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Hurricane Fiona roars by Bermuda; 4.4M Americans get new boosters; Celtics suspend coach Ime Udoka | Hot off the Wire podcast

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Hurricane Fiona is pounding Bermuda with heavy rains and winds as it sweeps by the island and is forecast to approach northeastern Canada as a still-powerful storm late Friday.

More than 4 million Americans have rolled up their sleeves for the new omicron-specific booster shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted the count Thursday. The new shots are designed to target the most common omicron strains of the coronavirus.

A NASA spacecraft is about to clobber a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away in the first save-the-world experiment of its kind. The spacecraft named Dart will zero in on the asteroid Monday, intent on slamming it head-on at 14,000 mph. The impact should be just enough to nudge the asteroid into a slightly tighter orbit around its companion space rock.

Protesters across Iran have continued to clash violently with security forces following the death of a young woman in police custody, as Iranian state TV suggested the death toll from the unrest could be as high as 26, without offering details.

In sports, the Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Yankees clinced a playoff spot and the Boston Celtics suspended coach Ime Udoka for the season.

The United States has made its case at the U.N. Security Council for why Russia should face further censure and isolation over the Ukraine invasion. It comes the day after Ukraine’s president laid out a forceful case against Russia’s invasion at the United Nations.

President Joe Biden says the full force of the federal government is ready to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricane Fiona. Speaking in New York Thursday, he said hundreds of FEMA and other federal officials are already on the ground with more help coming.

A former director of Mississippi’s welfare agency pleaded guilty Thursday to federal and state charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families. The scandal also raised questions about retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.

Wildlife experts have rescued 32 of 230 whales that were found stranded on the wild and remote west coast of Australia’s island state of Tasmania. 

A former professional tennis player-turned-coach from Chile has received a lifetime ban from the sport for a record-high number of match-fixing offenses.

Walmart and Target plan to begin offering deals and price matching offers earlier this year to keep up with Americans pressed by soaring inflation and looking for ways to take the sting out of holiday shopping.

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped by more than a quarter-point this week to their highest level since 2008, a result of the Federal Reserve’s intensified effort to tamp down decades-high inflation and cool the economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate climbed to 6.29% from 6.02% last week.

The fictional soccer team from the Emmy-winning “Ted Lasso” are included in the FIFA 23 video game from EA Sports.

Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, apologized "for any stress that I have caused" to ex-wife Kim Kardashian.

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