Morning Headlines - Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

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

Morning Headlines - Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Trump Special Master Overturned By Appeals Court In Mar-a-lago Documents Investigation

A panel of judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday to overturn the appointment of a special master tasked with reviewing thousands of documents seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate this summer.

The ruling by the three-judge panel, including two Trump appointees, goes into effect in seven days, absent intervention by the full circuit court or the Supreme Court.

"The law is clear," the judges found. "We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so."

The order effectively eliminates what federal authorities had described as a major obstacle in their ongoing criminal investigation into whether Trump illegally retained highly classified records after leaving the presidency and obstructed efforts by the government to recover them. He denies wrongdoing.

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Five Reasons Why The Georgia Senate Runoff Matters

Tuesday’s Senate run-off in Georgia is vital, even though Democrats have already secured control of the upper chamber.

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) bested former football star Herschel Walker by roughly 36,000 votes in the initial round of voting on Nov. 8. But Warnock fell just short of getting the necessary 50 percent of votes cast in that contest, which also featured a Libertarian candidate.

This time around, it’s a one-on-one race between Warnock and Walker.

Early voting began on Thanksgiving weekend, and the following Monday saw the largest number of ballots cast on any single day of early voting in the state’s history.

Here’s why the runoff matters.

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Biden Prepared To Meet Putin To End Russia's War

US President Joe Biden has said he would be ready to meet Russia's Vladimir Putin "if in fact there is an interest in him deciding that he's looking for a way to end the war".

Addressing reporters alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, he stressed Mr Putin had not yet done that.

The two men stressed they would continue to stand against Russia's war.

In response, the Kremlin said President Putin remained open to talks aimed "to ensure our interests".

However, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow was certainly not ready to accept US conditions: "What did President Biden say in fact? He said that negotiations are possible only after Putin leaves Ukraine."

It complicated the search for a mutual basis for talks, he said, that the US did not recognise "new territories" in Ukraine, which Russia illegally claimed as its own at the end of September.

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Kanye West’s Twitter Account Has Been Suspended After Elon Musk Says It Violated Rule Against Incitement To Violence

Kanye West’s Twitter account was suspended early Friday morning after Elon Musk said it violated the platform’s rules on inciting violence.

“I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended,” Musk tweeted in a reply.

CNN could not confirm which specific tweet prompted West’s suspension. However, earlier in the evening, West — who has legally changed his name to Ye — tweeted an altered image of the Star of David with a swastika inside.

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The Hall Of Fame Math For Barry Bonds And Roger Clemens Doesn't Add Up

They’re baaaaaack.

Last winter, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each failed to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame for the 10th time, ending their tenure on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s ballot (the main vehicle for electing players to the Hall). But that hasn’t spelled the end of the rancorous debate over whether their suspected steroid use disqualifies them from enshrinement. Thanks to a quirk in the calendar, Bonds and Clemens are both up for the Hall again this year via a backdoor method of election — and the results will be announced this Sunday.

The Baseball Hall of Fame has long recognized that worthy players occasionally slip through the cracks of the BBWAA’s election (the results of which will be announced in January, as usual). So every year, it sets up a special committee of 16 Hall of Fame players, team executives and journalists to hold its own election.

Under the current rules, there are three of these so-called “Era Committees,” and the Hall rotates through them every three years: This year, the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee will consider players whose “greatest contributions to the game” have come since 1980; next year, the Contemporary Baseball Era Non-Players Committee will consider managers, umpires and executives from that time period; and in 2024, the Classic Baseball Era Committee will consider players and non-players from before 1980.

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Wisconsin Headlines

County Prosecutors Move To Dismiss Wisconsin Abortion Ban Challenge

A group of prosecutors is asking a judge to toss out Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul's lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's 173-year-old ban on abortions, arguing that it lacks legal merit and that there is no weight to assertions that it is unenforceable because of its age.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski filed separate motions late Nov. 30 to dismiss the case. All three argued that the lawsuit seeks to improperly restrict prosecutorial discretion and that Kaul lacks standing to sue because he hasn't been personally harmed by the ban.

Urmanski, the only Republican among the three, went further, rejecting Kaul's argument that the ban is so old that it can no longer be considered to have passed with the consent of the people.

