U.S. and World Headlines
Pentagon Tracking Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon Over The US
The US is tracking a suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon over the continental United States, defense officials said on Thursday, a discovery that risks adding further strain to tense US-China relations.
Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said the US government has been tracking the balloon for several days as it made its way over the northern United States, adding it was “traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”
Speaking on background, a senior US defense official said senior military officials had advised President Joe Biden not to shoot it down due to fear the debris could pose a safety threat to people on the ground.Read More
House Ousts Ilhan Omar From Foreign Affairs Panel
A bitterly divided House on Thursday ousted Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from the Foreign Affairs Committee over past comments about Israel that were widely condemned as antisemitic, as Republicans moved to cater to the demands of right-wing members and mete out punishment to a Democrat their party has demonized for years.
The 218 to 211 party-line vote, with one member voting “present,” settled a partisan score that has been festering since 2021, when the House, then controlled by Democrats, stripped Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona of their committee assignments for social media posts in which they endorsed violence against Democrats.
The removal of Ms. Omar delivered on a threat that Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California made at the time to retaliate if his party took the House majority by removing Democrats whom Republicans regarded as unfit to serve on committees. Last week, he unilaterally removed Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both of California, from the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where membership is appointed and thus not subject to a vote.Read More
US Employers Cut 102,000 Jobs In January - A 440% Jump From The Same Time A Year Ago
More than 102,000 employees are set to lose their jobs after U.S. businesses announced some of the most brutal job cuts since 2020, new data found.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. made the report which found 102,943 job cuts in Jan - more than twice than those announced in December, and 440 percent more than the same time last year.
The technology sector has seen the most significant layoffs making up 41 percent of planned reductions - meanwhile retailers and financial companies will also see substantial changes.
Economy-wide layoffs were generally low, but more cuts are expected in the coming months.Read More
Biden's New Chief Of Staff To Set A Course For '24
In Jeff Zients’ White House, meetings will start (and end) on time, decks and slides will replace memos, and subordinates will be empowered to make decisions.
As Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s successor, Zients will bring a decidedly different management style to the position, with ripple effects across an administration pointing toward the 2024 election, current and former officials say.
- Klain, who started working for Biden in the late 1980s, brought years of D.C. experience — and strong views — to his dream job.
- Zients, who led Biden's pandemic response, isn't as opinionated and will delegate much more. That will give the core members of Biden’s team, most notably senior adviser Anita Dunn, greater influence on daily tactics and long-term strategy.
- Zients also will rely more on counselor Steve Ricchetti, senior adviser Mike Donilon, deputy chiefs of staff Jen O'Malley Dillon and Bruce Reed, and Louisa Terrell, the head of legislative affairs.
As Weight Loss Drugs Soar In Popularity, Many Who Could Benefit Can't Get Them
Demand for weight loss drugs has soared over the last year, to the point that semaglutide — better known by the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy — has been in short supply at pharmacies nationwide. Doctors who treat obese patients are increasingly frustrated that the people who really need the injection medications aren't getting them.
Seventy percent of Americans are overweight or obese and at increased risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-Hispanic Black adults have the highest rates of obesity, followed by Hispanic adults.
However, Black adults, as well as uninsured or lower-income women, and other groups with high rates of obesity — the people whose health might benefit the most from significant weight loss — are the least likely to get the costly medications, obesity doctors say.Read More
Update: Officer Involved Critical Incident Investigation In Dunn County, Wis.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating an officer involved critical incident in Dunn County, Wis. that occurred on the evening of Saturday, January 21, 2023.
At approximately 9:08 p.m., law enforcement from Menomonie Police Department, Dunn County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Wisconsin - Stout Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle near Terrill Road and Bongey Drive in the City of Menomonie. The vehicle involved in the contact was taken during an armed home invasion where it was reported shots were fired.
During the traffic stop, Nicholas L. Ciccarelli, 45, exited the driver side of the vehicle and quickly approached law enforcement while moving his firearm towards a law enforcement officer. Officer Tyson Kahl from the Menomonie Police Department, with 5 ½ years of law enforcement experience, Lieutenant Michael Sampson from the Menomonie Police Department, with 12 years of law enforcement experience, and Deputy Jacob Blum from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, with 12 years of law enforcement experience, discharged their weapons striking Ciccarelli. First aid was rendered but Ciccarelli died at the scene.Read More
UW System Releases Results Of Student Survey On Free Speech And Free Expression
Results of a University of Wisconsin System survey of student attitudes on free speech and free expression were released Wednesday at UW Oshkosh.
System President Jay Rothman said students were surveyed about why they participate in class discussions. “The students felt they knew enough about the topic, that they cared about the topic and that they were in a class that encouraged discussion,” Rothman explained. “We asked a similar question of those students who didn’t express views in class. Some worried that other students would disagree with their views, or that the instructor would find their views offensive, or that they would get a lower grade.”
Rothman said threats of cuts to state funding should not dissuade the system from allowing viewpoints some may consider unpopular. “We can’t be afraid of the truth and what the survey shows us. We want to make sure we get ourselves better. It is important that our universities continue to be marketplaces of ideas where divergent opinions can be shared and debated and discussed. And I think that at the end of the day is a bipartisan issue.”Read More
Price Tag On Gableman Probe Nearing $2M, Report Finds
The legal bills for a Republican-ordered investigation of the 2020 presidential election continue to pile up, with the total cost to taxpayers for the probe now topping $2 million, according to a recent report.
The review by WisPolitics found Assembly Republicans have paid private attorneys nearly $1.5 million for work on cases connected to the investigation by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman. That's on top of the $527,877 spent on the investigation itself, according to the report.
Assembly Republicans originally budgeted $676,000 in public funds for the investigation into the 2020 election, which ended when Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, fired Gableman in August. No evidence of widespread fraud was ever uncovered by Gableman’s team.Read More
Wisconsin DHS Releases Plan To Improve Wisconsinites' Health And Wellbeing
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services released a five-year roadmap on how it plans to improve health across the state.
The 2023-2027 State Health Improvement Plan summarizes the areas where the DHS wants to guide efforts across the state's health systems and programs.
The plan was developed with input from state, health care, tribal and community organizations as well as community members, and it sets several new goals.Read More
Aaron Rodgers Trade Rumors: Packers QB Rules Out One 2023 Destination; Davante Adams Teases Reunion On Raiders
Aaron Rodgers has yet to decide whether he'll return for a 19th NFL season, but when he does, we know at least one team that might like to have him, and another that likely won't be in the running.
Days after ESPN reported the Packers would prefer to move on from the star quarterback in 2023, Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams teased Thursday that Rodgers will soon be relocating to Las Vegas. Hours later, Rodgers himself has potentially ruled out a separate destination, joking during CBS' broadcast of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am that he won't be playing for the 49ers.
"You got any news you wanna share with us?" pro golfer Colt Knost jokingly asked Rodgers while the quarterback prepared for his next hole on the course. The reigning NFL MVP smiled, paused, and then seemingly ruled out his childhood team.
"I'm not going to San Fran," Rodgers said.Read More