U.S. and World Headlines
Live Updates: Hurricane Ian Reaches Category 4 Intensity, Takes Aim At Florida
An intensifying Hurricane Ian became a major Category 4 storm ahead of its expected landfall along Florida's west coast with "catastrophic" winds and "life-threatening" storm surge later Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.
Tropical storm force winds reached southeast and southwest Florida as the Category 4 hurricane moved some 75 miles southwest of Naples, Fla., packing maximum sustained winds of 140 mph.
- The major hurricane unleashed life-threatening storm surge flooding across the lower Florida Keys overnight, and it's expected to do the same on the Florida mainland — with the highest risk from Naples to Sarasota.
- Ian is a large storm, and its outer bands have spawned tornadoes along the east coast of Florida. More tornadoes were possible in central and south Florida.
Progressives Took A Step Back In The 2022 Primaries — But They’re Playing The Long Game
When Rep. Kurt Schrader, a seven-term incumbent endorsed by President Biden, lost his primary in May, he joined a small but slowly growing list of congressional veterans defeated by progressive candidates with the backing of an increasingly influential campaign apparatus on the left.
This renewed progressive movement emerged following Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential primary run, yet despite some high-profile wins in 2018, its candidates lost more often than they won due to a scattershot strategy. Then, in 2020, when progressives got more targeted with their electoral strategy, their win rate increased. But in 2022, the progressive movement appears to have taken a small step back.
FiveThirtyEight tracked every endorsement made by a major progressive group for Senate, House and governor this primary season.Read More
EU Threatens 'Strongest Possible Response' To Putin For 'Deliberate' Sabotage Of The Nordstream Gas Pipeline
The EU has threatened the 'strongest possible response' to Putin for the 'deliberate' sabotage of the Nordstream gas pipeline amid fears that Kremlin frogmen blew it up off the coast of Sweden — causing a 3,000ft-wide bubble plume and sending prices spiking.
The Nordsteam pipe from Russia suffered 'unprecedented' damage with explosions heard near the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipes.
Gas is now leaking into the Baltic from three holes, scientists have confirmed, while chronic safety concerns have led to a five-mile exclusion zone being imposed around the affected area.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said her government believes the leaks were caused by 'deliberate actions', adding that the gas supply pipeline will be out of action for around a week.Read More
North Korea Test Launches Missile On Eve Of Harris Trip To Seoul
North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday, South Korea's military said, a day before U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is to visit the South.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the North Korean missile launch but gave no further details, such as when and where the weapon was fired and how far it traveled.
The launch is the second by North Korea this week. Harris is to arrive in South Korea on Thursday for talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol and other officials. She also is to visit the tense border with North Korea, in what U.S. officials call an attempt to underscore the strength of the U.S.-South Korean alliance and the U.S. commitment to "stand beside” South Korea in the face of any North Korea threats.Read More
The Jan. 6 Committee Is Moving Into Its Final Stage
After a two-month hiatus, the House Jan. 6 committee appears to be winding down an investigation that made and broke political careers among the nine members while providing the fullest account yet of what happened the day the peaceful transfer of power was nearly subverted.
The committee had been planning to hold another hearing on Wednesday but postponed it due to the hurricane approaching Florida. In a statement Tuesday, committee leaders said they would "soon" announce the date of the ninth hearing — the first since July.Read More
FREED: Todd York Executed Both Parents, Told Friend They Were ‘Laying Around the House’
Since 2019, Gov. Tony Evers’ Parole Commission has released hundreds of convicted criminals, freeing them early on parole mostly into Wisconsin communities, including more than 270 murderers and attempted murderers, and more than 44 child rapists.
Todd York was one of them. His release was discretionary.Read More
Bipartisan Funding Bill For Smaller Police Departments Splits Wisconsin Congressional Reps In Unsual Way
Proponents of bipartisanship and law enforcement got a big victory last week in the U.S. House of Representatives. A large bipartisan majority voted to approve a measure that will give $60 million over the next five years to law enforcement agencies with fewer than 125 officers to do things like purchase body cameras, provide de-escalation training and improve recruitment and retention.
The Invest to Protect Act passed the House overwhelmingly — 360-64 — with heavy support from both Democrats and Republicans. Only 9 Democrats and 55 Republicans voted against it. The bill also split the five Republican and three Democratic representatives from Wisconsin, with members of each party voting for and against the bill.
Rep. Tom Tiffany, a Republican who represents much of northern Wisconsin and has been frequently critical of the “Defund the police” movement, voted against the measure. He did not respond to questions asking why he did not support a bill that would send funding to nearly all of the law enforcement agencies in his mostly rural district.Read More
AG Kaul Announces 2023-25 Crime Fighting Budget
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul released his 2023-2025 Crime Fighting Budget request for the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), targeting smart investments to fight crime by funding law enforcement, to keep kids safe, and to combat the opioid epidemic.
“My crime fighting budget proposes investing in law enforcement, protecting kids, and combatting the opioid and meth epidemics,” said Attorney General Kaul. “In the next state budget, it’s critical that the legislature finally ensures that communities have the resources they need for public safety.”
In the last two budgets, important investments have been made in public safety. But there is still work to be done to make up for decades of underfunding of the criminal justice system, and it is vital that progress be made on achieving greater public safety.
Wisconsin DOJ has endured difficult operating budgets during that period due to both the pressure COVID-19 placed on revenue collection and the constraints provisions in 2017 Wisconsin Act 369 had on Wisconsin DOJ’s ability to access previously available resources which could have been used to support Wisconsin DOJ operations and other criminal justice partners. Wisconsin DOJ has gained efficiencies and made-do with less while maintaining a high level of service to the people of Wisconsin. However, there is much more that needs to be done to make Wisconsinites safer, and it will require significant investments. Highlighted below are the types of investments Wisconsin DOJ is requesting to help make Wisconsin safer.Read More
Wisconsin Property Values See Record Growth In 2022
Wisconsin property values saw a record increase in 2022, coming after a continued shortage of homes and new real estate demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wisconsin Policy Forum found total property values in the state grew by 13.8 percent, overwhelmingly surpassing the previous record increase of 9.6 percent in 2006. The nonpartisan research group’s analysis looks at data from the state Department of Revenue on equalized property values as of Jan. 1 dating back to 1985.
Research director Jason Stein said a variety of factors contributed to the record growth from 2021 to 2022. With lower interest rates caused by the pandemic, many people bought homes in 2021. Inflation also drove up the price of property just like many other commodities.
But Stein said property values have also increased because of the limited supply of homes available in the last decade. He said home building across the United States slowed significantly after the housing market crash of 2007 and 2008, and the industry has been working to catch up ever since.Read More
Top GOP Lawmakers On Audit Committee Seek Details Of Evers, Barnes Security Costs
The top GOP lawmakers on the Legislature’s Audit Committee are seeking details of the security costs for Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.
Among other things, Joint Audit Committee Chair Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, and Vice-chair John Macco, R-Ledgeview, want to know how much the state spent on security for the two between July 1, 2021, and Aug. 31, 2022. They also want to know how the Wisconsin State Patrol decides what level of protection to provide.
The costs to provide security to Barnes has become an issue in his race with U.S. Sen Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and a spokesperson for Evers ripped the request.
Britt Cudaback called it the “height of irony” that the two lawmakers believe they’re qualified to question decisions made by the Dignitary Protection Unit considering neither has any significant law enforcement experience.
“Just like previous administrations, we trust the law enforcement professionals who are trained in assessing and providing security to make the necessary security decisions for the governor’s safety, and we welcome Republicans in the Legislature to do the same and let these law enforcement officers do their jobs,” Cudaback said.Read More