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Hero in Colorado Springs; concerns over possible rail strike; 'Jeopardy!' crowns champ; U.S. plays to World Cup draw | Hot off the Wire podcast

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Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

On the latest version of Hot off the Wire:

  • Army veteran Rich Fierro, who helped subdue the gunman at a gay club in Colorado Springs, credits his military training and instincts in helping him disarm the attacker. The rampage killed five people and wounded 17.
  • Consumers could quickly start seeing higher gas prices and shortages of some of their favorite groceries if railroads aren’t able to agree on contracts with all 12 of their unions. Congress may ultimately have to step in to protect the economy.
  • Amy Schneider, who won 40 games in a row on ‘Jeopardy!', capped off her big year by winning the game show's tournament of champions and a $250,000 prize.
  • In sports, World Cup action began for the United States, the 49ers faced Arizona and the Bucks beat the Blazers.

For additional information on this episode, please see our show notes.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made a triumphant visit to the newly liberated city of Kherson. He hailed the Russian withdrawal from the southern city as the “beginning of the end of the war” but also acknowledged the heavy price Ukrainian soldiers are paying in their grinding effort to push back the invaders. Retaking Kherson was one of Ukraine’s biggest successes in the nearly 9-month-old war and delivered another stinging blow to the Kremlin. But large parts of eastern and southern Ukraine are still under Russian control, and the city of Kherson itself is without water, power and heat, and remains within reach of Moscow’s shells and missiles. Heavy fighting continued elsewhere in Ukraine.

Amid the death and destruction war leaves in its wake, there are powerful dynamics and narratives: domination, besieged populations, occupation and their counterparts, resistance, freedom and liberation. Vast swaths of Western and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union knew this well at various points of the 20th century. In Russia’s nearly nine-month war in Ukraine, the names of towns and cities have been seared on the global consciousness as they witnessed the full spectrum of wartime horrors and more recently, jubilation. Liberation and victory on the battlefield are also powerful incentives for allies like the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom to keep a steady flow of military aid that directly helps Ukraine’s advances.

As Russians seized parts of eastern and southern Ukraine in the opening stages of the war, mayors, civilian administrators and others say they have been abducted, threatened or beaten to force their cooperation. In some instances, they have been killed. Human rights activists say these actions could constitute a war crime. Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said he was abducted from his office and “the bullying and threats did not stop for a minute." He said they tried to force him to continue in his role but he refused. After six days in detention and an intervention from Ukraine's president, he was exchanged for nine Russian prisoners of war and expelled from the occupied city.