Morning Headlines - Friday, Aug. 18, 2023

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Friday, Aug. 18, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Canadian Wildfire In Kelowna Jumps Lake Which Emergency Services Hoped Would Stop It In Its Tracks

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes across several sections of Canada after a series of wildfires which threatened to blanket the US in dangerous smog.

In Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, more than 20,000 people have been ordered to flee their homes amid 'out of control' wildfires that now threaten to cut off access to the only highway out of the affected city.

Meanwhile, there were terrifying scenes 1,200 miles south in Kelowna, British Columbia, after another fire jumped Lake Okanagan and consumed several properties.

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Western Powers Argue Over How To Control AI

In the race to rein in artificial intelligence, Western governments have hit a major bump in the road: they all want to win.

Officials from the European Union, the United States and other major economies are competing to write the definitive rules for artificial intelligence, including for the likes of OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard.

Rival summits will be held in the Fall with the aim to reach a coordinated plan between Western governments on how to regulate the emerging technology. But these upcoming events risk entrenching divisions between countries in ways that threaten to undermine efforts to draw up a unified international rulebook on AI. To make matters worse, some of the talks are now getting personal.

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As Abortion Pills Near Supreme Court, Advocates Are Once Burned, Twice Shy

The battle over abortion pills is likely heading to the Supreme Court, whose ruling last year overturning Roe v. Wade has Democrats and abortion rights advocates nervous about another blow.

The Justice Department has already said it will appeal a ruling from a federal appeals court Wednesday that said Mifeprex and its generic counterpart are allowed to stay on the market, but with restrictions that would roll back efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to try to make the drug easier to access.

Those efforts included increasing the gestational age when mifepristone can be used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy rather than seven, allowing the medication to be mailed to patients, lowering the dosage and permitting providers other than physicians to prescribe the drug.

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Hurricane Hilary Path And Timeline: Here's When And Where The Storm Is Projected To Hit California

Hurricane Hilary is expected to hit Southern California as a tropical storm, bringing heavy rainfall as early as this weekend after it makes its way up Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

Forecasters said the storm is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rainfall, with maximum amounts of 10 inches, across portions of Baja California through Sunday night, with the possibility of flash flooding.

There will likely be "damaging wind gusts," especially at higher elevations, in the area, and swells along the coast, Greg Postel, a hurricane and storm specialist at the Weather Channel, told CBS News.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra To Launch With Lighter Titanium Case Than Galaxy S23 Ultra And New 5x Zoom Option

A renowned leaker has provided new details about the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Reputedly, Samsung will include a titanium frame within its next flagship smartphone, as well as a new in-sensor 5x zoom option within its first-party camera app.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Who's In, Who's Out And Who Might Bail On The First Republican Debate?

The clock is ticking for Republican presidential hopefuls to lock in a spot on the debate stage. Candidates have until Monday evening — 48 hours before the first GOP primary debate on Aug. 23 — to meet the Republican National Committee’s polling and donor requirements.

As things currently stand, eight candidates have met the RNC’s minimum standards for polling and donor support, though only five have completed the final step by signing the RNC’s loyalty pledge. Now the question is, will anyone else become eligible to make the stage, and will all eligible participants sign the pledge?

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Wisconsin Crime Labs Processed DNA Test Results Faster In 2022

The state Justice Department’s crime labs processed DNA test results faster in 2022 despite receiving hundreds more cases, according a report released on Aug. 17.

The department’s annual crime lab performance report shows the labs received 4,347 cases involving DNA analysis in 2022. The labs completed the analysis in 3,715 cases, with testing taking an average of 84 days.

That’s an improvement over 2021. The labs took on 3,612 cases that year and completed testing in 3,526 in an average of 128 days per case. In 2020 the labs took in 3,820 cases involving DNA analysis and completed testing in 3,144, taking an average of 79 days per case to complete their work.

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'This Is An Extreme Year': Air Quality Alerts May Become More Common As Climate Gets Warmer, Drier

Wisconsin is in yet another statewide air quality alert issued by the DNR, as wildfires in Canada continue to burn.

Craig Czarnecki with the Wisconsin DNR says they were anticipating air quality from Thursday to Monday to range from dangerous for sensitive groups to dangerous for everyone.

"We had a cold front come through and that's going to slowly start pulling some smoke into our area," Czarnecki said. "Then, we'll have some sustained winds from the northwest. They're going to keep blowing that wildfire smoke from Northwestern Canada in our region over the next couple days."

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Drywall Contractor Sentenced To 18 Months For Tax Evasion

Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Gustavo Reyes, 52, Verona, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 18 months in prison for tax evasion. Reyes pleaded guilty to this charge on May 24, 2023. 

Between 2013 and 2020, Reyes owned and operated a drywall business in Dane County. In 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commenced a civil audit of Reyes’s income tax returns for 2013 and 2014 and determined that he had significantly underreported his income for those years. Between 2015 and 2019, the IRS sent multiple notices to Reyes regarding tax deficiency assessments for the 2013 and 2014 tax years but he did not respond.

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Hortonville Man Sentenced For Distribution Of Child Pornography

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on August 17, 2023, Colton H. Nelson (age: 24) of Hortonville, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment for his distribution of child pornography. Nelson previously pled guilty to the offense on May 3, 2023.

According to court filings, in September of 2022, investigators with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office were conducting an online investigation on a popular peer-to-peer file sharing platform. Investigators observed that an individual, later identified as Colton H. Nelson, was engaged in the receipt and distribution of numerous videos and images containing child sexual abuse material. During execution of a search warrant at Nelson’s residence, law enforcement recovered - over 7,000 videos and images depicting child pornography.

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Last Update: Aug 18, 2023 10:05 am CDT

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