Morning Headlines - Monday, Dec. 11, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Monday, Dec. 11, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

After Insistence On Testifying Monday At N.Y. Fraud Trial, Trump Now Says He Won't

Donald Trump said Sunday he has decided against testifying for a second time at his New York civil fraud trial, posting on social media a day before his scheduled appearance that he “very successfully & conclusively” testified last month and saw no need to do so again.

The former president, the leading contender for the 2024 Republican nomination, had been expected to return to the witness stand Monday as a coda to his defense against New York Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit.

James, a Democrat, alleges Trump inflated his wealth on financial statements used in securing loans and making deals. The case threatens Trump’s real estate empire and cuts to the heart of his image as a successful businessman.

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Progressives Face Growing Primary Threats Over Gaza Stance

Some of the House’s most high-profile progressives are facing a growing primary threat next year over their position on the Israel-Hamas war.

Several “Squad” members — including Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) — have already gotten Democratic opponents for next year as moderates in the party look to oust them over their outspoken views on Israel’s counterstrikes in Gaza following the Oct. 7 attacks carried out by Hamas.

The primary challenges are a clear sign of the deepening rift within the Democratic Party over its support for Israel in the war, which is carrying into its third month.

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Most Americans Disapprove Of Biden's Handling Of Israel-Hamas War — CBS News Poll

President Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war continues to be met with majority disapproval as relatively few Americans think his administration's actions are bringing things closer to a peaceful resolution, and a rising number of Democrats feel he's showing too much support for Israel.

As for Mr. Biden's approach toward any pro-Palestinian protests that take place in the U.S., most would favor no comment, and then there are relatively more who'd like him to condemn those than support them. Republicans, in particular, are the ones most looking for condemnation.

The president's approach toward Israel elicits increasing differences within his own Democratic party. Now, more than a third of Democrats think he's showing too much support for Israel, which is up from October.

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The NRA Has A Surprising Defender In Its Free Speech Case Before The Supreme Court: The ACLU

In a case of politics making strange bedfellows, the National Rifle Association will be represented by frequent nemesis the American Civil Liberties Union in an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The New York-based civil liberties group confirmed Saturday that it would provide legal representation for the gun-rights group in its First Amendment case against New York’s Department of Financial Services even as it “vigorously” opposes nearly everything it stands for.

“We don’t support the NRA’s mission or its viewpoints on gun rights, and we don’t agree with their goals, strategies, or tactics,” the ACLU in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter. “But we both know that government officials can’t punish organizations because they disapprove of their views.”

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SNL Sparks Outrage With Sneering Take On Anti-Semitism Hearings

The opening sketch attempted to make light of the college presidents' lacking testimony, but their efforts evoked few laughs.

Then backlash began online, where viewers slammed the sketch for attempting to undermine the seriouesness of anti-Semitism on US college campuses in the weeks since the October 7 terror attack.

The pre-written sketch was also rolled out just hours after University of Pennsylvania President Amy Magill - whose testimony before the House panel appeared to be especially smug - resigned in disgrace following a woeful performance these past eight weeks.

SNL newcomer Chloe Troast portrayed Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the chair of the House Republican caucus and a loyal supporter of former President Trump.

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Wisconsin Headlines

UW Board Of Regents Rejects Deal With Vos That Targeted DEI Positions

The Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Saturday rejected a deal with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos that sought to freeze DEI positions in exchange for a series of financial priorities, including the Legislature signing off on pay raises for UW employees.

The 9-8 vote came after a series of regents made impassioned pleas against limiting diversity, equity and inclusion positions, warning it would only encourage GOP lawmakers to seek further tradeoffs.

Under the agreement, Vos, R-Rochester, had agreed to sign off on the pay raises, release $32 million in state funding for the university and approve a host of building projects. In all, it included some $800 million in funding.

It came after Vos had blocked the pay raises and funding for an engineering building on the UW-Madison campus, among other university priorities, demanding that DEI positions be eliminated.

Vos said the deal came after almost six months of negotiations and was “our best and final offer.”

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Hundreds Take To Wisconsin Capitol In Support Of Palestine

Hundreds of Wisconsinites took to the Capitol Square Saturday afternoon in what organizers are calling the largest pro-Palestine march in the history of the state.

Attendees from across Wisconsin attended the gathering to advocate for a ceasefire and let Palestinians know they have support all the way across the world.

The Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine (WCJP) put on the event, but the entity was representing more than 50 organizations throughout the state.

“I think we want to see an end to the bloodshed, that’s our first demand,” organizer Sabine Wolter said. “Ultimately though I think we’d like to see an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and just see U.S. intervention out. We don’t want to see our tax dollars going to bombing people in Gaza, that doesn’t do us any good.”

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No. 3 Iowa Women's Basketball Pushes Past Wisconsin Inside A Packed Kohl Center

They came in droves not seen in 20-plus years, a perfect blend of yellow and red that formed outside Kohl Center some five hours before tipoff. Many were there to see Iowa's basketball legend in person. Those supporting the home squad yearned for a riveting upset.

Hosting its first women's basketball sellout since 2002 with Iowa's Caitlin Clark in town, Wisconsin did its best to make the crowd a factor all afternoon long. Drowning out the Hawkeye faithful ultimately became a futile task. Clark — with her 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists — kept Iowa fans yelling from pregame to postgame.

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Wisconsin Volleyball Headed Back To Final Four After 3-1 Victory Over Oregon

The Wisconsin Badgers are headed back to the Final Four after a triumphant 3-1 victory over the Oregon Ducks at a raucous UW Field House on Saturday night.

This Elite Eight matchup pitted the top two teams in the Madison region against each other, and it did not disappoint. The Badgers and Ducks barely separated after the opening point.

Wisconsin was up 14-13 in the first set, followed by advantages of 21-19 and 23-22. Sarah Franklin earned one of her 20 kills to allow for set point, and an attack error from Oregon’s Morgan Lewis handed the first set to the Badgers, 25-22.

The Ducks raced out to an early 8-3 lead in the second set, forcing a Wisconsin timeout. The Badgers quickly recalibrated, taking the lead right back with a 6-0 run. Oregon eventually tied the set back up at 14 and had a 20-19 lead later in the set.

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After Latest Ruling, What Abortion Restrictions Still Exist In Wisconsin?

When the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, abortion providers in Wisconsin immediately ceased all abortion services, citing a state law first enacted in 1849.

In September, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin resumed abortion services after a Dane County judge ruled that the pre-Civil War law governs feticide rather than consensual abortion. The same judge issued a final judgment in the case on Tuesday, reaffirming that interpretation.

Although the decision was widely viewed as a victory for abortion rights supporters in the state, experts say a number of limits on abortion remain on the books in Wisconsin.

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Last Update: Dec 11, 2023 4:53 am CST

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