Remote learning put kids behind; Amazon shutting down; Astros take 2-0 ALCS lead | Hot off the Wire podcast

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A summary of what’s in today’s podcast:

As the harmful effects of extended pandemic school closures become more apparent, some educators and parents have regrets. They’re questioning decisions in cities across the U.S. to remain online long after clear evidence emerged that schools weren’t COVID-19 super-spreaders — and months after life-saving adult vaccines became widely available.

Gen. Sergei Surovikin has become the face of Russia’s new military strategy in Ukraine, which includes unleashing a barrage of strikes against the country’s infrastructure. The 56-year-old general was put in charge on Oct. 8 after what has so far been a faltering invasion that has seen a number of chaotic retreats and other setbacks in nearly eight months of war. 

Authorities say a Princeton University student from Ohio who went missing near campus roughly a week ago has been found dead.

A federal judge has dismissed an effort by six Republican-led states to block the Biden administration’s plan to forgive student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans. 

Amazon is shutting down a subsidiary that’s been selling fabrics for nearly 30 years. The closure of is the online retailer’s latest cost-cutting move.

The Astros beat the Yankees for the second straight day, the Cardinals rediscovered their passing game, the Clippers topped the Lakers and the Sharks finally celebrated a win.

A jury sided with Kevin Spacey, finding he didn’t sexually abuse fellow actor Anthony Rapp in the 1980s. This brings to a conclusion a trial that was an outgrowth of the #MeToo movement.

The White House says the U.S. has evidence that Iranian troops are “directly engaged on the ground” in Crimea supporting Russian drone attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure and civilian population.

The Pentagon will provide travel funds and support for troops and their dependents who seek abortions but are based in states where they are now illegal.

President Joe Biden has checked out the repair work underway at a Pennsylvania bridge that became a symbol of the nation’s troubled infrastructure when it collapsed nine months ago. Biden visited Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge on Thursday to showcase his administration’s efforts to revitalize the nation’s roadways.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term in which her economic policies roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party obliterated her authority.

Oklahoma has executed an inmate convicted of killing his infant daughter in 2002. Benjamin Cole was put to death Thursday morning at Oklahoma’s state penitentiary in McAlester.

An Afghan couple who arrived in the U.S. as refugees are suing a U.S. Marine and his wife for allegedly abducting their baby. The baby was injured in a U.S. military raid that killed her parents and 5 siblings, and was being raised as a daughter by her newlywed adult cousin and his wife.

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes fell in September for the eighth month in a row, matching the pre-pandemic sales pace from 10 years ago, as house hunters grappled with sharply higher mortgage rates, rising home prices and a still tight supply of properties on the market.

American Airlines is reporting a $483 million profit for the third quarter, as planes were mostly full and fares were higher over the hectic summer months. American says demand for travel remains strong, and it forecast better fourth-quarter results than Wall Street was expecting.

Joni Mitchell had so much fun at her surprise performance at the Newport Folk Festival this summer that she’s coming back to the stage. She’ll appear next June at The Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state, again alongside Brandi Carlile, who announced the plans on “The Daily Show” late Wednesday.