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Owner Of Johnson Sausage Shop Sentenced To 1 Year For Not Paying Tax Withholdings To IRS

Christa Johnson, 57, Cambria, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson.  Judge Peterson ordered Johnson to serve one year in prison and pay a $25,000 fine. She was also ordered to pay $326,905 in restitution to the IRS, which she paid immediately.

On June 16, 2022, a federal grand jury sitting in Madison, Wisconsin returned a 17-count indictment against Johnson, charging her with seven counts of withholding income taxes and payroll taxes from her employees and not paying the taxes over to the IRS, nine counts of not paying the employer's share of employment taxes, and one count of obstruction of IRS collection efforts.

Johnson owned Johnson Sausage Shoppe, Inc. (JSS) which operated as a meat processing plant, grocery store, and catering business in Rio, Wisconsin since 1996.  As President of JSS, Johnson was responsible for all aspects of JSS's business operations, including accounting, finance, banking, payroll, hiring and firing of employees, paying bills, paying taxes, and filing Forms 1120-S, 941, and 940 with the IRS. 

The indictment alleged that Johnson failed to timely file quarterly employment tax returns (Form 941) for JSS, and pay the employment taxes, starting with the first quarter of 2013 through the fourth quarter of 2016. During that time span, JSS paid $1,496,524.69 in wages and withheld from those wages FICA taxes and the employee's income taxes, which totaled $211,337.32, none of which was paid over to the IRS.  Johnson also failed to pay to the IRS the employer's matching share of FICA taxes, which totaled $111,137.86, and federal unemployment taxes which totaled $4,430.54, for the same time period. In total, JSS owed $326,905 in unpaid taxes to the IRS.

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Family Accuses Correctional Officer Of Not Stopping Brieon Green's Suicide In Milwaukee County Jail

The family of a man who died by suicide in the Milwaukee County Jail is accusing a correctional officer of not stopping 21-year-old Brieon Green from killing himself.

Green's family held a press conference on Thursday outside the Milwaukee County Jail. According to the family's legal counsel, the Milwaukee County District Attorney released more details surrounding Green's death with the family in a private meeting. The Green family is represented by attorneys B'iVory LaMarr and John Marrese.

LaMarr said surveillance video, which has not been released to the media or public, shows Green strangling himself with an "anti-suicidal" phone cord 28 minutes after booking. LaMarr alleges the video shows a correctional officer walking past Green's cell during the course of him taking his own life and failing to stop the process. The officer was allegedly conducting a cell check when he walked past.

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Opening Statements Start Friday In Kaukauna Child Killings Trial

Opening statements begin Friday morning in the trial against a man charged with killing his children in Kaukauna.

Matthew Beyer, 38, is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide for the 2020 killings of 5-year-old William Beyer and 3-year-old Danielle Beyer, who were stabbed to death in their mother’s home.

On Thursday, the prosecution and defense chose a jury out of a pool of 102 potential jurors. A jury of 10 men and five women was picked to hear the case. There are 12 jurors and three alternates.

During jury selection, potential jurors were asked if they’d be able to handle seeing crime scene and autopsy photos as part of the State’s case. They were asked if they had any opinions or beliefs about Beyer’s guilt or innocence.

The defense attorney not only asked the jury if they understood it was the State’s responsibility to prove Beyer’s guilt but also if they’d be open to testimony, as part of his defense, that someone else was responsible for killing the children.

The trial is scheduled for 12 days in Outagamie County Court but could wrap earlier depending on when both sides rest.

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Wisconsin-Based Company To Boost Production Of Critical Isotope For Health Care Industry

A new facility in Beloit will help Wisconsin increase domestic supply of a critical isotope for the health care industry.

NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes recently finished construction and equipment installation at a new facility in Beloit to produce the medical radioisotope molybdenum-99. NorthStar will produce the isotope without using highly enriched uranium, reducing global nuclear proliferation risks.

Max Postman, program manager for the domestic Molybdenum-99 Program within the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, said the isotope is used in 40,000 diagnostic medical procedures each day.

"That's a huge number of people benefiting every single day from this isotope," he said. "It's used a lot of times in cardiac scans."

Jim Harvey, senior vice president and chief science officer for NorthStar, said molybdenum-99 decays to create technetium-99m, which is the radioisotope used in health care.

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Last Update: Dec 02, 2022 7:03 am CST

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