U.S. and World Headlines
Five Ways A Debt Limit Crisis Could Derail The US Economy
The biggest threat the U.S. economy faces this year could be the fight over the federal debt limit.
Congress and the White House have roughly six months to avoid an unprecedented and potentially catastrophic default on the federal debt. But there is no clear path to keeping the U.S. solvent, with House Republicans fiercely opposed to any debt ceiling increase unaccompanied by serious spending cuts.
If lawmakers fail to strike a deal to avoid default, experts say the shock could plunge the world into recession and a financial crisis. Even a prolonged showdown over the debt ceiling could rattle markets and derail a global economy already weakened by inflation, rising interest rates and the lingering scars of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Border Under Control Of Cartels, Not The US, Yuma Residents Say As Gangs Rake In Billions Off Human Smuggling
Mexican cartels controlling the southern border endanger Americans as they smuggle drugs and violent criminals into the U.S., a border town official told Fox News.
“This is not a political discussion,” Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines told Fox News. “This is a national security issue.”
“Unless this situation changes and we take back control from the cartels, for the trafficking coming across our border, it will only get worse,” Lines said.
The cartels have established effective — and lucrative — smuggling operations and use the migrant surge to bypass overwhelmed Border Patrol officials, according to Lines. Migrants can pay the cartels to help them cross the border, but if they can’t afford the cost, then they can traffic drugs or work off their debt in lieu of cash.
Court To Hear Appeal Of Ex-Officer In Murder Of George Floyd
An attorney for Derek Chauvin is planning to ask an appeals court Wednesday to throw out the former Minneapolis police officer’s convictions in the murder of George Floyd, arguing that numerous legal and procedural errors deprived him of a fair trial.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pinned the Black man to the ground with his knee on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes. A bystander video captured Floyd’s fading cries of “I can’t breathe.” Floyd’s death touched off protests around the world and forced a painful national reckoning with police brutality and racism.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22 1/2 years after jurors found him guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin later pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge and was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison, which is he is now serving in Arizona concurrent with his state sentence.
SEC Ramps Up Crypto Crackdown
Gary Gensler, Washington’s chief cryptocurrency critic, has long been fed up with what he views as the market’s rule-breaking middlemen.
Now, his agency is cracking down on the industry.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s move last week to charge two digital asset giants — Gemini Trust and Genesis Global Capital — with selling unregistered products to individual investors was a stark warning to crypto exchanges, lenders and other platforms that they need to follow U.S. securities laws.
Woman, 26, Wins $180,000 Payout From Minnesota Hospital That ‘Fired’ Her For Being Deaf
A 26-year-old woman has won a $180,000 payout after suing a Minnesota hospital for denying her a job because she is deaf.
Kaylah Vogt reached a consent decree at the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Thursday. It means North Memorial Health made no admission of wrongdoing but agreed to make the payout and other actions addressed in the suit.
Vogt claimed she had applied to be a greeter at the health care system’s hospital in Robbinsdale but, despite being qualified, was refused the job because pandemic masking rules meant she would struggle to lip-read while working.
Wisconsin Senate Approves Welfare Referendum, Rejects Ballot Question On Abortion Promoted By Evers
Republican Wisconsin lawmakers on Jan. 17 rejected calls from Gov. Tony Evers and other Democrats to ask voters whether the state should continue to ban abortions, opting instead to advance a ballot question on welfare eligibility.
The advisory referendum on welfare proposed by top Republicans is nonbinding, meaning it wouldn’t change state law, but supporters said they want the public’s feedback on the issue.
The measure now heads to the Assembly, which must pass it before it can be placed on the April 4 ballot for voter consideration. Democrats argued that Republicans were just trying to increase GOP turnout for a pivotal state Supreme Court race that will determine the ideological balance of the court and is also on the April ballot.
Senate Advances Amendment Changing State’s Bail Laws
Voters are one step closer to deciding the future of Wisconsin’s bail laws following a vote in the state Senate Tuesday.
By a 23-9 vote, Senate Republicans, along with two Democrats, passed a resolution allowing court commissioners to consider a defendant’s violent criminal history, and the seriousness of the charges, when setting a bail amount.
Currently, the commissioners can only consider how likely a defendant is to show up for court.
The measure now advances to the Assembly, where a large Republican majority is expected to pass the resolution Thursday. From there, the question will appear before voters on the April ballot.
Wisconsin Judge Dismisses Complaint Against GOP Fake Elector
A Wisconsin judge has dismissed an open records complaint against a Republican member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission who served as a fake elector for former President Donald Trump.
Allegations that the elections commission violated the state open records law will go forward, but claims made against Commissioner Robert Spindell were dismissed Tuesday by a Dane County circuit judge.
AG Kaul Announces Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force
During National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Attorney General Josh Kaul is pleased to announce a new statewide multidisciplinary task force comprised of federal, state, and tribal law enforcement and victim service providers dedicated to supporting survivors of human trafficking and ensuring justice is served by those who commit the crime. The Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (WAHTTF) is led by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and Project Respect.
“This task force will enhance efforts in Wisconsin to combat human trafficking and provide support for survivors,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “By bringing law enforcement and victim service providers together, we can help ensure that Wisconsin is taking a comprehensive approach to fighting this crime.”
“A coordinated strategy is needed to actively engage with the community to develop trust, build relationships, support survivor identification, and incorporate feedback from survivors to improve Wisconsin’s response to this crime,” said Project Respect Executive Director Jan Miyasaki.
DNR Seeks Nominations For 2022 Ethical Hunter Award
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting award nominations for the 2022 Wisconsin Ethical Hunter Award. Nominees are selected based on exceptional moral actions and character while out in the field.
Established in 1997, the Wisconsin Hunter Ethics Award recognizes a hunter whose action is symbolic of Wisconsin’s hunting heritage. This honor represents an outdoor tradition enjoyed responsibly, respectfully and safely.
“Ethical actions come in many forms,” said Major April Dombrowski, DNR Recreational Safety and Outdoor Skills Section Chief. “Examples could include helping another person during a hunt or taking steps to protect our natural resources. Over the years, award recipients have returned lost gear, helped others find lost game or assisted another hunter facing a challenge of some kind.”
Any hunter or non-hunter can nominate a licensed Wisconsin hunter for the Wisconsin Ethical Hunter Award for their actions during the 2022 calendar year. Although many nominations result from gun deer season, ethical actions can occur during a squirrel hunt, turkey hunt, waterfowl hunt or other Wisconsin hunting season.