Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

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

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Democratic Hopefuls Steer Clear Of Biden Student Loan Plan

Several Democratic candidates in tough Senate races are treading carefully when it comes to President Biden’s decision to cancel student loans for millions of borrowers, with some distancing themselves from the new White House plan that has quickly became a major campaign issue.

The long-awaited move to forgive $10,000 in federal student debt was geared toward gaining support from young people and working Americans just three months out from the midterms. But some Democrats in closely watched Senate races that will help determine control of the chamber have criticized Biden’s policy for not being targeted enough and not addressing underlying issues.

“Student loan forgiveness is seen by some as a cultural war — the elites with degrees who are on their path to economic security versus those who did not attend college and are working their butts off every day to make ends meet,” said Debra Dixon, former chief of staff at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the Department of Education under President Obama.

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DOJ: Classified Papers At Mar-A-Lago "Likely Concealed And Removed"

The Justice Department asked a federal judge late Tuesday to refuse former President Trump's request for a "special master" to review the evidence the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago home, citing national security concerns.

The Department of Justice said in its filing that it has "evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation."

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Mikhail Gorbachev: Last Soviet Leader Dies Aged 91

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who brought the Cold War to a peaceful end, has died aged 91. Mr Gorbachev took power in 1985 and introduced reforms, as well as opening up the Soviet Union to the world.

But he was unable to prevent the slow collapse of the union, and many Russians blamed him for the years of turmoil that ensued. Outside Russia, he was widely respected, with the UN chief saying he had "changed the course of history".

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US Life Expectancy Plunged Again In 2021, Down Nearly A Year

U.S. life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2021, falling by nearly a year from 2020, according to a government report being released Wednesday.

In the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the estimated American lifespan has shortened by nearly three years. The last comparable decrease happened in the early 1940s, during the height of World War II.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials blamed COVID-19 for about half the decline in 2021, a year when vaccinations became widely available but new coronavirus variants caused waves of hospitalizations and deaths. Other contributors to the decline are longstanding problems: drug overdoses, heart disease, suicide and chronic liver disease.

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President Biden Botches AR-15 Facts While Stumping Against Gun Violence In Pennsylvania

President Biden made gun-related gaffes during a campaign-style event in Pennsylvania on Tuesday afternoon.

Biden travelled to Wilkes-Barre to promote his "Safer America" agenda, which is focused on deterring crime and helping law enforcement. Biden's policies are also geared towards toughening up gun laws and expanding background checks.

During the speech, Biden made an unsourced claim about the speed that an AR-15 shoots bullets.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Wisconsin Anchor Neena Pacholke Suffered Tragedy In Years Before Suicide

The Wisconsin news anchor who died by apparent suicide previously experienced a tragic heartbreak — when her high school boyfriend died from a rare form of brain cancer in 2016.

Neena Pacholke, who was set to be married in less than two months, had lost her first love Jordan Harris when he was 18.

Harris had been diagnosed with primitive neuroectodermal tumors in 2011, and after two separate bouts battling the cancer, he succumbed to the disease shortly before the two were about to start their freshman year at the University of South Florida.

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Total Number Of Police In Wisconsin, Already At Historic Lows, Continues To Drop In 2022

The number of law enforcement officers in the state ticked down again in 2022, setting a new record for the lowest statewide total since the Wisconsin Department of Justice started tracking the numbers in 2008.

To relieve some of the burden on law enforcement agencies, and attempt to de-escalate encounters between police and civilians, some cities and counties across the state are experimenting with sending non-police employees to answer some 911 calls.

Wisconsin has fewer than 13,400 law enforcement officers at the moment, according to the state's Department of Justice. That's down from 2021, when the state counted more than 13,500. The record high is nearly 14,400 in 2008. These totals exclude officers who work exclusively in correctional facilities.

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Tiffany Introduces Bill To Close Biden Administration Terrorist Loophole

Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07) announced the introduction of H.R. 8713, the Stopping Taliban Operatives from Penetrating or “STOP Act.” Tiffany’s bill would overturn a recent Biden administration directive allowing individuals who worked for the Taliban and individuals who have provided “limited material support” to “a designated terrorist organization” a pathway to enter the United States.

“President Biden has repeatedly told the American people that the tens of thousands of Afghans being released into our communities were fully vetted and worked directly with U.S. personnel on sensitive military, diplomatic and intelligence operations. We now know that was a lie,” said Congressman Tiffany.

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Evers To Direct Additional $90M In Federal Covid Funds For K-12

Gov. Tony Evers announced plans Tuesday to give an additional $90 million to K-12 education across the state as the school year begins.

These funds are meant to shore up a number of schools suffering from staff shortages, help meet the increased need for mental health services at schools and provide other classroom support for many of the challenges schools face.

The money will be distributed on a per-pupil basis, breaking down to an additional $91.15 per student. The money breaks down into two groups: $75 million for recruiting and retaining educators, as well as buying supplies and offsetting the cost of bussing amid rising costs. That money can be used through 2026.

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Ope! Sorry, I'm Going To Need You To Explain What That Word Means And Where It Came From

Diane Flath grew up in Wisconsin hearing and saying the word "ope."

It was about a year ago when someone sent her a Charlie Berens video embracing the word and its role in the Midwest.

"At first I thought it was just a funny little comedic act. But then I realized that I actually do say 'ope' during the times that he was portraying in this little video," Flath said. "It was never really something that we thought about. It's just, 'Ope, let me sneak past you,' or, 'Ope, while you're up, can you grab me something?'"

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Last Update: Aug 31, 2022 6:22 am CDT

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