Wisconsin candidates sharply divided along partisan lines on abortion rights

This year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade has elevated abortion as a key election issue. ‘Personhood’ may be the next battle.

By Phoebe Petrovic  Wisconsin Watch   Abortion rights are effectively on the ballot this election. In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court ended nearly 50 years of federally protected abortion rights with its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  …

White House unveils artificial intelligence 'Bill of Rights'

The Biden administration has unveiled a set of far-reaching goals aimed at averting harms caused by the rise of artificial intelligence systems, including guidelines for how to protect people’s personal data and limit surveillance. Officials say the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights does not set out specific enforcement actions, but instead is intended as a White House call to action for the U.S. government to safeguard digital rights in an AI-fueled world. The Office of White House Science and Technology Policy on Tuesday highlighted various federal agencies’ commitments to weighing new rules and studying the specific impacts of AI technologies.

Wisconsin law firm sues to block student loan forgiveness

A conservative Wisconsin law firm is suing to stop federal student loan forgiveness, saying President Joe Biden’s loan forgiveness plan is discriminatory and amounts to taxation without representation. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday asking a judge to issue an order immediately halting student loan forgiveness until the lawsuit plays out. The lawsuit argues that Biden had no authority to forgive student loans and improperly bypassed Congress to enact his plan. It also says that Biden's plan is discriminatory because it's designed in part to help Black borrowers.

Wisconsin legislature ends another special session in seconds without debate

Wisconsin Democrats up for election in five weeks are putting abortion in the spotlight, with the Republican-controlled Legislature taking less than a minute to reject Gov. Tony Evers' call to create a way for voters to get a chance to repeal the state’s 1849 abortion ban. Evers and other Democrats on the ballot Nov. 8 are trying to turn the election into a referendum on abortion. But Evers’ opponent Tim Michels, Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and other Republicans are focusing instead on crime and public safety in arguing that Democrats have failed to keep the state safe.

Trump files $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN

Former President Donald Trump has gone to court against CNN, a familiar target when he was president. He's seeking $475 million in damages, saying the network's reports are trying to short-circuit any future political campaign. There was no immediate comment from the network. His lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Florida, focuses primarily on use of the term “The Big Lie” about Trump's false claims of widespread fraud that he says cost him the 2020 presidential election. Reportedly, new CNN chief Chris Licht has told his personnel to avoid use of the phrase because it adheres too closely to charges made by Democrats.

Evers proposes increase into local funding for public safety

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, just five weeks before he is up for reelection, says that if he wins he will propose a 4% increase in funding for local governments each of the next two years. Evers said Monday that the money, totaling more than $91 million over two years, could be used to pay for public safety priorities. His plan includes $10 million in funding for local governments to be spent specifically on police, fire and emergency services costs. Evers also announced that he was immediately providing nearly $3.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to the Wisconsin State Patrol and campus police departments.

Danes: Nord Stream 2 pipeline seems to have stopped leaking

The Danish Energy Agency says one of two ruptured natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea appears to have stopped leaking natural gas. The agency said Saturday on Twitter it had been informed by the company operating the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that pressure appears to have stabilized in the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany. It said "this indicates that the leaking of gas in this pipeline has ceased.” The undersea blasts that damaged the Nord Stream I and 2 pipelines this week have led to huge methane leaks. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of sabotaging the Russia-built pipelines, a charge vehemently denied by the United States and its allies.

Russia withdraws troops after Ukraine encircles key city

Russia says it has withdrawn its troops from the once-occupied city of Lyman, as Ukraine’s eastern counteroffensive recaptures more territory. Russia’s Tass and RIA news agencies, citing the Russian defense ministry, made the announcement. Lyman is 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. Ukrainian forces had pushed across the Oskil River as part of a counteroffensive that saw Kyiv retake vast swathes of territory beginning in September. Lyman, a key transportation hub, had been an important site in the Russian front line for both ground communications and logistics. Now Ukraine can push further potentially into the occupied Luhansk region, which is one of four regions that Russia annexed Friday.