Morning Headlines - Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022

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

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

White House Says Tentative Deal Reached To Avoid Rail Strike

Early this morning, after 20 hours of talks, the White House announced that a looming rail strike was averted and a tentative deal struck between the freight rail operators and their unions. The run-up to the agreement had businesses — and the economy — on the brink.

The negotiations, which started in 2019 but reached a fever pitch this week, were the latest issue to pop up in the game of supply chain whack-a-mole we've played for two-plus years. Virtually every part of the economy needs functioning railways. Plus, a strike would have driven up prices at a time when inflation is showing signs of remaining stubbornly high.

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US Midterms 2022: Tracking Trump's 'Extraordinary' Endorsement Spree

Donald Trump has shown great pride in handpicking the next wave of Republican stars.

Back when he was still in the White House, he wrote on Twitter: "As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win!"

In this primary season, he hasn't been far off. Over the past several months, candidates endorsed by Mr Trump have pocketed victories across the country, winning 92% of the time.

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China Slams US Senate Bill Supporting Taiwan's Defense

China's Foreign Ministry accused the United States of violating its commitment to the “One China” principle and interfering in internal Chinese affairs Thursday, after the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations committee approved a new bill that could significantly increase American defense support for the island of Taiwan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters in Beijing that China had “lodged serious complaints” with Washington over the legislation, which still needs U.S. House and President Joe Biden’s approval to become law.

“The one-China principle is the political foundation of China-U.S. relations,” she said. “If the bill continues to be deliberated, pushed forward or even signed into law, it will greatly shake the political foundation of China-U.S. relations and cause extremely serious consequences to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

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New CDC Data: STD Rates Shot Up In 2021

Syphilis rates jumped 26 percent last year — the biggest annual increase since the Truman administration — amid a broader rise in sexually transmitted infections that worsened considerably during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this month shows the steep escalation of an alarming national trend, and comes as local health departments are still battling Covid and contending with an unprecedented monkeypox outbreak.

“Monkeypox is inundating these programs and it is interrupting our ability to diagnose and treat other STIs,” said David Harvey, the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. “It’s shining a bright light on the fact that safety net clinics who provide essential services are in desperate need of federal support.”

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Ron DeSantis Ships 2 Planes Of Migrants To Martha’s Vineyard

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis followed through on his promise to drop off illegal immigrants in progressive states, sending two planes full of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday.

A video provided to Fox News Digital shows the migrants deboarding the planes at Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Massachusetts.

"Yes, Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard today were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations," the governor’s communications director, Taryn Fenske, told Fox News Digital.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Johnson Closes Gap Against Barnes In New Marquette Poll; Evers Retains Slight Edge

Wisconsin's high-stakes race for U.S. Senate is an absolute toss-up based on new polling released Wednesday by the Marquette Law School.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson closed the gap from last month against Democratic challenger, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

49% of likely Wisconsin voters said they would vote for Johnson compared to 48% who supported Barnes. In last month's poll, Barnes was backed by 51% of the August poll's respondents compared to 44% who supported Johnson.

Poll director Charles Franklin noted the change could partially reflect Barnes now facing negative ads and more direct criticism after a Democratic primary that largely avoided attacks between candidates.

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Plover Tax Preparer Sentenced To 8 Months

James Canfield, 74, Plover, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 8 months in federal prison for aiding in the preparation of false tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Canfield pleaded guilty to this charge on January 4, 2022. Canfield also will be permanently prohibited by the IRS from preparing or filing any tax returns for third parties.

Canfield owned and operated Advanced Accounting Concepts, Inc., a business located in Plover.  As part of his business, Canfield prepared tax returns for third parties in exchange for a fee. Between 2013 and 2018, Canfield prepared and electronically submitted tax returns to the IRS on behalf of clients with both exaggerated, and in some instances, fabricated business expenses resulting in unjustified deductions for the business use of the clients’ homes. This false information fraudulently reduced the amount of taxes his clients owed. Despite being told by clients that they primarily used their homes as their personal residence, Canfield often attributed 100% of their home for business, then took ordinary home expenses as deductible business expenses.

Judge Peterson noted that although Canfield did not directly profit financially from the fraudulent refunds or lower taxes paid by clients, he knowingly engaged in preparing the false returns to generate repeat business from the clients and expand his client base through favorable client recommendations. In choosing a sentence, Judge Peterson considered Canfield’s age and health, as well as the fact that Canfield’s conduct was “sustained and repeated.” Canfield had previously been fined on two separate occasions by the IRS for preparing returns with unjustified business expenses and claiming personal living expenses as business deductions. After the second time Canfield was fined, in 2012, IRS revenue agents met with him and explained in detail how deductions he was submitting were unlawful under IRS regulations. Nonetheless, Canfield continued to prepare returns using the same false deductions for the next six years.

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WEC: Action Regarding Corrections On Absentee Ballot Envelopes

In response to a recent temporary injunction from the Waukesha County Circuit Court in White v. WEC, members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission met Tuesday, September 13, and voted to withdraw two memos regarding clerk corrections on absentee certificate envelopes that are missing a witness address or have an insufficient witness address.

On Wednesday, September 14, the WEC sent a communication to municipal and county clerks alerting them of the Commission’s action and of the injunction.

The injunction prohibited the WEC from providing any advice or guidance that municipal clerks or other local election officials have the duty or ability to modify or add information to absentee ballot certifications.

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Corporate Donations Rarely Line Up With Businesses' Calls For A Healthy Democracy, Report Says

In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, major businesses across the country spoke out in support of democracy, but those statements don't always reflect where they donate.

That's according to an ongoing scorecard of Fortune 100 businesses released this week by the left-leaning watchdog group Accountable.US.

"Two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies are failing to do their part to protect democracy, or unfortunately even making matters worse by supporting those determined to undermine it," said Lindsey Melki, the group's director of corporate values and democracy.

The project lays out the corporations' public stances on protecting democracy and compares those to the companies' donations.

The one Wisconsin company named in the report, Northwestern Mutual, received a failing grade. The company has spoken in support of American democracy, according to the report, but that support hasn't translated into action.

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Texts: Mississippi Ex-Governor Knew Of Welfare Payment To Favre

Newly revealed text messages show how deeply a Mississippi governor was involved in the state paying more than $1 million in welfare money to Brett Favre to help fund one of the retired NFL quarterback’s pet projects.

Instead of the money going to help low-income families in one of the nation’s poorest states, as intended, it was funneled through a nonprofit group and spent on a new $5 million volleyball facility at a university that the football star and the governor both attended.

One of the texts from 2017 showed Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who left office in 2020, was “on board” with the arrangement. The state is suing Favre and others, alleging they misspent millions of dollars in welfare money. The director of the nonprofit has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in Mississippi’s largest public corruption case in decades.

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Last Update: Sep 15, 2022 7:19 am CDT

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