U.S. and World Headlines
GOP, Mccarthy Now Face Even Heavier Debt Ceiling Lift
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pulled out all the stops last week to move a debt ceiling bill through the House, twisting arms, modifying language and cutting last-minute deals with leery Republicans to send the package to the Senate by the narrowest of margins.
That might have been the easy part.
The next step — finding a bill that can win support from House Republicans and President Biden, and by the June 1 date set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday — will be a much heavier lift.
It’s a challenge that will test McCarthy’s ability to work across the aisle for the sake of preventing a government default, while keeping the confidence of conservatives in his conference who expect him to hold a hard line on federal spending and deficit reduction.Read More
Hollywood Writers Go On Strike Over Fair Pay In Streaming Era
More than 11,000 television and film writers have gone on strike for the first time in 15 years following the breakdown of negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studios, the guild says. The walkout began at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, when the contract that was in force ran out.
The union had been negotiating with Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount, Sony, Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney, all represented under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The labor dispute could have a cascading effect on TV and film productions depending on how long the strike persists. But a shutdown has been widely forecast for months due to the scope of the discord. The writers voted overwhelmingly last month to authorize a strike, with 98% of membership supporting it.Read More
Coca-Cola Shareholders Vote Down Proposal That Targets Pro-Life States
Coca-Cola shareholders recently voted against a proposal to conduct a survey into how state laws restricting abortion impact the company's business performance.
"Shareholders request that Coca-Cola's Board of Directors issue a public report prior to December 31, 2023, omitting confidential information and at a reasonable expense, detailing any known and potential risks or costs to the company caused by enacted or proposed state policies severely restricting reproductive rights, and detailing any strategies beyond litigation and legal compliance that the company may deploy to minimize or mitigate these risks," the proposal stated.
The proposal was introduced by As You Saw, a nonprofit that promotes ESG policies in corporations. Eighty-seven percent of controlling shares voted against the measure.Read More
AI Experts Warn Of Looming Catastrophes
The "godfather of AI" quit Google and joined a growing chorus of experts warning that the rush to deploy artificial intelligence could lead to disaster.
When some of the smartest people building a technology warn it could turn on humans and shred our institutions, it's worth listening.
Geoffrey Hinton, a top machine-learning pioneer, says he left Google so he could speak freely about the dangers of rushing generative AI products. "It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things," Hinton, 75, told The New York Times.Read More
U.S. Military Is Tracking Another Mysterious Balloon
The U.S. military is tracking a mysterious balloon that flew over American soil, but it’s not clear what it is or whom it belongs to, according to three U.S. officials.
The object flew across portions of Hawaii but did not go over any sensitive areas, the officials said.
The U.S. military has been tracking it since late last week and has determined that it poses no threat to aerial traffic or national security and is not communicating signals, one official said.Read More
Wisconsin Republican Lawmaker Unveils Bill For Wide Youth Social Media Limits
Social media companies would have to verify the age of Wisconsin users and get parental permission for kids to open accounts under a bill unveiled May 1 by Republican Rep. David Steffen.
The measure would also stop children under 18 from using their accounts between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., but parents could opt out of all requirements for their child.
Lawmakers across the country have been pushing to limit children’s access to social media. Nearly half of states nationwide have recently banned the popular video sharing app TikTok from state-owned devices, in many instances with bipartisan support. Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers banned the app in January.Read More
Wisconsin Republicans To Kill Legalized Pot, Stadium Repairs
Legalizing marijuana, paying for renovations at the Milwaukee Brewers' stadium and creating a paid family leave program are among the more than 500 items proposed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers that the Legislature's Republican-controlled budget committee plans to kill Tuesday with a single vote.
The move comes as no surprise after Republicans, who control the state Legislature with large majorities, did the same with Evers' past two budgets and said they would do again this year. The vote kicks off the committee's work reshaping the nearly $104 billion two-year budget that Evers submitted in February.Read More
Wisconsin Woman Among Six Killed In Crashes During Illinois Dust Storm
A Wisconsin woman was among the six people who died Monday after multiple crashes during a dust storm in central Illinois, according to the Illinois State Police.
The crashes began just before 11 a.m. on Interstate 55 south of Springfield.
Investigators say 72 vehicles were involved.
Police say 88-year-old Shirley Harper of Franklin, Wisconsin died. Authorities are still working to identify the five others and notify their families.Read More
Trans Student Shower Allegation In Sun Prairie Highlights Schools' Challenges In Protecting All Students
A recent incident where girls in the Sun Prairie Area School District reportedly were in the same shower room with a trans student highlights the challenge school districts face providing appropriate services and facilities to all students.
In March, four 14-year-old freshman girls in the district were showering in the girls' locker room when they were exposed to the male genitalia of an 18-year-old senior who is transitioning from male to female, according to the conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.
WILL alleges administrators at East High School did not inform the school's Title IX coordinator or launch an investigation. Title IX bans sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government. Federal law also prohibits discrimination against transgender students.Read More
Former Oneida County Sheriff’s Sergeant Sentenced For Stalking And Disorderly Conduct
The Wisconsin Department of Justice today announced that a judge has sentenced former Oneida County Sheriff’s Patrol Sergeant, Stetson Okeefe Grant, 36, of Rhinelander, Wis., to 90 days in jail and three years of probation after a jury found the defendant guilty of one count of stalking and one count of disorderly conduct in February of 2023.
“This conviction was possible because of the efforts of the law enforcement professionals who worked on this case and the bravery of the victim,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Thank you to everyone who worked to hold the defendant accountable for his crimes.”Read More