Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022

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

Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Republicans Fear Trump Civil War Could Cost Them In 2024

The rising animosity between pro-Trump and anti-Trump forces is creating the prospect of something no Republican wants: a GOP civil war that could split the party in two and leave the path clear for Democrats to win big in 2024.

The fear is that two years of infighting won’t just put the White House at risk. Republicans worry it could also hand Democrats the House and Senate and at least two more years of united control over Washington.

Top Republicans are not ready thus far to hit the panic button and say a repeat of 1964 is far from assured as former President Trump and other would-be candidates stake their ground.

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House GOP Reckons With ‘Candidate Quality’ Problem After Midterms — And Ahead Of 2024

Lackluster candidates nearly cost Republicans what once looked like a can’t-miss House majority. Inside the party, discussions about how to keep that from happening again in 2024 have already started.

The GOP gained control of Congress thanks to wins by some of their strongest recruits in years, a cohort that included decorated military veterans and a first-generation American. But far-right, inexperienced and Donald Trump-endorsed candidates lost other winnable seats across the country from Ohio to Michigan to Washington State.

While top party officials and groups are still dissecting the midterms internally and hiring new staff for 2024, some House members and operatives are already debating and trading ideas about how to multiply the number of top-tier candidates and avoid unelectable ones. One effective midterm strategy they hope to replicate: securing well-known nominees in crucial districts who can spook serious intra-party challengers.

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Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s Founder, Is Arrested In The Bahamas

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of failed crypto exchange FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas on Monday after US prosecutors filed criminal charges against him, according to a statement from the government of the Bahamas.

The Southern District of New York, which is investigating Bankman-Fried and the collapse of FTX and its sister trading firm Alameda, confirmed his arrest on Twitter.

In the four weeks since FTX filed for bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried has sought to cast himself as a somewhat hapless chief executive who got out over his skis, denying accusations that he defrauded FTX’s customers.

“I didn’t knowingly commit fraud,” he told the BBC over the weekend. “I didn’t want any of this to happen. I was certainly not nearly as competent as I thought I was.”

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When Will Gas Prices Go Down To Pre-Ukraine War Levels?

Nine months after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, Britain is preparing for a long recession on the back of sky-high energy prices. France, where President Emmanuel Macron warned in August that the era of “abundance” was over, has witnessed fuel shortages and long queues at petrol stations in recent weeks. Germany’s government has decided to pay energy bills for all citizens and small and medium-sized businesses in December.

As Europe and other parts of the northern hemisphere brace for a difficult winter, there’s one central question on the minds of people around the world: When, if at all, will gas and petrol prices return to pre-war levels? It’s a question that Al Jazeera posed to leading energy economists and analysts.

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The Moon Is Back Within Reach

NASA's successful Artemis I mission paves the way for what could be the most exciting space moment in decades: landing people back on the Moon for the first time in more than 50 years.

The mission moves a crewed Moon landing from the realm of the theoretical to a likely event for the first time since the Apollo era.

  • "Most people alive today have never seen astronauts go farther than a few hundred miles from Earth, and Apollo is rapidly fading into true history," the Planetary Society's Casey Dreier tells Axios.
  • "This decade is going to be the most exciting decade in space since the 1960s."

NASA's Orion spacecraft arrived back on Earth Sunday, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean after a 25.5-day long, uncrewed trip in space that culminated in orbiting the Moon and returning back to Earth under its parachutes.

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Wisconsin Headlines

New Maps Could Help Bring More Than A Billion Dollars To Wisconsin For Broadband. Here's How To Check Their Accuracy

Wisconsin expects to get anywhere from $700 million to $1.1 billion from the federal government to bring high-speed internet to more homes and businesses.

But exactly how much money Wisconsin receives depends, in part, on recently-released internet connectivity maps from the Federal Communications Commission.

State and local governments and members of the public have until Jan. 13 to challenge the accuracy of those preliminary maps, which help determine the funding formula for distributing more than $42 billion from Congress' infrastructure bill across the country. Households and businesses that are completely "unserved" by high speed internet at a speed of at least 25 megabits per second download and 3 Mbps upload will be the first priority for funding under the program known as Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment.

Locations considered "underserved" by high-speed internet, meaning they lack speeds above 100/20 Mbps, will be the next priority.

Wisconsin already submitted a challenge to more than 7,000 locations in October, and the state's Broadband Office plans to submit another challenge before the deadline next month, Wisconsin's Public Service Commission spokesperson Meghan Sovey said.

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Election Nonprofit That Drew Republican Ire In 2020 Renews Grants

A nonprofit group that became a point of controversy for distributing hundreds of millions of dollars in election grants during the 2020 presidential campaign is releasing a fresh round of money to local election offices, including in states where Republican lawmakers tried to ban the practice.

The Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life has released only general details about how much money each office will receive or what it will fund.

It has said 10 county and municipal election offices will be part of the first group to receive grant money under the center's U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, which has $80 million to hand out over the next five years, with few restrictions.

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AG Kaul Asks FCC To Put In Place Anti-Robotext Protections

Attorney General Josh Kaul today joined comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) supporting its proposal to help cut down on unwanted text messages by requiring mobile wireless providers to block texts from invalid, unassigned, or unused numbers, and from numbers on a Do Not Originate list.

“Like robocalls, robotexts are not only annoying but also a tool used by scammers,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “The FCC’s proposal will help reduce the number of robotexts that folks receive and protect consumers.”

Attorneys general work to protect consumers in their states and have long been at the forefront of fighting to reduce the number of robocalls that plague Americans. But scammers are shifting to using robotexts to run the same scams. Just like spam calls, spam texts are an irritation and can result in people losing millions through phishing texts, imposter scams, and links containing ransomware. In 2021, the FCC received more than 15,000 consumer complaints about unwanted texts and, in 2020, scammers stole more than $86 million through frauds perpetrated via scam text messages.

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Gallagher Introducing Bill To Ban TikTok Nationwide

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher says he’s planning to introduce a bipartisan bill this week that would ban TikTok nationwide.

“We’re going to make the case this is something we vote on pretty early on in the next Congress,” Gallagher said on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com. “There’s a lot of Republican support. We’re slowly bringing on Democratic colleagues. The more people learn about the company that controls TikTok, the more concerns they have.”

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, which has increasingly concerned U.S. intelligence officials.

Last week, Gallagher and the Republican Congressional delegation called on Dem Gov. Tony Evers to ban the use of TikTok on all government devices.

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DNR Asks Public To Report Mudpuppy Observations

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking the public to report any observations of mudpuppies they may accidentally catch while fishing this winter. Data collected from these sightings will help determine the distribution and range of the species statewide.

Mudpuppies are Wisconsin’s only fully aquatic salamander and can be found in streams, rivers, ponds and lakes year-round. Due to their elusive behavior, surveying can be difficult and labor-intensive. However, because mudpuppies can be a common bycatch during the winter ice-fishing season, officials are hoping that anglers will share their mudpuppy observations with the DNR this winter.

The DNR encourages those who catch a mudpuppy while fishing to snap a picture of it, then gently remove the fishing hook and release it back into the water. Try not to touch the mudpuppy too much because amphibians have sensitive, permeable skin.

“Observations from the public are incredibly valuable,” said Lena Carlson, DNR Conservation Biologist. “Every report allows the DNR to have a better idea of how mudpuppies are doing in the state. This information will show us where we will need to direct future management efforts to help declining populations.”

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Last Update: Dec 13, 2022 5:23 am CST

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