Daily Briefing: Putin ups the ante in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists in Russia. The Fed is likely to deliver a third consecutive big interest rate hike. Most people in Puerto Rico remain without electricity or running water after Hurricane Fiona struck.

👋 I'm Jane Onyanga-Omara, filling in for Nicole Fallert. Before we dive into the news, what do you think of Daily Briefing? Love it? Want to see different kinds of stories? If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear your thoughts here. Now, here's Wednesday's top stories.

🌅 Up first:  Its bulging, glassy eyes peer eerily at the camera. The clown-like shark that looks more like a nightmare than a fish was recently caught in Australia – and people have questions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announces partial mobilization for reservists

Putin's announcement Wednesday appeared to be an admission that Moscow’s war against Ukraine isn't going according to plan after nearly seven months of fighting. It's the first mobilization in Russia since World War II and comes amid humiliating battlefield losses for the Kremlin’s forces in recent weeks. The address comes a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold votes on becoming integral parts of Russia. The Kremlin-backed efforts to swallow up four regions could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war following Ukrainian successes. Read more 

In this file photo taken on September 20, 2022 a billboard promoting contract army service with an image of a serviceman and the slogan reading "Serving Russia is a real job" sits in Saint Petersburg.

Fed to announce next rate hike: How will it affect you?

​​Americans should prepare their finances for even higher interest rates. Although the Federal Reserve has increased its benchmark short-term fed funds rate by 2.25% this year, with the last two rate hikes at a whopping 75 basis points each, consumer inflation continues to linger near a 40-year high. That means the Fed is likely to deliver a third consecutive mega interest rate hike when it concludes its policy-making meeting on Wednesday, and consumers should expect their costs to head even higher and job losses to mount as economic growth grinds to a halt. Read more 

One thing to know: How high will interest rates go? The Fed's expected to raise rates by 75 basis points, which would mark the third consecutive increase of that size.

  • How does this affect my plans to buy a house? Homeowners with existing fixed-rate mortgages won’t see any changes. But recent and prospective homebuyers are being socked by higher rates.

  • How do higher interest rates affect the stock market? The dual fear of higher rates and recession (or stagflation) are pressuring stocks, and many market strategists think stocks have another low in them this year.

  • How do Fed rate hikes affect credit cards? Credit card interest rates go even higher. That means your debt is going to keep getting more expensive unless you act now.

  • How do Fed rate hikes affect auto loans? The toll should be less painful. Typically, the cost of a quarter-point increase in rates on a $25,000 loan is just a few dollars extra per month, experts say.

  • How does Fed's decision affect bank savings interest rates? As Fed rates rise, banks will be able to charge a little more for loans, giving them more profit margin to pay a higher rate on customer deposits.

Read more: Here’s the Federal Reserve’s best tool against inflation — and how it’s worked for 40 years.

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Most of Puerto Rico out of power after Hurricane Fiona

Hurricane Fiona grew more powerful Tuesday as it rolled past Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic after pounding the islands with up to 30 inches of rain, triggering overwhelming flooding, mudslides, and destruction. Early Wednesday, the storm threatened to strengthen from a Category 3 into a Category 4 storm as it lashed the Turks and Caicos Islands. About 80% of Puerto Rico remained without power early Tuesday, though officials said they were making progress restoring parts of it. Water service was cut to more than 837,000 customers – two-thirds of the total on the island, officials said. Read more

A man collects donated water bottles for drinking after Hurricane Fiona damaged water supplies in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

More news to know now:

🌤 What's the weather up to in your neck of the woods? Check your local forecast here.

Would Adnan Syed's murder conviction have been overturned without 'Serial' podcast?

Twenty-two years after Adnan Syed was sentenced to life in prison and eight years after the shaky case against him became the center of the hit podcast "Serial," a Baltimore judge on Monday ordered that Syed’s conviction be vacated and he walked out of court a free man. The move came after prosecutors said they no longer have faith in their original case – something that many followers of “Serial” have been saying for years. The first season of the podcast spawned investigations into Syed's conviction, books and documentaries. The podcast concluded with host Sarah Koenig saying she was unsure who killed Hae Min Lee, Syed's ex-girlfriend. Read more 

Adnan Syed, subject of 'Serial' podcast, released from prison after 20 years

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Step aside, Sultan of Swat: Aaron Judge hits home run No. 60, on brink of reaching Roger Maris' mark

After Aaron Judge had matched Babe Ruth’s 60-homer season of 1927 and moved one away from Roger Maris’ single-season franchise and AL record-setting 61st homer in 1961, “It felt like something special was going to happen,’’ said Nestor Cortes. “And it did.’’ In the Yankees' 147th game of the year, Judge became the third Yankee to reach the 60-homer mark. He's just the sixth MLB player with at least 60 homers in a season, accomplished nine times – topped by Barry Bonds' record 73 homers in 2001 and Mark McGwire's 70 in 1998. Read more

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits his 60th home run of the season, during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

📸 Cheerleaders, celebrities, fans and mascots at NFL games in 2022 📸

Week 2: Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders perform during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons in SoFi Stadium.

Every NFL team still has 15 games left to play in the 2022 regular season. This will be the league's third season featuring the 14-team playoff format.

Check out our gallery of fans, celebrities and mascot attending the games this season.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vladimir Putin, Fed hike, Hurricane Fiona: Daily Briefing