Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.
Democrats seek younger voters with mostly gray candidates: Scott Bauer of the Associated Press writes: "Paul Soglin had already completed three terms as mayor of Madison before Kelda Roys was born in 1979. Now they’re both running for governor, illustrating a generational divide among Democratic candidates. Soglin, at 72, and Roys, 38, are the oldest and youngest of the nine best-known candidates. Seven of the Democrats are Baby Boomers, while Roys and union firefighter head Mahlon Mitchell, 40, come from the tail end of Generation X. Democrats have long bemoaned not having enough young candidates, while the face of the Republican Party in recent years has been dominated by politicians in their 40s. Gov. Scott Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, also the former state and national GOP party chairman, range between ages 45 and 50. Walker, the oldest, was first elected governor on his 43rd birthday but has been in office continually since he was 25. Wisconsin Democrats haven’t had the same youth movement, as evidenced by the decidedly gray field of governor candidates. The average age of the nine top tier contenders is 58 and two are in their 70s." Read more.
Cold suspected in separate deaths of two people in Milwaukee: Tom Kertscher and Meg Jones of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel write: "Two people were found dead outdoors Sunday in what authorities suspect are deaths related to the bitterly cold weather. A man's body found in the 3100 block of N. Humboldt Blvd. in Milwaukee likely is a cold-weather death, according to the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office. The office was called about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The body of a man in his 50s was found in a vehicle in an alley behind the man's residence, according to the medical examiner. Around 3:45 p.m. a 34-year-old man was found dead outside in a residential area of N. 98th St. and W. Good Hope Road. His death, too, is suspected to be weather-related, the medical examiner's office confirmed. Neither victim's name was released. Autopsies were ordered for both cases. The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for Sunday night and Monday morning as temperatures were expected to plunge to minus 6 with wind chills of more than minus 20."
Pakistan summons the US ambassador in protest after Trump's angry tweet: Reuters reports: "Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's angry tweet about Pakistan's 'lies and deceit,' while Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif dismissed the outburst as a political stunt. David Hale was summoned by the Pakistan foreign office on Monday to explain Trump's tweet, media said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed the meeting took place. In a withering attack, Trump on Monday said the United States had 'foolishly' handed Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had been rewarded with 'nothing but lies and deceit.' 'They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!' Trump wrote on Twitter. Trump's harsh words drew praise from Pakistan's old foe, India, and neighboring Afghanistan, but long-time ally China defended Pakistan's record of combating 'terrorism.' Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday will chair a cabinet meeting that will focus on Trump's tweet, while on Wednesday the country's top civilian and military chiefs will meet to discuss deteriorating U.S. ties." Read more.
Why North Korea succeeded at getting nuclear weapons — when Iraq and Libya failed: Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer of the Washington Post writes: "North Korea was considered too poor, authoritarian and vulnerable to succeed with its nuclear and missile programs. And yet Pyongyang has acquired advanced nuclear weapons capabilities — and, at the end of November, tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. Why has North Korea succeeded when other countries such as Iraq and Libya have failed? Three factors are central to North Korea’s success. This analysis draws on findings about the North Korean program from a recent New York Times article, as well as my recent book on the Iraqi and Libyan nuclear programs. 1. Kim Jong Un made nuclear weapons his top priority. Authoritarian leaders may appear to pursue nuclear weapons with determination, but not all do so wholeheartedly. After succeeding his father, Kim Jong Il, in late 2011, Kim Jong Un made advanced nuclear weapons and their means of delivery his main goal. He redirected resources to the missile project, promoted science as the regime’s main priority, and carefully aligned his public image with science and scientists." Read more.
As US budget fight looms, Republicans are suddenly worried about spending: Reuters reports: "In keeping with a sharp pivot underway among Republicans, U.S. Representative Mark Meadows, speaking on CBS' 'Face the Nation,' drew a hard line on federal spending, which lawmakers are bracing to do battle over in January. When they return from the holidays on Wednesday, lawmakers will begin trying to pass a federal budget in a fight likely to be linked to other issues, such as immigration policy, even as the November congressional election campaigns approach in which Republicans will seek to keep control of Congress. President Donald Trump and his Republicans want a big budget increase in military spending, while Democrats also want proportional increases for non-defense 'discretionary' spending on programs that support education, scientific research, infrastructure, public health and environmental protection. 'The (Trump) administration has already been willing to say: 'We're going to increase non-defense discretionary spending ... by about 7 percent,'' Meadows, chairman of the small but influential House Freedom Caucus, said on the program." Read more.
The one question likely to decide 2018 elections: Ronald Brownstein of CNN writes: "As the 2018 election year begins, one question above all is likely to shape its outcome: Will Americans vote to constrain President Donald Trump by electing a Democrat-led Congress that will challenge and resist him, or to empower the Republicans who are increasingly working in harness with him? Voters have increasingly viewed House and Senate elections less as a choice between individual candidates than a referendum on which party they want to control Congress -- a choice grounded in their assessments of the President. All evidence from the special elections in 2017 suggests that pattern will continue to drive voters' decisions this year. As more voters have treated congressional elections in effect as parliamentary choices, it's grown difficult for either side to maintain the unified control of the House, the Senate and the White House that Republicans enjoy now. The last three times one party went into a midterm election holding unified control, in fact, voters have revoked it -- providing the opposition party control of one or both congressional chambers. That was the fate of Democrats under Barack Obama in 2010, Republicans under George W. Bush in 2006 and Democrats under Bill Clinton in 1994." Read more.