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The state of the economy, voices in politics and the spread of Monkeypox | Hot off the Wire podcast

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The state of the economy remained front and center this past week, most notably after a Thursday report stoked further fears of a recession.

The gross domestic product report results from April through June showed that the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.9%. This report came just one day after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a sizable three-quarters of a point for a second straight time.

And that move by the Fed came after another report highlighted consumer confidence falling and Walmart needed to recalibrate its earnings estimates over fears Americans had less money for discretionary items.

Even the simplest of items, notably bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches sold at New York City bodegas, have not been immune to soaring prices.

One positive news of note: gas prices have been steadily falling, although they still remain higher than a year ago.

And in other financial news, a merger is coming in the airline industry as JetBlue has agreed to purchase Spirit Airlines.

We’re living in a highly polarized environment, but Democrats and Republicans appear to share the same view on at least one subject and that it’s time for fresh voices in politics.

Results of that survey were released ahead of speaking appearances by both former President Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence. The former allies turned rivals gave dueling speeches in Washington as each consider possible presidential runs in 2024.

Sen. Joe Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck a deal for Manchin’s support on health care, energy and climate issues, as part of the once-stalled reconciliation bill. 

And in another poll that has the support of most Americans: term limits for Supreme Court Justices.

In court cases and other legal news, two officers in the George Floyd case were sentenced and a man convicted in the Capitol riot will spend 63 months in jail. We look at those stories and other legal cases.

And in other national news, a report shows millennials have not strayed far from home and a World War II veteran was honored.

Is the U.S. and Russia close to a prisoner swap that would bring WNBA star Brittney Griner home? We look at that story as well as concerns over a potential trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the threat of nuclear weapons from North Korea, the Pope’s trip to Canada and other international news.

In health and science news, President Biden has recovered from a case of COVID-19, the latest on Monkeypox, concerns over the benefits of Vitamin D supplements, the future of pelicans in the Gulf Coast and a deep dive into the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

— Compiled and narrated by Terry Lipshetz from Associated Press reports

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