U.S. and World Headlines
Republicans Win Faster IRS Cuts In Funding Deal
A $1.66 trillion top-line spending agreement announced by congressional leaders this week will accelerate funding cuts to the Internal Revenue Service favored by Republicans.
The bipartisan deal would cut $10 billion from the IRS during fiscal 2024, one year earlier than Democrats and Republicans previously agreed on in a deal to raise the debt limit last summer. The debt limit deal included $20 billion in overall reductions to a controversial IRS funding boost.
The acceleration is the latest reduction in resources for the IRS, which was slated to receive $80 billion in funding through the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.Read More
January Debates Offer Last Shot For Trump's Opponents To Make Their Case
Could the fifth time be the charm? The sixth? Or perhaps the seventh? After four primary debates did nothing to diminish former President Donald Trump's advantage in the Republican nomination race, his GOP opponents hope something will give after one or more of the three primary debates happening in January.
Over the next two weeks, Republican presidential candidates will participate in one debate in Iowa and two in New Hampshire. Each gathering looks likely to have at most three contenders on stage, meaning these events will be more intimate than any so far this cycle. That could present candidates with clearer opportunities to sway viewers, and to make headlines as attention peaks just ahead of the two leadoff contests in the GOP primary calendar.Read More
Walmart's New Bet: Biggest U.S. Retailer Leans Into AI-Powered Shopping
The mega-retailer announced Tuesday afternoon during CES that a partnership with Microsoft will power a range of new shopping experiences in 2024, drawing on AI models from Microsoft Azure and OpenAI as well as Walmart's own custom models.
"Let's say you're throwing a party for next month's Super Bowl. Previously, you might have run numerous searches for chips, wings, drinks, and a new 90-inch television," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CES.
Instead of a traditional list of search results, the Walmart app will now "show you everything you might need" for a single experience or event, he said.Read More
Israeli Defense Minister Lays Out Vision For Post-War Gaza
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday laid out a four-pronged plan for how Gaza could be governed after the war. While it is the first time a senior Israeli official has laid out such a vision, it does not represent official policy.
Under the plan, Hamas would no longer control Gaza. Israel would maintain military operational freedom, but there would be no Israeli civilian presence there.
The plan suggests that a U.S.-led international task force would be responsible for rebuilding Gaza. It says local Palestinian bodies would control civil affairs, and there would be roles for Egypt and other moderate Arab states.Read More
Apple Vision Pro: $3,499 Headset Finally Gets Release Date
Apple has announced its long-awaited Vision Pro headset will go on sale on 2 February in the United States.
US customers have been given the option to pre-order the $3,499 (£2,749) mixed-reality device from mid-January, though no date has been set for a UK launch.
It is the first major new product to be released by the firm since the Apple Watch launched in 2015.
After years of rumors during development, the company revealed the headset in June 2023.Read More
Assembly Republicans Unveil Medical Marijuana Bill; Senate Republicans Noncommittal
Assembly Republicans introduced a medical marijuana plan that would use five state-run dispensaries rather than private outlets.
Assembly backers on Monday hailed the bill as a starting point for medical marijuana.
But Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, was noncommittal on the legislation, saying it would go through the normal process.
Meanwhile, state GOP Sen. Mary Felzkowski, a leading Republican proponent of medical marijuana, said she didn’t sign onto the bill because it would rely on state-run dispensaries.Read More
GOP Bill Would Withhold Funds To Fight Homelessness, Criminalize Living On Public Property
A Republican bill in the state Legislature would withhold portions of state grants aimed at helping homeless people until certain benchmarks are met.
The bill also creates a criminal penalty for people found temporarily living or encamped on public property unless they are in a recreational campground or police-supervised shelter.
The bill, which received a hearing Tuesday, is based on model legislation from the Texas-based Cicero Institute.
It would have the state Department of Administration withhold 10 to 50 percent of grant funds for agencies addressing homelessness for at least six months. The rest of the money would only be paid if the recipient has met certain benchmarks.Read More
Racine County Judge Rules There Is No State Authority For Mobile Voting Sites
A Wisconsin judge has ruled that state law does not allow the use of mobile absentee voting sites, siding with Republicans who had challenged Racine’s use of a voting van that traveled around the city in 2022.
Republicans opposed the use of the van, the only one of its kind in Wisconsin, saying its use was against the law, increased the chances of voter fraud and was used to bolster Democratic turnout.Read More
How Certain Cities In Wisconsin Are Investing In A Way To Avoid Weather-Related Power Outages
Heavy and wet snow often comes with the potential of large power outages. Thousands of customers in southeast Wisconsin lost power Tuesday as a winter storm moved through our area. But not every community is susceptible in southeastern Wisconsin.
It’s hard to find overhead power lines in Oconomowoc. That’s because 90 percent of them are buried underground. It’s an investment the city and its residents have made over time specifically for days like Tuesday.
For Marsha Pickl of Oconomowoc, the first winter snow storm is welcome.Read More
DNR To Hold Career Fairs Around The State Throughout January
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites any member of the public interested in exploring a potential career with the DNR to attend any of four in-person career fairs taking place throughout the month of January. The fairs will be held in Eau Claire, Milwaukee, Appleton and Stoughton starting Jan. 13.
The DNR employs passionate, knowledgeable and natural resource-focused individuals. Representatives from several divisions including parks, forestry, wildlife, conservation wardens and environmental management will be present.
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the natural resource field and explore full-time and part-time job opportunities with the DNR.Read More