The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it would forgive an additional $4.8 billion in student loan debt, for 80,300 borrowers.
The relief is a result of the U.S. Department of Education’s fixes to its income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
“Before President Biden took office, it was virtually impossible for eligible borrowers to access the student debt relief they rightfully earned,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “This level of debt relief is unparalleled and we have no intention of slowing down.”
Nevada’s attorney general on Wednesday announced charges against six so-called fake electors who falsely claimed former President Trump won the state in the 2020 presidential election.
“When the efforts to undermine faith in our democracy began after the 2020 election, I made it clear that I would do everything in my power to defend the institutions of our nation and our state,” Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said in a statement. “We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged.”
The six Nevadans face felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged document for disseminating a document titled “Certificate of the Votes of the 2020 Electors from Nevada” to several government entities.
A group of Republican fake electors in Wisconsin acknowledged Joe Biden won the presidency and agreed they would not serve in the electoral college in 2024 as part of a settlement agreement in a civil lawsuit on Wednesday.
The settlement, first reported by the Washington Post, marks the first time any of the fake electors from 2020 have formally acknowledged wrongdoing in a legal case and have faced any kind of penalty. The case was filed by two Biden electors and a Wisconsin voter last year. They sought up to $2.4m in damages, in addition to permanently barring the fake electors from ever being able to serve as presidential electors again.
No money is involved in the settlement, according to a copy of the agreement that was obtained by the Washington Post. The fake electors agreed to never serve in an election in which Donald Trump is on the ballot. They also agreed to fully cooperate in any justice department investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Sean Hannity was trying to throw Donald Trump a life vest, and Trump was waving it off.
At a town hall in Davenport, Iowa, on the eve of what may be the final Republican primary debate of the campaign, the Fox News host asked the likely GOP nominee whether he had “any plans whatsoever, if reelected president, to abuse power? To break the law? To use the government to go after people?”
Trump parried. Hannity probed. He again asked Trump whether he was indeed “promising America tonight you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?”
“Except for Day One,” Trump said.
Were Trump’s initial remarks a Trumpian jest? A threat? A promise?
The IPCC has a vision of what that looks like over the next few years and significant parts of that are written into the Inflation Reduction Act and recent US regulatory decisions.
MADISON — A Dane County judge on Tuesday ruled that a 174-year-old law thought to prohibit abortion in Wisconsin does not, in fact, do so.
"The Court declares Wis. Stat. § 940.04 does not prohibit abortions," wrote Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper.
Schlipper ruled that the law in question, a statute written in 1849, does not apply to abortions but to feticide.
A consensual abortion is sought out by a pregnant woman who voluntarily determines to end a pregnancy. Schlipper's ruling is based on a 1994 state Supreme Court decision that determined feticide is a nonconsensual act in which somebody batters a woman to the point she loses the pregnancy.
With the 1849 statute no longer in effect, Wisconsin returns to its pre-Dobbs abortion laws, under which abortion is banned 20 weeks after "probable fertilization."
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin chief strategy officer Michelle Velasquez called the ruling "another important step forward in restoring and expanding access to abortion in Wisconsin."
"This is the judgment we were hoping for, the judgment we knew was right, and hopefully the thing that will restore access to full-scope reproductive care for women across the state," said Dr. Kristin Lyerly, a Green Bay OB-GYN and former Democratic state Assembly candidate who intervened in the case and was cited prominently in Schlipper's ruling.
Attorney General Josh Kaul and Gov. Tony Evers, both Democrats, filed the lawsuit shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2022 overturned its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide. The court's 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Care effectively put back into place the state's original abortion law.
Passed more than a century before the Roe ruling, the 1849 law bans doctors from performing abortions in every case except when the mother will die without the procedure. Doctors face up to six years in prison on felony charges and $10,000 in fines if they violate the law.
Kaul argued in the lawsuit that the 1849 law has been invalidated by abortion laws passed since the Roe v. Wade decision. Anti-abortion proponents and attorneys for Republican lawmakers disagreed, arguing the original law was still in effect.
In July, Schlipper denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit from defendant Sheboygan District Attorney Joel Urmanski, who had argued that Kaul was asking a judge to perform the duties of lawmakers and was ignoring the fact that lawmakers have put forward language to repeal the original abortion law and decided against passing it.
Following Schlipper's July order, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the state's largest abortion provider, resumed services.
"Freedom wins. Equality wins. Women’s health wins," Kaul said in a statement. "This ruling is a momentous victory, and we are prepared to defend it — and reproductive freedom in Wisconsin."
Wisconsin Right to Life legislative director Gracie Skogman said the ruling is "truly disappointing for all Wisconsinites," and Pro-Life Wisconsin legislative director Matt Sande called it "an extraordinary leap in logic." Sande said his group is hopeful the ruling "will be appealed promptly."
"A law that was enforced before the flawed decision of Roe is now one that pro-choice activists on the court are wiling to use as a tool for their cause. Instead, they are putting lives on the line," Skogman said.
Julaine Appling, president of the conservative Christian group Wisconsin Family Action, said she wasn't surprised by the decision but looks forward to the case making its way through the judicial process.
"This doesn't change anything about what we're doing," Appling said. "We are about a culture of life, and we're going to promote that and do everything we can to help people to understand that we are about saving babies, but we're also about making sure women are fully informed about this life-taking decision, about options they have, about consequences and encouraging them to explore that, and be very, very careful before they make a decision to have an abortion."
Appling said her organization supports a package of legislation that includes bills that would classify unborn children as dependents for tax purposes and increase the dependent exemption, fund grants for families seeking to adopt, further define "abortion" under state law and prohibit public employees from engaging in abortion-related work within the scope of their government employment.
Under the state's pre-Dobbs laws, women are also required to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion, along with a counseling appointment and a 24-hour waiting period.
In the case of medication abortions, the doctor who administers the pills must be the same one the woman saw for her counseling appointment, and the pills cannot be taken remotely via telemedicine.
The case is expected to make its way to the state Supreme Court, which now has a 4-3 liberal majority. Justice Janet Protasiewicz was sworn in Aug. 1 after running a campaign that focused heavily on broadcasting her personal values to voters, including support for abortion access.
“Nuclear weapons are the biggest problem we have,” he continued. “And we have a man that can’t put two sentences together. We have a man that doesn’t know he’s alive. And he’s backed up by the media. The biggest problem we have is the media. The media’s fake. I came up with the term a long time ago and they won’t talk about it. If I did some of the things that he did, they’d would reinstitute the death penalty.”
He can't even decide what the biggest problem we have is within a few sentences and he claims Biden can't put two sentences together.
Ukrainian president had been expected to join Zoom call but ‘something came up at the last minute’
Several Republican senators walked out of a classified briefing on Ukraine Tuesday as it descended into a row over the border crisis, after the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, unexpectedly canceled a video-link appearance to appeal for continued US funding.
Zelenskiy had been due to update the senators on the latest developments in the conflict with Russia and press for them to support a procedural vote expected Wednesday on an emergency aid package that includes more than $60bn for Kyiv.
The cash has been held up for weeks in Congress, as the White House has warned that existing funds will run out by the end of the year and that Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, could win the war if lawmakers fail to act.
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