Morning Headlines - Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Two Army Helicopters Crash In Kentucky; "Several Casualties" Reported

The Army says two of its helicopters crashed Wednesday night in Trigg County, Kentucky. Officials said there were "several casualties."

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted that, "We've got some tough news out of Fort Campbell, with early reports of a helicopter crash and fatalities are expected." He said Kentucky State Police, the state Division of Emergency Management and local officials were responding.

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Russia Arrests Wall Street Journal Reporter On Spying Charge

Russia’s top security agency arrested an American reporter for the Wall Street Journal on espionage charges, the first time a U.S. correspondent was put behind bars on spying accusations since the Cold War. The newspaper denied the allegations against Evan Gershkovich.

The Federal Security Service said Thursday that Gershkovich was detained in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg while allegedly trying to obtain classified information.

The FSB, which is the top successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, alleged that Gershkovich “was acting on the U.S. orders to collect information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military industrial complex that constitutes a state secret.”

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GOP Rift Exposed As Senators Warn McCarthy Against Iraq Vote

Prominent Senate Republicans are warning House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) not to hold a vote on a Senate-passed bill repealing authorization for the use of military force in Iraq without making major changes to it, laying bare the growing Republican divide over national security.

McCarthy faces a tough decision after 18 Republican senators voted with 45 Democrats and three Democratic-aligned Independents Wednesday to repeal the war authorizations Congress passed in 1991 and 2002, sending it to the House.

Some Republicans see the internal rift over repealing the authorization for use of military force (AUMF) as part of a larger battle within the party over America’s role in maintaining global order and future defense spending, as well as support for the war in Ukraine.

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Here's What Fox News Was Trying To Hide In Its Dominion Lawsuit Redactions

Ten days after the 2020 election, Fox News' so-called Brain Room looked into conspiracy theories that Dominion Voting Systems had rigged the presidential election against Donald Trump.

The fact-checking and research division of the network came back with a clear decision: Those claims were false. But the misinformation went on the air anyway.

Details of the Brain Room's fact-check were revealed Wednesday in newly released slides from a presentation by Dominion, which the company showed at last week's pretrial hearing in its $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corp. The slides cite internal communications and testimony.

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Republican Senator Rand Paul Blocks Bid To Ban TikTok

US Senator Rand Paul has blocked a bid to fast-track a ban of TikTok, citing concerns about free speech and uneven treatment of social media companies.

The app, which was founded by Chinese entrepreneurs, has more than 150 million monthly users in the United States, mostly young people.

I think we should beware of those who use fear to coax Americans to relinquish our liberties,” Paul, a Republican, said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. “Every accusation of data gathering that has been attributed to TikTok could also be attributed to domestic big tech companies.”

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Wisconsin Headlines

Five Things To Know Ahead Of Final Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

Wisconsinites will have the final say Tuesday in a consequential state Supreme Court election that will determine the high court’s ideological makeup and its expected decisions on key issues such as abortion and redistricting.

Though the judicial election is technically nonpartisan, voters must decide between Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz – identified as a liberal candidate – and former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly – a conservative candidate.

Protasiewicz and Kelly were the two top vote-getters in last month’s primary, which was the first leg of the race to fill the open seat vacated by conservative Justice Patience Roggensack.

The race has become one of the most expensive and closely watched contests in the country, as the court could weigh in on the state’s 1849 abortion ban, redistricting, and possible future election result disputes.

Here are five things to know about the Wisconsin Supreme Court race ahead of next Tuesday:

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Pro-Life Wisconsin Legislators Eye Medicaid Expansion For New Moms

Low-income Wisconsin mothers could stay on Medicaid longer after giving birth and with less paperwork under a bill that has gained bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Nearly half of the state’s lawmakers have co-sponsored the bill that came before the Senate insurance committee for a hearing on Wednesday. Currently, Wisconsinites can enroll in the state-supported and federally-funded healthcare program if they are pregnant and qualify as low-income, but have to recertify for the program 60 days after giving birth. Under the proposal, they could keep coverage for a year, even if their household income increases.

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In Wisconsin Supreme Court Race, Outside Ad Spending For Kelly Ekes Past Protasiewicz

As the April 4 election nears, liberal Janet Protasiewicz’s campaign has raised nearly $12 million more than conservative Daniel Kelly’s, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

But as of March 27, Kelly’s allies lead in ad spending, with outside groups spending about $2 million more to support him or oppose her.

The consequential election will determine whether Wisconsin’s high court preserves its 4-3 conservative majority or flips to liberal control. In February, the contest became the most expensive court race in U.S. history. The Democracy Campaign estimates today it stands at $39.7 million.

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Wisconsin Man Sentenced To 60 Months For Methamphetamine Trafficking

Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Mario Johnson, 38, Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 60 months in federal prison for distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Johnson pleaded guilty to this charge on September 14, 2022.

From May 2021 to August 2021, law enforcement agents conducted four controlled buys of methamphetamine from Johnson. The combined amount of methamphetamine from these controlled buys totaled over one pound.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Conley stated that Johnson had become involved in “serious drug dealing” for financial reasons and took note of Johnson’s prior criminal history, which included domestic abuse offenses. Ultimately, Judge Conley imposed a 60-month prison term followed by a four-year term of supervised release. He urged Johnson to use his time in prison to seek programming for his mental health, substance abuse, and anger management issues.

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Janet Protasiewicz Has Campaigned On Democratic Issues. If She Wins, The Wisconsin Supreme Court Could Weigh In On Them

There was a time not too long ago when campaigns for the Wisconsin Supreme Court were obscure, low-turnout affairs, the kind where candidates talked in technical, legal language and otherwise reliable voters stayed home. Janet Protasiewicz is doing everything she can to prevent that this year, with a big assist from the Democratic Party.

Protasiewicz, a circuit court judge from Milwaukee County, has run a Supreme Court campaign on a scale never before seen nationally, let alone in Wisconsin. Her campaign fundraising has shattered records, funding an ad blitz that's hard to avoid, both on TV and online.

Her message has also been openly political. While other judicial candidates might hint at or even hide their personal beliefs, Protasiewicz has shared them for the world to see. She's spoken unambiguously about her support for abortion rights and her dislike for the state's Republican-drawn legislative maps.

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Last Update: Mar 30, 2023 6:27 am CDT

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