Morning Headlines - Friday, Dec. 16, 2022

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

Morning Headlines - Friday, Dec. 16, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Russia-Ukraine Live: ‘Two Killed’ In Russian Missile Attacks

Ukrainian officials report ‘two people killed’ in Kryvvi Rih in the latest Russian missile strikes on Ukraine, as Kyiv officials call the attacks the ‘biggest’ since the war began.

Ukrainian officials have reported “massive” Russian attacks on energy facilities and infrastructure in the capital Kyiv, southern Kryvyi Rih and northeastern Kharkiv, with authorities urging civilians to take cover.

Russia’s state news agency, TASS, has reported eight people were killed and 23 injured in Ukrainian shelling in the Russian-controlled Luhansk region.

Ukrainian officials have warned of a renewed offensive by Russia in the new year, which could include a new ground assault on Kyiv.

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US Judge Blocks Biden Bid To End 'Remain In Mexico' Policy

A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending a Trump-era policy requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas stayed the termination until legal challenges by Texas and Missouri are settled but didn't order the policy reinstated. The impact on the program wasn't immediately clear.

“It’s a common sense policy to prevent people from entering our country illegally,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted after the ruling. “Texas wins again, for now.”

The ruling could prove to be a temporary setback for the Biden administration, which may appeal.

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Senate GOP Faces Politics Vs. Policy Battle On Marijuana

The omnibus package is on the path to passage, but the expected exclusion of marijuana banking reform has spawned a battle in the Senate GOP.

For months, top Democrats and a number of Republicans had high hopes that legislation allowing banks to offer services to cannabis businesses in states where it has been legalize would be part of either the year-end National Defense Authorization Act or the omnibus package.

Those dreams were dashed last week when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took a two-by-four to the plan, likely leaving the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act on the cutting room floor this year.

That has put Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) in a tricky position.

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Trump's Former Adviser Steve Bannon Turns On Former President Over His 'Major Announcement' About Superhero NFTs

Former Trump White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said Thursday that he 'can't do this anymore,' following the ex-commander in chief's 'major announcement' turning out to be digital trading cards.

Bannon, who in October was sentenced to four months in prison following his conviction on contempt of Congress charges, reacted to the anticlimactic reveal on his Right Side Broadcasting Network with exasperation.

He flatly admitted that while he considers Trump one of America's greatest presidents, the digital trading cards were a step too far.

Bannon, speaking with fellow Trump White House advisors Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Steve Cortes on his show 'The War Room,' blamed either business partners or comms staffers who Bannon believes pushed these NFTs on Trump.

He commented that 'you will not find three harder cores' than he and his two co-hosts, with Bannon - who continues to support Trump - expressing that the NFTs made him look like he's not taking the run seriously.

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Twitter Suspends Journalists Who Have Been Covering Elon Musk And The Company

Twitter on Thursday evening suddenly suspended several high-profile journalists who cover the platform and Elon Musk, one of the richest people in the world, who acquired the company just a few months ago.

Hours after the suspensions took hold, Musk faced off with one of the journalists he suspended in a Twitter Space audio discussion before an audience of more than 30,000 listeners. The suspended journalist, along with several others, found a backdoor way onto the platform through the website's audio function.

“You doxx, you get suspended. End of story. That's it,” Musk said, explaining his latest policy to the group, before he left minutes after having joined the discussion.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Fifteen Defendants Charged In A Multi-State Drug Trafficking Organization

United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on December 13, 2022, a federal grand jury sitting in Milwaukee returned a Superseding Indictment charging fifteen defendants with offenses related to a drug-trafficking organization that obtained kilogram quantities of fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana from California for distribution in the Milwaukee, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Chicago areas. Many of the individuals were also charged in a money laundering conspiracy based upon their alleged use of business accounts to conceal drug proceeds. Multiple defendants also are charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of the drug trafficking conspiracy.

