Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Joint Chiefs Shuffle: Biden’s Top Contenders To Replace Trump’s Military Leaders

Donald Trump handpicked the nation’s top military brass while he was in office. Now it’s Joe Biden’s turn.

As many as five members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the eight most senior uniformed leaders who advise the president on military issues, are scheduled to leave their assignments this year. Besides the Joint Chiefs chair, the heads of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and potentially the Air Force are all set to leave. Three of the military’s top operational commanders are changing over as well: The heads of Northern Command, Space Command and Cyber Command.

The vacancies give President Biden a chance to put his stamp on the Joint Chiefs as the administration looks to take big steps to counter Chinese aggression in the Pacific, chart a new course in Europe after the Ukraine invasion and dump old weapons systems to make room for new ones.

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World’s Largest Population: Will India Gain Or Lose?

For decades, India ran family planning programmes aimed at curbing its population growth amid limited resources.

Then, as the Indian economy took off after liberalisation in the 1990s, the country’s policymakers changed tack: The country’s vast, young labour pool, New Delhi argued, was a “demographic dividend” that would pay out handsomely for the Indian economy.

Now, that promise is set to be tested like never before. India is poised to overtake China to become the world’s most populous country, with more than 1.4 billion citizens, in April, the United Nations has predicted.

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Fox News Vs. Dominion: Blockbuster Media Fight Set For Courtroom

Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems are set to do battle in a Delaware courtroom this week as one of the most closely watched defamation cases brought against an American media company in decades gets underway.

The outcome of the blockbuster case, which stems from the network’s coverage of the 2020 election and former President Trump’s false claims that voter fraud kept him from a second term, is widely seen as a precedent-setting moment for defamation law and could severely alter the financial and reputational health of the country’s largest cable news company.

Legal experts have warned Fox could be on shaky legal ground, while media observers say this month’s trial is a seminal moment for the network’s brand and relationship with its massive, largely conservative audience.

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U.S. Border Officials Record 25% Jump In Migrant Crossings In March Amid Concerns Of Larger Influx

The number of migrants apprehended by U.S. immigration authorities after crossing the Mexican border without authorization increased by 25% in March as the Biden administration prepares for a major policy shift next month.

U.S. Border Patrol agents recorded over 162,000 apprehensions of migrants in between official ports of entry last month, a jump from the 130,000 apprehensions reported in February, federal statistics released Monday show.

The increase in migration follows a historical pattern of border crossings spiking in the spring. Despite the uptick, the number of migrant apprehensions last month was lower than the tallies recorded in March 2021 and March 2022.

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3 Senate Republicans Vow To Block Feinstein's Judiciary Replacement

At least three Republican senators have said they will not support a move to temporarily replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- saying they wouldn't want to help Democrats advance President Joe Biden's agenda.

On Monday afternoon, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who sits on the committee, became the most recent Republican to voice his opposition to temporarily replacing Feinstein while she recovers at home from having shingles, signaling an uphill battle Senate Democrats face in securing a replacement.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Wisconsin Lawmakers Hope To Outlaw Local Bans On Gas Engines

State and local governments in Wisconsin would not be allowed to ban gas-powered vehicles, snow blowers, lawnmowers and other machines under a pair of bills up for a vote Tuesday in the state Assembly.

The bills' Republican sponsors hope to outlaw measures similar to a law passed in California last year requiring that all new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state run on electricity or hydrogen by 2035. That decision left 17 states with vehicle emissions standards tied to California laws facing tough decisions on whether they would adopt the same ban on gasoline-fueled vehicles.

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Wisconsin's Rural Governments Are At A Disadvantage When It Comes To Competing For Federal Climate Funds

The federal Inflation Reduction Act provides historic clean energy incentives to local governments across the country, including in Wisconsin. But taking full advantage of those opportunities is often more difficult for rural communities than urban cities.

The law offers financial incentives for renewable energy projects and electric vehicles, as well as several grant opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing pollution and addressing environmental justice. It also boosts investment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program.

But Wisconsin’s small cities, towns and villages may be at a disadvantage in terms of their ability to apply for grant funding because they have fewer administrative staff to work on applications or plan clean energy projects, according to Toni Herkert, director of government affairs for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

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Attorney General Kaul Releases Update In Advance Of Two-year Anniversary Of Clergy And Faith Leader Abuse Initiative

As Wisconsin approaches the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Clergy and Faith Leader Abuse Initiative, Attorney General Kaul is releasing additional information, including statements from several survivors who have reached out to DOJ, and highlighting progress being made through the initiative.

“Survivors of abuse by trusted leaders deserve to be respected and supported,” said Attorney General Kaul. “The progress that’s been made through the clergy and faith leader abuse initiative is due to the fortitude of those who’ve made reports, and I encourage anyone who is considering making a report to contact us.”

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Wisconsin Assembly Aims For Harsher Carjacking Penalties

A bipartisan bill designating carjacking as a criminal offense and creating harsher penalties for people who use a weapon to steal a vehicle was set for final approval in the Wisconsin Legislature on Tuesday.

Passage by the Assembly will send the bill to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has said he supports the measure. The Senate passed it last month on a bipartisan 23-8 vote. Evers earlier this month signed into law a Republican-sponsored bill to crack down on reckless driving.

The Republican-controlled Legislature has moved quickly this year to pass stricter criminal penalties after the GOP made rising crime rates an election issue in the 2022 midterm.

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Did Nearly 70% Of Wisconsin Students Fail To Test ‘Proficient’ In Reading In Recent Assessments?

According to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress report card, 67.4% of fourth grade students in Wisconsin failed to test at proficient or above in reading. Similarly, about 67.6% of eighth grade students were not proficient or above in reading.

The 2022 reading levels were the lowest recorded since 1998, although there were inconsistencies with data reporting standards in the early 2000s. Wisconsin also performed poorly in racial education gaps, having the widest disparity in scores between Black and white students in the nation.

Nevertheless, Wisconsin eighth graders were three points higher than the national average and close to the national average for fourth graders in reading.

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Last Update: Apr 18, 2023 6:10 am CDT

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