Morning Headlines - Friday, Sept. 30, 2022

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and today's daily meme.

Morning Headlines - Friday, Sept. 30, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Putin Claims 15% Of Ukraine Is Now Part Of Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a major speech on Friday that Russia would annex four regions of Ukraine, a dramatic escalation that leaves no clear path to peace.

Russia partially occupies the four Ukrainian oblasts — Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia — and held staged referendums over the past few days that most western governments labeled a "sham."

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More Than Twice as Many Americans Support Than Oppose the #MeToo Movement

Five years after the “MeToo” hashtag went viral, about half of Americans who have heard of the movement express support for it, while 21% say they oppose it, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted this summer. There are wide partisan gaps in these views, with Democrats roughly three times as likely as Republicans to support the #MeToo movement.

As the five-year anniversary of #MeToo approaches, Americans see some changes in how sexual harassment and assault are handled in the workplace. Seven-in-ten U.S. adults – including majorities across demographic groups and partisan lines – say that, compared with five years ago, people who commit sexual harassment or assault in the workplace are now more likely to be held responsible for their actions. And about six-in-ten say that those who report harassment or assault at work are now more likely to be believed. These views are echoed even by a majority of those who oppose the #MeToo movement overall.

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At Least 12 Confirmed Dead As The Scope Of Hurricane Ian’s Devastation Comes Into Focus

At least 12 people have died after Hurricane Ian tore across Florida with such ferocity that President Joe Biden said it could be the deadliest in the state's history.

Speaking after a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials Thursday morning, Biden said that while the death toll remained unclear, early reports suggest the loss of life could be “substantial.”

“I spoke with the commissioners, and they are worried,” he said.

As of Thursday evening, 12 people had been confirmed dead in the storm, with seven of them in Charlotte County, an area near the stretch of the southwest coast where Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon.

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Biden's Bizarre 'Where's Jackie?' Episode Cause For Alarm, Republicans Say: 'Diminished Capacity'

Several Republican lawmakers shared their concerns about President Biden’s latest gaffe in which he appeared to search for the late Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., in a crowd while calling out for her.

During his remarks at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on Wednesday, Biden appeared to search for Walorski, who died in a car accident last month.

"I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like … Senator Braun, Senator Booker, Representative … Jackie, Jackie are you here?" Biden said, searching for the late congresswoman. "I think she was going to be here to help make this a reality."

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Poll: Most U.s. Voters Now Say Trump Should Not Be Allowed To Serve As President Again

Given “what we know about the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump,” a narrow majority of registered voters (51%) now believe he should not "be allowed to serve as president again in the future."

Just 35% of voters say Trump should be allowed to serve again. The rest (14%) are unsure.

The survey of 1,566 U.S. adults was conducted from Sept. 23 to 27, immediately after New York state Attorney General Letitia James filed a sweeping lawsuit that accused Trump and three of his children of fraudulently overvaluing his assets by billions of dollars “to obtain beneficial financial terms” — one of several recent legal setbacks for the former president, who also faces potential charges for election interference in Georgia and for taking highly classified documents to Mar-a-Lago.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Ron Johnson Comes Under Heavy Fire From Home-State Colleague

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) is leading the charge against Sen. Ron Johnson, the Senate’s most vulnerable Republican incumbent and a fellow Wisconsin senator, accusing him of being out of step with the rest of the state, particularly on the issue of abortion.

With future control of the 50-50 Senate at stake, Baldwin is jettisoning the tradition of detente between home-state colleagues, ripping the Republican this week for voting against advancing a motion to keep the government from shutting down.

“I want to highlight one thing in particular because my Senate colleague from Wisconsin last night voted against moving forward to fund the government, keep the government open and avoid a needless government shutdown,” Baldwin told reporters.

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Ron Johnson, Mandela Barnes And Wisconsin's 2022 Senate Race

The cost of everything is up — and numerous polls show inflation is the number one concern among voters.

Political candidates – including Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Mandela Barnes, who are competing for a seat in the U.S. Senate – want Wisconsin voters to know they're listening.

"All across the state, people are concerned. They've been concerned with rising costs," said Lt. Gov. Barnes.

"They'd like some relief from inflation," said Sen. Johnson.

Barnes is currently serving as the state's lieutenant governor and Johnson is seeking his third term in the Senate. As you might expect, they have very different plans for addressing inflation.

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Tiffany Introduces Legislation To Require Oil And Gas Permitting And Leasing Oversight

Yesterday, Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07), joined by House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (AR-04), introduced the Directing Responsibility to Interior for Leases and Licenses Act, also known as the DRILL Act, to require the Department of Interior (DOI) to publish information online and report to Congress regarding the processing of onshore and offshore drilling and exploration permits, the status of federal leases, and usage of applications for permits to drill (APD) fees.

The DRILL Act would also require the DOI and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to submit a yearly report to Congress detailing staffing capacity and planning to ensure the timely processing of permits and planning for lease sales.

Congressman Tom Tiffany stated, “At a time when energy prices are at record highs, President Biden’s Department of Interior is sitting on over 4,000 applications for permits to drill. This is unacceptable, and it’s why I introduced the DRILL Act to provide transparency on where these permits and leases stand, hold Washington bureaucrats accountable, and ensure they are carrying out their jobs in a timely manner – just as working Americans must do every single day.”

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Wisconsin Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Receiving Child Pornography

Mark Spengler, 57, Janesville, Wisconsin was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 10 years in federal prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release for receipt of child pornography. Judge Conley also ordered Spengler to pay $47,000 in restitution. Spengler pleaded guilty to this charge on June 7, 2022.

On May 31, 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Spengler’s residence. While examining Spengler’s computer equipment, a forensic analyst from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found multiple videos showing prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Law enforcement officers also interviewed Spengler, who admitted that he used a file sharing program to search for and obtain child sexual assault material.

In sentencing Spengler, Judge Conley expressed concern for Spengler’s deep rooted sexual attraction to children. Judge Conley also noted that many files found on Spengler’s computer involved violent sexual acts directed towards minors.

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Court Records Outline Why DA Charged Officer In February Shooting Of Unarmed Suspect

Newly released court transcripts outline why Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is charging a state agent in the February shooting of an unarmed suspect.

Ozanne has not spoken publicly about his decision last Thursday to charge Mark Wagner, 49, a special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

The DA is charging Wagner with Second Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety. Transcripts from Wagner's initial appearance in court last Thursday offer a deeper look into why Ozanne concluded Wagner's decision to fire his gun was criminal.

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Last Update: Sep 30, 2022 8:28 am CDT

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