this version of Hot off the Wire:
ATLANTA (AP) — Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has died at the age of 96. The Carter Center in Atlanta announced that the wife of former President Jimmy Carter died Sunday afternoon at her home in Plains, Georgia, with her family at her side. Rosalynn Carter was married to Jimmy Carter for more than 77 years, and both said she was the more political of the pair. Unlike many previous first ladies, Rosalynn Carter sat in on Cabinet meetings and spoke out on controversial issues. President Carter even sent her on a trip to Latin America to tell dictators he meant what he said on human rights. Together, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter also co-founded The Carter Center to continue their work.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has made an unannounced visit to Kyiv. He arrived Monday in what is expected to be a high-profile push to keep money and weapons flowing to Ukraine even as U.S. and international resources are stretched by the new global risks raised by the Israel-Hamas conflict. Austin traveled to Kyiv by train from Poland. He is scheduled to meet with senior Ukrainian officials and publicly press Ukraine’s urgent military needs as it enters another tough winter of fighting. U.S. officials said Austin intended to tell Ukrainian officials that American support for Kyiv’s effort to defeat Russia’s invasion forces is steadfast and will continue.
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KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli forces are pressing their offensive against Hamas in northern Gaza. They are battling militants around a hospital where thousands of patients and displaced people have been sheltering for weeks, raising Palestinian fears of another painful standoff and evacuation of a medical facility. A medical worker inside the Indonesian Hospital and the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Monday that a shell struck the second floor of the facility, killing at least 12 people. Both blamed Israeli forces. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military. The advance came a day after the World Health Organization evacuated 31 premature babies from Shifa Hospital. At least 28 were transported to Egypt on Monday.
Millions are expected to travel for the holidays. Wind, snow and rain could be problematic for travelers across the Northeast, according to the National Weather Service.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is spending part of his 81st birthday observing the White House tradition of pardoning Thanksgiving turkeys. The gobblers receiving executive clemency at a ceremony Monday are named Liberty and Bell. The 20-week-old, 42-pound birds were hatched and bred in Willmar, Minnesota, by the Jennie-O turkey company for the occasion. The turkey pardon ceremony marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Washington and it will be an especially busy day for the White House. In addition to celebrating the president’s birthday, Jill Biden also welcomes delivery of an 18-and-a-half-foot Fraser fir from North Carolina as the official White House Christmas tree.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An elevated Los Angeles freeway closed by a Nov. 11 arson fire has reopened ahead of Monday morning’s commute. That’s at least a day earlier than previously announced and weeks ahead of the original estimate. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Sunday that inspections showed it’s safe to reopen shortly after crews worked round the clock for days to shore up about 100 support columns. Newsom said the freeway would be “fully operational” before Monday’s rush hour. An estimated 300,000 vehicles a day use the east-west freeway crossing the heart of Los Angeles. Vice President Kamala Harris joined Newsom and city Mayor Karen Bass for Sunday’s announcement.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s military has warned North Korea not to go ahead with its planned spy satellite launch. A senior officer suggested Monday that South Korea could suspend an inter-Korean agreement to reduce tensions and resume front-line aerial surveillance in response. North Korea’s first two attempts to put a spy satellite into space failed and its promised third attempt has been delayed. South Korean officials say the delay likely was because North Korea is receiving Russian technology assistance and a launch could happen in coming days. The U.N. Security Council bans any satellite launches by North Korea because it views them as a disguised test of its missile technology.
Sugar prices are soaring in many places. That’s largely due to production shortfalls in key exporters India and Thailand that are partly blamed on the El Nino. The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization is predicting a 2% decline in production this year. Increasingly, sugar is being used for biofuels like ethanol, so global sugar buffer stocks are at their lowest since 2009.
The Lions rally from down two scores late to beat the Bears, Matthew Stafford’s return helps the Rams end their three-game losing streak, the Broncos ends the Vikings’ winning streak, a LeBron James free throw gives the Lakers a win over the Rockets, and Aaron Nola decides to stay with the Phillies.
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” tops the North American box office in its first weekend in theaters. The $44 million in ticket sales the film earned is a new low for the franchise. It always opened over $100 million in its Jennifer Lawrence days. The animated “Trolls Band Together” opened in second place with $30.6 million, while “The Marvels” fell a record 78% in its second weekend. Taika Waititi’s soccer comedy “Next Goal Wins” and the slasher “Thanksgiving” also opened in wide release over the busy, pre-Thanksgiving weekend.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sean “Diddy” Combs and singer Cassie say they have settled a lawsuit containing allegations of beatings and abuse by the powerful music producer. The settlement was announced on Friday in a statement from an attorney for Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura. It comes one day after the lawsuit was filed. The statement says Combs and Ventura have reached a deal to their “mutual satisfaction.” No terms of the agreement have been disclosed. Ventura and Combs both issued statements. The statement from Ventura’s lawyer says no further statements will be issued.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Taylor Swift has postponed a concert in Rio de Janeiro after a 23-year-old fan died during her Friday night show. The singer said in a handwritten note posted Saturday on Instagram that the decision was made due to the extremely hot weather in the Brazilian city. “The safety and well being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first,” Swift wrote in the message posted on Instagram. The cause of death for Ana Clara Benevides Machado has not yet been announced. But concertgoers complained they were not allowed to take water into Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium despite the soaring temperatures in Rio on Friday.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue was illuminated with a welcome to Brazil message for Taylor Swift. It was thanks to an act of charity by Swift fans orchestrated by the Catholic sanctuary that manages the world’s most famous Christ statue. The colossal monument donned a projected white “Welcome to Brazil” T-shirt honoring the singer’s latest leg of her Eras Tour. The initiative was launched after a request from Taylor Swift fans. The priest who runs the Christ statue then dared Swifties to donate for a good cause in return for their request. The statue was lit Thursday night after Swifties met the goal and helped fundraise for 20,000 panettones and water for the Catholic Church’s World Day of the Poor, which will be marked on Sunday.
NEW YORK (AP) — George Brown, the co-founder and longtime drummer of Kool & The Gang who helped write such hits as “Too Hot,” “Ladies Night,” “Joanna” and the party favorite “Celebration,” has died at age 74. A statement from Universal Music says Brown died Thursday in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. Kool & The Gang has sold millions of records with its catchy blend of jazz, funk and soul, what Brown liked to call “the sound of happiness.” Brown helped launch the Grammy-winning group in 1964. Kool & the Gang broke through in the mid-1970s with “Jungle Boogie” among others songs and peaked in the late ’70s and mid-1980s, with such hits as “Cherish” and “Celebration.”
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