Morning Headlines - Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, May 17, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Five Takeaways From Elections In Kentucky, Pennsylvania And Florida

Tuesday saw a number of key races in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Florida, which underscored former President Trump’s grip on the Republican base and Democrats’ relative strength in suburban areas, among other things.

In one of the night’s marquee races, Trump’s endorsed candidate in the Kentucky GOP gubernatorial primary, Daniel Cameron, prevailed against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s favorite, former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft. The Florida governor’s pick in the Jacksonville, Fla., mayoral race also lost, in one of the biggest upsets of the night.

Meanwhile, Democrats scored a key victory in the Philadelphia suburbs in a race that largely hinged on abortion.

Here are five takeaways from Tuesday night’s elections.

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Battle Over Abortion Pill Case Continues In Conservative Federal Appeals Court

A conservative federal appeals court in New Orleans is poised to weigh in on the high-stakes legal showdown targeting the Food and Drug Administration's decades-old approval of a commonly used abortion pill, the outcome of which could disrupt its availability nationwide.

The dispute will be heard by a panel of three judges, Jennifer Walker Elrod, James Ho and Cory Wilson, and is one of the most significant involving abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision last June that reversed the constitutional right to abortion. Elrod was appointed by former President George W. Bush, while Ho and Wilson were tapped by former President Donald Trump.

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North Carolina Republicans Override Democratic Governor's Veto Of 12-Week Abortion Ban

North Carolina’s Legislature voted Tuesday to override the governor’s veto of a 12-week abortion ban, allowing it to become law in a new show of power for the Republican Party in the state.

The GOP’s supermajority voted to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill that includes exceptions for rape or incest and a “life-limiting anomaly” in the fetus.

The Senate voted 30-20 along party lines, as did the House, where Republicans hold a 72-48 majority.

As the override was completed in the House, shouts of “Shame!” could be heard on the floor.

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AI Leaders: Please Regulate Us

For what might be the first time ever, industry leaders of a new technological revolution are practically begging the government to regulate them — and they still might not get what they want.

A discussion Tuesday between lawmakers and tech executives about the potential misuse of generative AI featured OpenAI CEO Sam Altman urging Congress to enact rules to limit the technology's dangers.

  • Altman's regulatory wish list: “a new agency that licenses any effort above a certain threshold of capabilities,” testing of potentially dangerous AI models before deployment, and independent audits.
  • Altman appeared before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, along with IBM chief privacy and trust officer Christina Montgomery and NYU professor Gary Marcus.

"This is your chance, folks, to tell us how to get this right. Please use it," said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). "Talk in plain English and tell us what rules to implement."

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LA Dodgers' Partnership With Radical LGBT Activists Draws Catholic Ire: 'Perverted, Sexual And Disgusting'

Catholics are slamming the LA Dodgers for their "alarming and dangerous normalization of anti-Catholic bigotry" after the major league team plans to honor an activist group known for shocking protests.

The baseball team announced they will honor the LA-based branch of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an activist group of "queer and trans nuns," with the "Community Hero Award" before their upcoming June 16th game to celebrate LGBTQ pride month.

Members of the group, formed on Easter Sunday in 1979, are known for attending left-wing protests dressed up in mock nun outfits to advocate for anti-Catholic messaging including on abortion.

"The Dodger’s choice to honor a blatantly perverted, sexual and disgusting anti-Catholic hate-group signals an alarming and dangerous normalization of anti-Catholic bigotry that should not be tolerated," the Brian Burch, CatholicVote president, said in a statement Tuesday. "The ‘Sister’s’ evil and disturbing behavior makes a mockery of Catholic religious across the nation, the majority of whom have dedicated their lives to prayerfully and physically supporting, caring for and loving our nation’s most forgotten, unloved and desperate."

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Wisconsin Headlines

Budget Committee Passes Pay Increase Plan For Prosecutors, Public Defenders In Wisconsin

Starting pay for Wisconsin public defenders and assistant district attorneys would increase to $36 an hour, or about $75,000 a year, under a Republican-authored plan passed unanimously May 16 by the Legislature’s powerful budget-writing committee.

The Public Defenders Office and district attorneys have struggled to hire and retain the number of attorneys they need to keep up with caseloads, in part because wages for those positions fall far below what an attorney could make in the private sector.

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Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers Float Bill To Address PFAS Contamination

Republican lawmakers are floating a bill that would provide grants to help communities address PFAS contamination, but the legislation would also limit the authority of state agencies overseeing cleanup of the chemicals or projects to address them.

State Senators Eric Wimberger and Rob Cowles, Republican lawmakers from Green Bay, are seeking co-sponsors for the bill by Friday. The two represent northeastern Wisconsin communities that are dealing with PFAS contamination.

The bill would create a municipal PFAS grant program that would provide money for communities and sewarage districts to test their public water supplies and wastewater treatment plants for the chemicals. Systems that aren’t owned by communities but are still regulated as public water supplies could receive up to $1,800 in grants to test their drinking water.

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Wisconsin Assembly To Vote On Local Aid Package In Face Of Veto Threat

The Wisconsin Assembly plans to vote Wednesday on a Republican-authored plan to increase state aid to local governments, despite not having reached agreement with the GOP-controlled Senate and in the face of a veto threat from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

The vote was scheduled even as those involved in the plan are still negotiating privately to try and reach agreement. Changes to the bill are expected to be unveiled publicly for the first time shortly before the vote, which is expected Wednesday afternoon.

There is a lot at stake for cash-strapped local governments that have long lobbied the Legislature to increase stagnant state aid to help pay for pension costs, police, fire and emergency services and a host of other needs.

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Madison Man Sentenced To 7 Years For Methamphetamine Trafficking

Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Matthew J. Yancey, 23, Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 7 years in federal prison for distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Yancey pled guilty to this charge on February 24, 2023.

Between June 13 and July 20, 2022, Yancey sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer in Madison, including a sale on July 7 that totaled 55.6 grams. Following Yancey’s arrest, officers searched the residence where he was staying and found fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

At sentencing, Judge Peterson stated that protection of the public “is the primary driver” of his sentence. The judge addressed the gravity of the conduct, calling this a “serious drug crime.” The judge remarked that Yancey had an “unrelenting criminal history.” The judge observed that Yancey had not “demonstrated yet a real ability to succeed in the community.” This is Yancey’s second federal conviction.

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Wisconsin State Patrol To Host Open House Events Throughout The State

The Wisconsin State Patrol invites families, community members and anyone interested in a career in law enforcement to stop in and visit a local State Patrol facility at open house events next month.

Visitors can meet troopers, inspectors, dispatchers and technology specialists who serve in each region of the state. Staff will provide demonstrations of the State Patrol’s specialty equipment and vehicles.

Public safety partners with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Motor Carrier Association, and the Wisconsin Towing Association will also be available to provide safety information.

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Last Update: May 17, 2023 6:35 am CDT

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