Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022

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

Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Student Loan Forgiveness Application Is Now Open: Here's What To Know

The U.S. government opened a website to let Americans with federal student loans apply for up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness.

The site comes after the Biden administration said its goal was to create an application that would be "short and simple." The application requires just a few minutes to fill out, but could leave some borrowers with questions about the timing for debt forgiveness, among other issues.

President Biden highlighted the new debt-relief site in a press briefing on Monday, saying the forgiveness program is now open and calling it a "game-changer for millions of Americans." On Friday, the Education Department opened a beta version of the application and on Monday went live with the website to apply for loan relief.

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Australia Reverses Decision To Recognize West Jerusalem As Israeli Capital

Australia has reversed a decision made four years ago to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Canberra's decision in 2018 had undermined peace and put Australia out of step with other nations, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said. She stressed that Australia remained a "steadfast friend" to Israel. Its embassy will stay in Tel Aviv.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: "In light of the way in which this decision was made in Australia, as a hasty response to an incorrect report in the media, we can only hope that the Australian government manages other matters more seriously and professionally.

"Jerusalem is the eternal and united capital of Israel and nothing will ever change that."

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Rich Conservatives Fund New Media Universe

New investments in "free speech" social media platforms, podcasts and video channels are upending the media landscape and giving voices to conservatives who feel rejected by traditional networks and outlets.

Many of today's conservative media moguls are both rich and politically active.

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, on Monday unveiled his plans to acquire Parler, a Twitter-like social media app that has become a haven for conservatives.

  • Ye's purchase of Parler
  • Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter
  • Peter Thiel and J.D. Vance's investment in Rumble
  • Former President Trump's Truth Social

Most of these new apps haven't grown to the point where they can meaningfully rival companies like TikTok or Instagram, but collectively, they have begun to create a new environment for conservative voices.

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Dem Candidates Swamp GOP In House Fundraising

Democrats may face an uphill battle to keep their razor-thin House majority, but they are dominating the cash dash in the final months of the midterms.

Democratic candidates outraised their Republican opponents — in many cases by 2 to 1 margins — in 50 of the 65 most competitive House races in the third quarter of the year, according to a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance reports.

After two straight election cycles of getting pummeled by Democrats’ small-dollar donor army, Republicans took steps to close the fundraising gap last year. But Democratic candidates surged ahead again over the summer. In total, 61 Democratic House incumbents and hopefuls each raised more than $1 million between July 1 and September 30, while 34 GOP candidates crossed that threshold.

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'70s Show' Actor Danny Masterson On Trial On 3 Rape Charges

Danny Masterson, former star of the long-running sitcom “That ’70s Show,” is about to face three women in court who say he raped them two decades ago at a trial whose key figures are all current or former members of the Church of Scientology.

Opening statements could begin as early as Tuesday in the Los Angeles trial of the 46-year-old Masterson, and while a judge has expressed her determination not to have the church become the center of the proceedings, it will inevitably loom large.

Masterson is charged with raping the women between 2001 and 2003 in his home, which functioned as a social hub when he was at the height of his fame. Masterson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

One of the women had been Masterson's longtime girlfriend. Another was a longtime friend, and the third a newer acquaintance.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Up To 40 Hurt In Wisconsin Bonfire Incident

Authorities investigating a bonfire explosion over the weekend in eastern Wisconsin say that as many as 40 people might have been injured in the blaze, including some who were seriously hurt.

The incident happened early Saturday, Oct. 15 in the town of Maple Grove, located about 30 miles south of Green Bay.

The Shawano County Sheriff's Office says an accelerant was poured on the fire, causing it to burn out of control.

The sheriff's office says at least 17 people sought treatment on their own at local hospitals.

Exact condition reports are not available, although the sheriff's release says some of the injuries "range from critical, to others who have already been released from the hospital."

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Wisconsin Grocery Store’s Never-Ending Frozen Pizza Section Goes Viral

A Wisconsin way of life has found itself spreading worldwide.

On Oct. 12, Twitter user @MikeBradleyMKE, whose real name is Michael Bradley, shared a one-minute video in which he pushes his cart through a Wisconsin grocery store's frozen pizza section — and after being viewed over 6 million times, it's reached far beyond the Badger State.

“A frozen pizza section in Wisconsin,” reads the now-viral tweet highlighting the extensive selection at a local grocery store called Woodman’s.

After capturing 14 stocked commercial glass door freezers full of only frozen pizza, the video pans to the right where two small display freezers full of more ice cold pepperoni, sauce and cheese can be seen, ready for the picking. But, of course, that’s not all.

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Darrell Brooks Trial Heads Into Third Week, State Yet To Rest Case

The trial of Darrell Brooks, the man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more during the Waukesha Christmas Parade, heads into its third week.

Monday's proceedings come after a dramatic end to the second week, including testimony from police and increasing frustration from Judge Jennifer Dorow due to Brooks' behavior in the courtroom.

On Monday, the state called witnesses who testified they encountered Brooks shortly after he allegedly drove an SUV into the Christmas parade. The witnesses said Brooks seemed disoriented and that he was shoeless and without a jacket.

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Mandela Barnes Outraises Ron Johnson By $8M, Per Latest US Senate Campaign Finance Reports

Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes outraised Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson by nearly $8 million dollars in the most recent federal campaign finance reports. Barnes' campaign is hopeful the haul shows momentum for the Democrat, who has trailed in recent polling.

Federal Elections Commission quarterly reports show Mandela Barnes for Wisconsin raised $19.5 million between July 21 and Oct. 30. Meanwhile, Ron Johnson for Senate, Inc. raised $11.6 million.

The filings show the Barnes campaign spent just more than $17 million during that period, while Johnson's spent just more than $9.1 million.

At the end of September, Johnson's campaign had more cash on hand with a little more than $4.5 million while Barnes' campaign ended with about $3.5 million cash on hand.

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Kaul, Toney Spar Over DOJ Vacancies, Abortion, Elections On ‘UpFront’

The state attorney general candidates, Democrat Josh Kaul and Republican Eric Toney, sparred over DOJ vacancies, abortion and the state’s elections in their first joint appearance ahead of the Nov. 8 election on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

“I’m challenging our attorney general — release the organizational charts for DCI, redacted without names, to see how many positions there are, how many vacancies there are,” Toney said. “You’ve refused to address that issue.”

Following a WisPolitics.com open records request earlier this month, the DOJ reported 10 percent of its special agent positions are currently vacant, along with 13 percent of the slots for criminal prosecutors.

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Last Update: Oct 18, 2022 5:36 am CDT

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