Morning Headlines - Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024

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

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024

U.S. and World Headlines

Winners And Losers Of The Final GOP Debate Before Iowa

Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis met one-on-one on the debate stage for the first time here on Wednesday night, just five days before the Iowa caucuses.

It was a critical encounter for the former United Nations ambassador and the Florida governor, as polls indicate they are locked in a tight battle for second place in the Hawkeye State.

Former President Trump avoided this debate, hosted by CNN, as he had avoided the four prior clashes. Trump instead took part in a Fox News town hall elsewhere in Des Moines.

Here are the winners and losers from a dramatic day in the final sprint to the caucuses.

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Trump Coasts In Iowa, As GOP Debate Turns Into A ‘Dumpster Fire'

First Chris Christie trashed Nikki Haley on an open mic as he dropped out of the presidential primary. Then Haley and Ron DeSantis spent the night bloodying each other on a debate stage in Iowa.

And as the Republican presidential campaign turned fully toward the first caucus state on Wednesday, it could hardly have gone better for the frontrunner, Donald Trump.

As he basked in the adulation of a friendly audience at a Fox News town hall, signing hats and shaking hands, two miles to the west, the former U.N. ambassador and Florida governor bludgeoned each other in a debate that became so personal and vitriolic they once again left Trump largely unscathed.

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Israel Faces Accusation Of Genocide Against Palestinians In Gaza In Case Brought By South Africa At U.N. Court

Israel went on trial Thursday at the United Nations' International Court of Justice, accused of committing the crime of genocide with its ongoing military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On December 29, South Africa became the first country to file a suit against Israel alleging that its operations in Gaza constitute genocide.

The case opened Thursday, with South Africa laying out its allegations. Israel has staunchly rejected the accusation, insisting that it's acting within its right to defend itself from the Palestinian militant group Hamas, but it will give its first formal response to the allegations at the ICJ, in The Hague, Netherlands, on Friday.

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GOP-Led House Committees Approve Contempt Resolution Against Hunter Biden

The Republican-led House Judiciary and Oversight committees on Wednesday voted to approve recommending Hunter Biden, the president's son, be held in contempt of Congress for defying a congressional subpoena.

The contempt resolution advances to the full House where GOP leadership will bring it to the floor for a formal vote at a later date.

The move sparked outrage from Republicans, who've issued a congressional subpoena for him to sit for a closed-door deposition in their ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. The president's son has said he would testify only in a public forum, and previously castigated the probe as "illegitimate."

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Aaron Rodgers Will No Longer Appear ESPN's Pat Mcafee Show

Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made his last appearance for now on a popular sports talk show after a string of controversial comments.

Pat McAfee, host of the show, made the announcement on air on Wednesday.

"We live in a country that has freedom of speech, but you're going to have to deal with the consequences of your freedom of speech," he said.

Mr Rodgers has used his slot on the show to criticise Jimmy Kimmel, health authorities and his critics.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Wisconsin Sexual Abuse Case Against Defrocked Cardinal McCarrick Suspended

A Wisconsin judge suspended charges against defrocked Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, accused of sexually assaulting a boy in the 1970s, ruling Wednesday that the former cleric is incompetent for trial because of dementia.

The decision will be reviewed at the end of the year, according to court records.

McCarrick, who did not appear in person for the hearing but listened in by phone, was charged with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man more than 45 years ago, court records show. A criminal complaint alleges he fondled the man in 1977 while staying at a cabin on Geneva Lake in southeastern Wisconsin.

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COVID-19 Cases Rise In Wisconsin As New Variant Spreads

COVID-19 cases are growing in Northeast Wisconsin, but the numbers aren’t significantly higher than a year ago.

A new variant, called JN.1, is spreading. According to a doctor we spoke with at Bellin Health, there’s a small change in part of the virus that’s causing more people who’ve already had COVID or were immunized to get this variant of the virus.

As of right now, the number of cases in our community is similar to this time last year.

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Top-Give Primary Bill Debated In Committee

Proponents of a bipartisan bill to implement top-five primaries and instant runoff voting in Wisconsin congressional races argued the change would ensure the candidates with the broadest appeal end up in office.

Meanwhile, others during Tuesday’s Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections hearing criticized the process as confusing and argued the proposal would prevent all voters’ voices from being heard.

Co-author Sen. Jeff Smith said the bill would represent an “historic change.”

“Because regardless who’s in power, one thing a majority (of) Americans can agree on is that partisanship is alive and well and definitely holding us back in this country and in the state from actually serving the people as best as it can,” the Brunswick Dem said.

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Appleton Woman Charged With Producing & Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on January 4, 2024, a federal criminal complaint was issued alleging that Charlotta A. Belgum (age: 38) of Appleton, Wisconsin, produced and distributed child sexual abuse material (“CSAM”) in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2251(b).

According to the criminal complaint, between approximately December 2021 and June 2022, Belgum produced CSAM of a minor child which she then shared with a male acquaintance in Texas via the internet. The complaint further alleges that Belgum frequently engaged in online conversations on a “fetish” website centered around the sexual abuse of children. Belgum faces a mandatory 15 years’ imprisonment and up to 30 years’ imprisonment if convicted of the production charge. She also could be fined up to $250,000.

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Wisconsin Assembly Task Force Releases Slate Of Bills To Combat Human Trafficking

A task force that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos created to bolster Wisconsin’s response to human trafficking finished its work on Jan. 10 by introducing a slate of bills that would increase awareness of the issue, impose tougher punishments for soliciting prostitutes and make it easier for victims to sue traffickers.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as using force, fraud or coercion to obtain some kind of labor or commercial sex act. That can include slavery and prostitution rings. It is a worldwide problem; the National Human Trafficking Hotline has identified 796 cases in Wisconsin since the hotline began in 2007 involving 1,640 victims.

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Last Update: Jan 11, 2024 6:18 am CST

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