Morning Headlines - Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

The Devastating Gaza Hospital Blast Is Shrouded In Uncertainty. Here’s What We Know, And What We Don’t

A day after a deadly blast tore through Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, sparking protests across the region, the United States has released its own assessment of what caused the devastation.

Israel has laid out evidence that it said shows a misfire by militant group Islamic Jihad caused the blast, and US President Joe Biden on Wednesday backed that explanation, citing US intelligence. A spokesperson for the National Security Council later said that analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open-source information suggested that Israel is “not responsible.”

Palestinian officials and several Arab leaders nevertheless accuse Israel of hitting the hospital amid its ongoing airstrikes in Gaza. Islamic Jihad – a rival group to Hamas – has denied responsibility.

Hundreds are believed to have died in the attack, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza, and images of the bloody aftermath have spurred protests across the region.

Here’s a look at what we know – and don’t know – so far.

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Harvard Students Hold 'Die-in' And Massive Protests In Support Of Palestine Just 12 Days After Letter Sparked Outrage

Harvard pro-Palestinian groups held a 'die-in' on Wednesday, just over a week after the deadly terrorist attack by Hamas that killed more than 1,400 people in Israel.

The protests come just 12 days after the attack and a letter backed by 33 Harvard student groups that blamed Israel for the assault by Hamas terrorists sparked national outrage.

The Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee and Harvard Graduate Students for Palestine organized Wednesday's march from Harvard's main campus in Cambridge to its business school in Boston.

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Speaker Saga Sparks Revolution Among Mainstream Republicans

Mainstream House Republicans long frustrated with the antics of their combative anti-establishment colleagues are launching a revolution as a growing group of them lash out — at the expense of GOP Speaker nominee Jim Jordan(R-Ohio).

The group of 22 Republicans who opposed Jordan on a second Speaker ballot on Wednesday include those from swing districts and safe ones; new members and longtime House veterans.

And they do not look like they are moving.

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Government Agency Investigating More Than 270 New UFO Reports

More than 270 reports of unidentified anomalous phenomena, known as UAPs or UFOs, were made to the U.S. government in a recent eight-month period, the Department of Defense said in a Tuesday report to Congress.

There was no evidence that any of the UAPs reported between Aug. 30 of last year and April 30 this year came from outer space, according to the unclassified report. While none of the UAP reports have been confirmed as being foreign in origin, the possibility is being investigated.

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F1's U.S. Takeover Just Getting Started, Says McLaren Chief Brown

Formula One's surging popularity in the U.S. will accelerate further with next month's Las Vegas Grand Prix and an F1 movie starring Brad Pitt on the way, McLaren boss Zak Brown told Reuters.

U.S. interest in the sport has been supercharged in recent years by Netflix's hit show "Drive to Survive" and the frenzy will shift into high gear when the sport's top drivers race down the famed Las Vegas Strip the night of Nov. 18.

"It's awesome that Formula One has finally caught on in North America," Brown told Reuters in an interview.

"It has happened much more rapidly and more significantly than I ever thought possible, which is great news."

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Wisconsin Headlines

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Won't Appear In Court Over Impeachment Advice

A former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who fought a subpoena ordering her to appear in court in a lawsuit related to advice she gave about possible impeachment of a current liberal justice will not have to provide testimony, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington decided against holding a hearing where evidence would be taken from the former justice and others. Instead, Remington told attorneys he will first hear arguments on whether the lawsuit alleging open meetings violations should be dismissed.

That hearing will take place Thursday.

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Four Men Convicted Of Conspiracy And Schemes To Defraud The Small Business Administration, State Workforce Agencies, And Private Lenders

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on October 17, 2023, defendants Aziz Hassan Bey, Letez Osiris Bey, Minister Zakar Ali, and Divine-Seven El were convicted after a week-long jury trial. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on August 23, 2022, charging the four defendants with conspiring to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. Defendants Aziz Bey and Divine-Seven El were also charged with money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957.

The evidence presented at trial showed that between June 2020 and July 2021, the four defendants participated in a conspiracy to attempt to obtain over $9.5 million in loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and private lenders, through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Each of the defendants filed multiple fraudulent EIDL and PPP loan applications. The defendants also engaged in a scheme to defraud the SBA into paying approximately $775,000 in EIDL loan proceeds to which the defendants were not entitled. To obtain those funds, the defendants submitted applications for businesses that were not operational and submitted false representations regarding the companies’ number of employees, gross revenues, and cost of goods sold.

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LeMahieu Says Acknowledging Vote To Oust Top Elections Official Was Symbolic Is Best Legal Strategy As Vos Asks To Be Removed From Lawsuit

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu tells WisPolitics that it is Republicans’ best legal strategy to acknowledge his chamber’s vote last month to oust Meagan Wolfe as the state’s top elections official was “symbolic”

GOP leaders made the admission in a court filing Friday in response to a lawsuit by Dem AG Josh Kaul seeking an order barring the Legislature from seeking to remove Wolfe from her job as Elections Commission administrator.

It prompted some blowback after LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, told reporters in June he had received legal advice that Wolfe’s nomination was properly before the Senate despite others contending the commission had not reappointed her.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, yesterday distanced himself from the argument by the Legislature’s private attorneys, adding he’s asked to be removed from a lawsuit.

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Officer Involved Critical Incident Investigation In Watertown, Wis.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating an officer involved critical incident in the City of Watertown, Wis. that occurred on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 18, 2023.

At approximately 11:17 a.m., officers with the Watertown Police Department responded to a call regarding criminal damage to property at an apartment in the City of Watertown. A male subject fled the apartment prior to law enforcement arrival. The subject was later located in a parking lot on Tower Drive. The subject turned towards law enforcement with a handgun and at least one officer discharged their firearm. Lifesaving measures were performed but the subject was subsequently pronounced deceased at the scene.

No other members of the public or law enforcement were injured during the incident.

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Surge In Wisconsin Syphilis Cases Prompts Urgent Conversations

According to the DHS, the number of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), including Syphilis cases has surged by 1350% in newborns and 230% in teenagers and young adults since 2019. While overall STI cases in Wisconsin have decreased by 9%, Syphilis continues to rise at a faster rate than Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.

“If there are more cases out here, then the risk of being infected during an episode of sex will increase,” said Dr. Joe McBridge with UW Health. “Teenagers and young adults know a lot more about being sexually active than parents like to admit. Having a good understanding of sexual habits and of the risks will help mitigate those risks with safe sex practices.”

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Last Update: Oct 19, 2023 7:09 am CDT

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