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When oil markets are complicated (and they always are), stick to the things you can control to keep costs down, like how much you drive and where you fill up.What’s the short-term outlook on gas prices?It’s hard to shake the memory of June 2022, when the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline hit...

On the original version of Hot off the Wire (posted Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. CT):

  • Brittney Griner said she’s “grateful” to be back in the United States and plans on playing basketball again next season for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.
  • The return of Griner to the United States in a dramatic prisoner swap with Russia is the AP Sports Story of the Year.
  • Douglas Jensen, an Iowa construction worker, has been sentenced to five years in prison after being at the center of of one of the most harrowing scenes of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
  • The European Union says its latest round of sanctions will hit Russia’s military-industrial complex, as well as people and groups that are attacking Ukrainian civilians or kidnapping children.
  • Oberlin College has finished paying out a $25 million judgment to an Ohio bakery that won a libel lawsuit against the school after a shoplifting incident involving three Black students.
  • Starbucks workers around the U.S. are planning a three-day strike starting Friday as part of an effort to unionize the coffee chain's stores.
  • Facing massive pandemic learning loss, two communities in Virginia looked at adjusting the academic calendar, but they came away with different results.
  • Gas prices have continued to fall thanks to supply and demand. Prices remain higher in the West and are lower in the South.
  • One of California’s largest counties will consider whether to secede and establish a new state, a largely symbolic move driven by economic stress and frustration with state government.
  • German police say a huge aquarium in the center of Berlin burst and caused a wave of devastation in and around the popular tourist attraction.
  • On this week's religion roundup, Catholic immigrant workers in Qatar find a Christmas oasis.

—The Associated Press

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The heads of the International Energy Agency and European Union’s executive branch say the 27-nation bloc is expected to weather an energy crisis this winter. But they say Europe needs to speed renewables to the market and take other steps to avoid a potential natural gas shortage next year. 

US Gas & Oil Prices Fall: U.S. gas prices have dropped 16 cents in the past week and 44 cents in a month, driven largely by lower oil prices.

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The large, costly battery that takes the place of an internal combustion engine make EVs more expensive. But there are other factors driving up the price.

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Nothing spurs a closer look at your budget like fear of a recession — and for many Americans, cars eat up a big chunk of their funds. According to AAA,…

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A gas fireplace lets you enjoy the warmth and coziness of a glowing fire by simply flipping a switch or pressing a button. Without the mess of ash and soot, these clean-burning units require much less upkeep than traditional wood-burning fireplaces, but a bit of gas fireplace maintenance is essential to keep yours in top shape.

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