U.S. and World Headlines
Seven Scenarios For McCarthy’s Speakership Vote — Ranked Least To Most Likely
All eyes are on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as he negotiates a fragile path to the Speakership next year in the face of opposition from a handful of conservatives within his own conference.
The Republicans flipped control of the House in last month’s midterms, but their razor-thin majority has empowered the far-right firebrands who are vowing to block McCarthy’s Speakership bid — and are resisting all entreaties to alter course for the sake of party unity.
The entrenched opposition has raised the specter that McCarthy simply won’t have the support he needs to win the gavel when the House gathers on Jan. 3 to choose the next Speaker.
And it’s sparked a number of predictions — some of them more far-fetched than others — about how the day might evolve and who might emerge as the next Speaker if McCarthy falls short.
Here are seven scenarios being floated heading into the vote, ranked from least to most likely.Read More
Short-Term Government Funding Bill Passes House, Heads To Senate
The House approved a short-term measure Wednesday night that extends funding for federal agencies for one week, giving Congress additional time to finish crafting a massive longer-term spending package. The vote was 224-201, with nine Republicans joining Democrats.
House Democrats unveiled the text of the bill, known as a continuing resolution, on Tuesday, amid bicameral, bipartisan efforts to reach consensus on the broader proposal to fund the U.S. government through most of 2023. House and Senate negotiators had announced Tuesday night that they had agreed to a framework that provides a path to negotiate the final details of the roughly $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package.Read More
US-Africa Summit: Joe Biden Says US Is 'All In' On Africa's Future
US President Joe Biden has announced billions of dollars in support and investment for Africa at a summit with the continent's heads of state.
"The United States is all in on Africa's future," President Biden told the 49 African leaders attending the Washington DC meeting.
It is the first such gathering hosted by Washington for eight years.
The summit is seen as a US attempt to re-assert its influence in Africa to counter Chinese involvement.
It also comes after Donald Trump's four-year tenure in office, during which he alienated numerous African leaders with policy decisions and insulting comments.
Mr Biden struck a very different tone to his predecessor, speaking optimistically of improved links with Africa and telling the gathering that "when Africa succeeds, the United States succeeds. Quite frankly, the whole world succeeds as well."Read More
Fed "Determined" To Keep Raising Interest Rates
The Federal Reserve's commitment to keep raising interest rates was unwelcome news to jittery Wall Street investors as well inflation-weary consumers.
The Fed is easing up ever so slightly on the size of its interest rate hikes. But it made clear Wednesday that rates are only going up from here, even if it's at a slower pace.
Inflation has moderated, but prices are still rising enough to be a problem for the central bank. With the jury still out on whether the economy will slip into a recession (or is already in one), the Fed’s task of engineering a soft landing for the economy is increasingly fraught.Read More
Elon Musk Sells $3.58B Worth Of Tesla Stock, Purpose Unknown
Elon Musk sold another $3.58 billion worth of Tesla stock this week, but it wasn't clear where the proceeds were being spent.
The Tesla CEO, and new owner of Twitter, sold the shares from Monday through Wednesday, according to a filing posted Wednesday night by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Musk has sold nearly $23 billion worth of Tesla stock since April, with much of the money likely going to help fund his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.
The sale comes as shares of the electric vehicle and solar panel maker have collapsed, losing over half their value since Musk first disclosed in April that he was buying up Twitter stock.
The falling shares have bumped Musk from his status as the world's wealthiest person, with his net worth falling to $174 billion, according to Forbes.Read More
Growing Number Of UW System Campuses Installing Opioid Overdose Kits
As opioid deaths surge in Wisconsin, a growing number of universities are making the overdose reversal drug naloxone publicly available in dormitories and other campus buildings.
This fall, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-La Crosse, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Parkside installed opioid overdose rescue kits called "Nalox-ZONE" boxes aimed at preventing opioid overdose deaths. They join UW-Oshkosh, which installed the boxes in late 2021.
The Nalox-ZONE boxes look similar and are often located near Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, boxes in residence halls and recreation centers. They include a nasal spray bottle of naloxone, also known as Narcan, along with an emergency breathing device used while administering CPR.Read More
Man Indicted For Child Sexual Assault On Menominee Indian Reservation
United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on December 13, 2022, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging a man with a sexual assault of a child reportedly committed in 2019 on the Menominee Indian Reservation. The indictment named Gerald L. Pamaska, Jr., (age 54) formerly of Keshena and currently residing in Lawrence, Kansas.
The indictment charges Pamaska with Aggravated Sexual Abuse in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c) and 1153(a). If convicted, Pamaska faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 30 years and up to life in prison. Pamaska also faces supervised release and potential fines if convicted of the charge.
According to filed court documents, on or about July 25, 2019, Pamaska engaged in a sexual act with a child who was under 12 years of age at a location on the Menominee Indian Reservation.Read More
Officer Involved Critical Incident Investigation In Adams County, Wis.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating an officer involved critical incident in Adams County, Wis. that occurred on the evening of Wednesday, December 14, 2022.
At approximately 8:49 p.m., an Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a domestic disturbance in the 400 block of Ember Avenue in the Town of New Chester. Upon arrival, the Sheriff’s Deputy confronted a subject who was armed with a knife. The Sheriff’s Deputy discharged their firearm striking the subject. First aid was rendered at the scene and the subject was transported to a local hospital where they are in stable condition.
No law enforcement personnel were injured during the incident.
The involved Deputy from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office has been placed on administrative assignment, per department policy.Read More
Audit Calls For Transparency On Evers' COVID Relief Spending
A nonpartisan audit released Wednesday called on Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to be more transparent about how he distributes billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds.
The Legislative Audit Bureau said that Evers' Department of Administration did not provide information it claimed the governor based his decisions on when handing out some $3.7 billion in pandemic aid over the past two years. Republican lawmakers have criticized the governor's spending choices and tried to give themselves control of the money.
The Evers administration received $5.7 billion between March 2020 and June 2022 in federal coronavirus relief from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the American Rescue Plan Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act.Read More
Miss Wisconsin Wins $2,500 Talent Scholarship In Miss America Competition
Grace Stanke of Wausau, the current Miss Wisconsin, is making her state proud in the Miss America competition.
Tuesday night she won the $2,500 talent scholarship for her classical violin performance.
She wants everyone to know she's more than a musician.
"I want to leave the legacy of the women who can, you know," she said. "A lot of the time I get put into this box when people hear I'm a nuclear engineer, but I can do so much more. I'm a classical musician. I'm a competitive water skier. I'm a family member, a friend, and an outdoorswoman who loves to go camping in the woods in the middle of the night."Read More