U.S. and World Headlines
Biden Authorizes Sending An Additional 3,000 Reserve Troops To Europe
President Joe Biden authorized the Pentagon to dispatch an additional 3,000 reserve troops to bolster European security, amid his return from a trip to NATO's eastern flank where he vowed to protect 'every inch' of NATO territory.
The White House released the order Thursday, on a day Biden rapped up a meeting with Nordic allies in Helsinki including Finland, the newest member of the 31-country NATO alliance while Russia's war on Ukraine rages.
'I hereby determine that it is necessary to augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation Atlantic Resolve in and around the United States European Command’s area of responsibility,' Biden said in a statement released by the White House.Read More
Biden Administration Forgives $39 Billion In Student Loan Debt To More Than 800,000 Borrowers
The U.S. Department of Education announced Friday it "will begin notifying more than 804,000 borrowers that they have a total of $39 billion in Federal student loans that will be automatically discharged in the coming weeks."
"For far too long, borrowers fell through the cracks of a broken system that failed to keep accurate track of their progress towards forgiveness," U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement. "Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking another historic step to right these wrongs and announcing $39 billion in debt relief for another 804,000 borrowers.Read More
McCarthy Faces Challenge Of Passing Defense Bill After Series Of Contentious Amendments Are Added
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy faces a challenge Friday morning: A razor thin margin to get a must-pass defense policy bill over the finish line with a majority of Democrats signaling they cannot support the version of the legislation crafted by conservative Republicans.
The bill – known as the National Defense Authorization Act – sets the policy agenda and authorizes funding for the Department of Defense. Republicans voted Thursday to attach a series of amendments to the package that include a variety of conservative policies that target abortion, transgender rights and diversity, equity and inclusion programs, among other social issues.Read More
Hollywood Goes On Strike As Actors Join Writers On Picket Lines, Citing "Existential Threat" To Profession
Hollywood actors went on strike Friday, at midnight California time, after negotiations between their union and motion picture studios collapsed, a serious blow for the entertainment industry that could cripple film and TV productions across the U.S. About 65,000 actors represented by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists had planned to walk off sets from midnight, SAG-AFTRA leaders announced Thursday afternoon.
It is the first industrywide work stoppage by the labor group since 1980, and the performers join more than 11,000 TV and script writers represented by the Writers Guild of America who have been on strike since early May. It is the first time two major Hollywood unions have been on strike at the same time since 1960, when Ronald Reagan was the actors' guild president.Read More
GOP Mulls Retooling Message As Inflation Rate Plummets
Republican lawmakers have made inflation and the economy their top attack against President Biden, but recent reports showing that annual inflation has dropped to 3 percent is forcing them to rethink their political strategy.
The economy is suddenly showing signs of being not a weakness but a strength for Biden and Democrats as inflations falls to a third of its peak and unemployment stands at a near-record low of 3.6 percent.
The anticipated recession that was supposed to hit this year amid rising interest rates hasn’t yet materialized, leaving some Republicans wondering if they need to revise their messaging.Read More
Three-Category System Proposed For All School Sports In Wisconsin
Republican lawmakers have reintroduced a bill that would require student athletes to play on the team that aligns with their biological sex or join a separate co-ed team.
"What this legislation seeks to do is make a place for everyone," Rep. Barbara Dittrich (R) said.
Dittrich proposed the same bill, the "Save Women's Sports Act," in 2021. It was shot down last session, but Dittrich and co-sponsor Sen. Dan Knodl reintroduced it on Wednesday.
"Basic fairness dictates that Title IX's original intent is to protect women's sports," Dittrich said. "If we allow this to continue, women's sports are going to be once again lost to biological males."Read More
‘Wanted Wednesday’ Fugitive Arrested By U.S. Marshals Task Force
On July 11, members of the U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force-Madison (GLRFTF-Madison) captured a fugitive on a property near Red Wahl Lane and Country Road D, minutes west of Eland.
Shawn Clark, 44, was wanted on felony warrants out of Shawano County for a sex offender registry violation (repeater enhancer) and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for community supervision (probation) violations. Clark is currently on felony probation following a conviction of first- degree sexual assault of a child (under the age of 13).
On May 31, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office uploaded a wanted poster on their agency Facebook page identifying Clark as a fugitive, making him the subject of their “Wanted Wednesday” series.Read More
Rural Wisconsin's Population Growth And Its Relationship With Tourism
One of Wisconsin’s signature tourist regions, from its shores to islands to wooded uplands, Bayfield County is seeing a post-pandemic tourism boom at the same time as its population is growing. As travelers flock to its outdoor attractions, the county’s outlook reflects how rural population growth in Wisconsin is tied to recreation, particularly compared to other states in the Midwest.
Wisconsin’s population has grown slowly over the past decade, with most of the increase driven by just a few locations, including the Madison metro area and Twin Cities suburbs. However, the state’s rural population is growing as well, led by Sawyer, Vilas, Bayfield, Burnett and Door counties. One factor these counties share are tourism economies.Read More
Advocates Back Bill To Expand Breast Cancer Screenings
Wisconsin women with breast cancer urged support for a bill to cover additional screenings, saying while it might be too late for them, the change could save others’ lives.
SB 121, introduced by Senate Health Committee Chair Rachael Cabral-Guevara, would require health insurance policies to cover supplemental screenings for those at an increased risk of breast cancer, such as those with dense breast tissue, and those who have abnormal mammogram results.
Under current law, health insurance policies must cover two mammograms to screen for breast cancer for women from ages 45 to 49 if certain requirements are met, and annual mammograms starting at 50 years old.Read More
Rep. Tiffany Statement On Passage Of Taiwan “Honest Maps” Measure
Today, Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07) released the following statement on his “honest maps” amendment, which was adopted during House consideration of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.
The measure prohibits the Department of Defense from creating, procuring, or displaying any map that depicts Taiwan as part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China
“All of us know that Taiwan is not – nor has it ever been – part of Communist China. Any claims to the contrary are simply false,” said Congressman Tiffany. “This amendment will require that the maps we use reflect a simple reality: China is China, and Taiwan is Taiwan.”Read More