Included among the defendants is Phillip Daniels, Sr., also known as “Dr. Phil,” who is alleged to be the current leader of the organization. According to a criminal complaint, Phillip Daniels, Sr. obtained fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana from suppliers in California and arranged to have the substances shipped to addresses in Milwaukee and the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. The organization also is alleged to have obtained and sold counterfeit oxycodone pills, which contained fentanyl or methamphetamine. According to court records, a financial investigation revealed that members of the drug trafficking organization funneled over two million dollars in proceeds into bank accounts associated with various businesses.

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Federal Inmate Receives 9-Month Consecutive Prison Term For Possession Of Contraband

Matthew S. Kirst, an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution at Oxford, Wisconsin was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 9 months in federal prison for possessing contraband in prison. Kirst pleaded guilty to the charge on September 12, 2022.

On September 28, 2021, Kirst was an inmate serving a federal prison sentence for possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. That day, prison staff discovered Kirst was in possession of 175 strips containing buprenorphine/suboxone and a quantity of synthetic marijuana, both controlled substances.

Judge Conley said a 9-month prison sentence was necessary to reflect the seriousness of the situation and to deter other inmates from similar conduct. He noted drugs like the ones that Kirst possessed while incarcerated can contribute to violence and dangerous situations among inmates. Judge Conley also noted that this was Kirst’s second conviction for possessing contraband in prison, and the sentence was meant to send a message. Pursuant to federal law, the 9-month prison term must be served consecutive to the sentences Kirst is currently serving and will serve for his previous firearm and contraband convictions.

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Miss Wisconsin, Grace Stanke Of Wausau, Crowned Miss America 2023

Miss Wisconsin, Grace Stanke of Wausau, was crowned Miss America 2023 on Thursday.

First runner-up was Miss New York, followed by Texas, West Virginia, and Georgia.

NBC 26 reported earlier this week that Stanke won the $2,500 talent scholarship for her classical violin performance.

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Charged With Homicide For The Shooting Death Of His Mother, A 10-Year-Old Is Being Tried As An Adult. Some Legal Experts Say That's Too Young

As a 10-year-old Milwaukee boy accused of killing his mother makes his way through the court system, some legal experts and activists worry the boy is far too young to be tried as an adult — raising questions about how Wisconsin law handles juvenile offenders.

Milwaukee police say the boy shot and killed his mother on the morning of Nov. 21, following an argument they had the night before. But family say the boy has dealt with mental issues for years, even leading his mother to place cameras throughout the home to monitor him, according to a criminal complaint.

The boy is now facing a first-degree reckless homicide charge and a harsher first-degree intentional homicide charge, which carries a sentence of life imprisonment. In Wisconsin, children as young as 10 are automatically charged as adults for some crimes, including homicide.

His young age was apparent in court this week; when asked about the possibility he could post bond, the child told his lawyer he might be able to look through couch cushions in search of loose change. His defense attorney had asked the judge in the case to lower the bond to $100, but the judge refused the request. The boy is being held in a juvenile detention facility pending a $50,000 bond.

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DNR Conservation Biologist Receives National Lifetime Achievement Award

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is pleased to announce that Conservation Biologist Thomas Meyer was awarded the national George B. Fell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Natural Areas Association (NAA) for his career-long efforts to build and advocate for Wisconsin's State Natural Areas (SNA) program.

This award is given to an individual who exhibits the highest qualities of the profession and who has significantly advanced natural area identification, protection, stewardship or research and the mission of the Natural Areas Association. This award is the association's highest and is reserved for exceptional achievements in any of the areas in which the Natural Areas Association is concerned. With 37 years dedicated to protecting and enhancing Wisconsin's natural heritage, Thomas Meyer is an exemplary recipient of this prestigious recognition.

"Although I'm proud of the natural areas I've helped protect, my greatest professional joy and satisfaction has been sharing the wonder of these places with others," said Meyer. "Though we may stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, I think we do so for those who come after us."

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Last Update: Dec 16, 2022 6:41 am CST

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