Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.
Petition asks pope to remove Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison for his views on gay Catholics: Annysa Johnson and Sarah Hauer of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel write: "More than 3,500 people have signed an online petition calling on Pope Francis to remove Bishop Robert Morlino as head of the Diocese of Madison, saying his views on gay and lesbian Catholics are 'nothing short of inhumane.' The petition on the website change.org was posted late last week in response to a memo sent by Morlino's vicar general to local priests informing them that they may deny Catholic funerals to LGBT people 'to avoid public scandal of the faithful.' A second petition calling on Morlino to withdraw the advisory, which was posted by the LGBT Catholic advocacy group DignityUSA, has collected more than 900 signatures. 'This diocese is totally out of touch with the people who attend church there,' said Mary Kaye Radtke of Madison, a former DignityUSA executive board member. Morlino spokesman Brent King derided the petitions as publicity stunts and said no 'faithful Catholics' would sign them. Everything Morlino teaches, he said in an email to the Journal Sentinel, 'is the consistent and universal truth, taught by the Church, since the time of Christ Himself.' Amelia Royko Maurer of Madison, who posted the petition to Pope Francis, said Morlino's position is inconsistent with the pontiff's vision of a more inclusive and welcoming church." Read more.
Navy investigating if Green Beret died at hands of SEAL Team 6 members: Barbara Starr, Eli Watkins and Ryan Browne of CNN write: "The Navy is investigating whether two members of the Navy's elite SEAL Team Six killed an Army Green Beret in Mali in June, a US official told CNN Sunday. Naval Criminal Investigative Service spokesman Ed Buice confirmed to CNN the NCIS investigation into the death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar. Melgar was a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant, according to a statement from the US Army Special Command. Military officials told CNN that a military examiner ruled Melgar's death while on assignment in the African nation of Mali as a homicide. A US official told CNN jurisdiction for the investigation shifted from the Army investigation service to the Navy in September. The official said the transfer of jurisdiction indicates that Navy personnel are subjects of the investigation. The New York Times was the first to report that two members of SEAL Team Six were under investigation for Melgar's death, saying his death was caused by strangulation at a US government compound near the American embassy in Bamako, the capital." Read more.
Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high: The Guardian reports: "The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has hit a new high, the UN has said, warning that drastic action is needed to achieve targets set by the Paris climate agreement. 'Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016,' the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said. 'Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event,' it said. The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN weather agency’s annual flagship report, tracks the content of dangerous gases in atmosphere in the post-industrial era (since 1750). The report also said that the last time Earth experienced similar CO2 concentration rates was three to five million years ago, when the sea level was up to 20m higher than now. 'Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, we will be heading for dangerous temperature increases by the end of this century, well above the target set by the Paris climate change agreement,' WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement." Read more.
Theresa May urges action on Westminster harassment claims: The BBC reports: "The prime minister is calling for new grievance procedures to tackle sexual harassment amid a series of allegations of inappropriate behaviour by MPs. In a letter to Commons Speaker John Bercow, Theresa May said the Commons' disciplinary regime needed reforming as it did not have the 'required teeth.' She wants a new mediation service for disputes and a contractually binding complaints procedure for MPs' staff. Labour's John Mann said nothing was being done about 'serious complaints.' He told LBC that there was one case, 'within the last couple of years' in which the police became involved but no action was taken 'because the alleged assault took place abroad.' Following a number of allegations in recent days about the behaviour of MPs, including serving ministers, both Downing Street and the House of Commons authorities are under pressure to act. Anna Soubry, a former Conservative minister, has called for an urgent statement from Commons leader Andrea Leadsom on what can be done to ensure complaints are dealt with properly." Read more.
Big differences separate candidates running for Wisconsin Supreme Court: Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes: "Stark differences are emerging in the views of the candidates hoping to win a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court next year. One candidate deviates from the other two on his views on major recent cases and the three selected dissimilar U.S. justices when asked which one they admired. One chose a liberal icon, one chose a conservative hero and one chose a swing justice known for writing narrow decisions. Seeking a seat on the state’s high court are Madison attorney Tim Burns, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet and Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock. A Feb. 20 primary will narrow the field to two candidates. The April 3 election will determine who replaces outgoing Justice Michael Gableman, who is part of the court’s 5-2 conservative majority. Burns named former U.S. Justice Thurgood Marshall as the justice he most admires. Marshall was a civil rights activist who won the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case before becoming a justice. 'He lived the struggle,' Burns said. 'I think living the struggle makes you a great judge.'” Read more.
Kevin Spacey apologizes after Anthony Rapp accuses him of underage sexual advance: Alex Johnson of NBC News writes: "Kevin Spacey issued a general apology Sunday night after actor Anthony Rapp alleged the Oscar-winning star made a sexual advance at him when he was aged 14. Rapp, who plays Lt. Paul Stamets on the CBS online series 'Star Trek: Discovery,' was quoted in an interview with Buzzfeed as saying Spacey climbed on top of him in a bedroom at a 1986 party in New York. Rapp, who turned 46 on Friday, confirmed his comments to Buzzfeed in a statement Sunday night. Spacey, who would have been 26 or 27 in 1986, said in a statement Sunday night on Twitter that he didn't remember the alleged incident involving Rapp, but he wrote: 'If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.' Spacey, 58, has fiercely protected the privacy of his personal life for years, refusing to address long-advanced rumors that he is gay. In his statement, he wrote: 'As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.'" Read more.