Nuclear plant loses external power; ‘Murder She Wrote’ star dies; baseball playoffs continue | Hot off the Wire podcast

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The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency says Ukraine’s biggest nuclear plant has lost all external power needed for vital safety systems for the second time in five days. International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi on Wednesday called it a “deeply worrying development.”

The Los Angeles City Council is mired in uncertainty after a recording surfaced of members participating in a meeting in which racist language was used to mock their colleagues. It’s not known if the Council can assemble the required 10 members — out of 15 total — to conduct business Wednesday.

A now-former San Antonio police officer has been charged for shooting and gravely wounding a teen eating a hamburger in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot. A family attorney says 17-year-old Erik Cantu remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Joe Biden’s three-state swing out West this week will capture, in a nutshell, the White House’s midterm strategy for a president who remains broadly unpopular: Promote his administration’s accomplishments and appear where he can effectively rally the party faithful.

Authorities say a tree trimmer was killed in the San Francisco Bay Area after he fell into a wood chipper. Police say the man, whose name has not been released, was working in the city of Menlo Park shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday when he fell.

The International Monetary Fund is downgrading its outlook for the world economy for 2023, citing a long list of threats that include Russia’s war against Ukraine, chronic inflation pressures, punishing interest rates and the lingering consequences of the global pandemic.

Angela Lansbury, the scene-stealing British actor who kicked up her heels in the Broadway musicals “Mame” and “Gypsy” and solved endless murders as crime novelist Jessica Fletcher in the long-running TV series “Murder, She Wrote,” has died. She was 96.

NASA says a spacecraft that plowed into a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away last month succeeded in shifting its orbit. NASA attempted the first test of its kind two weeks ago to see if a killer rock could be nudged out of Earth’s way.

In sports, the Houston got a 9th inning homer to complete a comeback, the New York Yankees got two homers in their win, Philadelphia’s postseason success continued, the Los Angeles Dodgers got early offense in their win, and the NHL season opened. 

Russian forces have carpeted Ukraine with a fresh barrage of missiles and munition-carrying drones. The bombardment came a day after strikes across the country killed at least 19 people and knocked out power across the country. The U.N. human rights office says the “particularly shocking” attacks could amount to war crimes.

President Joe Biden is reevaluating the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia. That’s after the Riyadh-led OPEC+ alliance of oil-producing nations announced it would cut oil production and as Democratic lawmakers are calling for a freeze on cooperation with the Saudis.

The lead prosecutor of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz has made his final case to persuade jurors to sentence him to death. Cruz pleaded guilty a year ago. The jurors will only decide whether Cruz is sentenced to death or life without parole.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the U.S. has brokered a “historic breakthrough” between Israel and Lebanon that would end a dispute over their shared maritime border.

A Connecticut jury has resumed deliberations on how much conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay for spreading the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

Crypto exchange Bittrex was fined $24 million by U.S. authorities on Tuesday for helping clients evade U.S. sanctions in places such as Syria, Iran and Crimea.

Prosecutors have dropped charges against Adnan Syed in the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee after additional DNA testing excluded him as a suspect in a case chronicled by the hit podcast “Serial.”

A person with directly knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press that the NFL did not give officials a directive to emphasize roughing-the-passer penalties following Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion, but the topic will be discussed next week when NFL owners meet in New York.

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. says it plans to sell its Russian operations to its local partner and end manufacturing there.

A horticulture teacher from Minnesota has set a new U.S. record for the heaviest pumpkin after raising a giant gourd weighing 2,560 pounds.