Morning Headlines - Friday, Feb. 24, 2023

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Friday, Feb. 24, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Massachusetts Democrat Told To Step Down After Abortion Comments Leave Parents Irate

A local Democrat official in Massachusetts is facing calls to step down after complaining about the cost of special education for children with disabilities who are not aborted.

Michael Hugo, the chair of the Framingham Democratic Committee, made the remarks during a city council meeting when discussing a proclamation about access to abortion and crisis pregnancy centers in the city. He said crisis pregnancy centers could misdiagnose a defect in a baby in the womb, leading to them being born and becoming a strain on a school budget. He issued a public apology after 10 days of backlash from members of his own party and parents of special needs children.

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Biden Faces Political Threat With East Palestine Train Derailment

President Biden and the White House face a political threat over the fallout from the administration’s response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment that has left residents of East Palestine, Ohio, scared and frustrated.

Republicans have gone on the attack over the Feb. 3 derailment, questioning the urgency of the administration’s response and asking why Biden has not visited the impacted community.

Former President Trump on Wednesday accused the Biden administration of “indifference and betrayal” toward East Palestine during a visit there, while the mayor of the village called it a “slap in the face” that Biden went to Europe before visiting the site of a potential environmental disaster. The White House said Biden has not spoken to the mayor.

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Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 16 Years For Rape Conviction In LA

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison for rape in his Los Angeles sexual assault trial.

The sentence will be served consecutively after a 23-year prison sentence he is currently serving in New York for criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape.

The judge denied Weinstein a new trial during Thursday's hearing, following a motion from his defense that argued his conviction was based on the improper exclusion of evidence and flawed jury instructions.

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Preparing For Putin's Long War

After failing in his initial goal of quickly taking Kyiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be placing his new bet on winning a war of attrition, experts say.

It's a wager that's unlikely to bring an end to the war anytime soon. Instead, it's expected to significantly add to the tens of thousands killedmillions displaced and billions spent in the war's first year.

"The word that describes where we're at [right now] is 'stalemate,'" says Dale Buckner, a retired Army Colonel and the current CEO of the international security firm Global Guardian.

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Warner Bros. Discovery Posts $217 Million Loss In Its Streaming Business

Warner Bros. Discovery on Thursday reported that streaming subscriptions grew just 1.1 million last quarter, less than Wall Street expected, despite a slate of hot HBO Max debuts including House of the Dragon and season two of The White Lotus.

For the quarter that ended in December, WBD's streaming unit, which includes HBO Max and Discovery+, reported an operating loss of $217 million on $2.45 billion in revenue, down from losses of $728 million a year ago.

Overall, the company missed expectations on the top and bottom lines, reporting revenue of $11 billion and losses of $2.1 billion that were mostly due to ongoing restructuring charges from last year's merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery.

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Wisconsin Headlines

First Republican Presidential Primary Debate To Be Held In Milwaukee

The first Republican presidential primary debate of the 2024 campaign will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to a letter sent by the national party chair, Ronna McDaniel, to members.

She informed them that the Republican National Committee (RNC) panel that handles debates voted Thursday to hold the debate in August in Milwaukee, to coincide with the RNC's summer meetings. Milwaukee is also the site of the Republican National Convention next year, in 2024.

Future debates as well as debate criteria for candidates who wish to participate — such as fundraising minimums or polling averages — remain to be determined, McDaniel wrote.

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Expanded Milwaukee-Twin Cities Amtrak Service May Start This Year, Fate Of Other Rail Proposals Uncertain

Expanded Amtrak service from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities could start sometime later this year, even as prospects for new routes to Madison, Green Bay and Eau Claire remain uncertain, Wisconsin’s top rail official says.

A new passenger rail line, to be named the Great River route, will offer a second daily round trip between Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, in addition to the one provided now by Amtrak’s long-distance Empire Builder, says Lisa Stern, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s railroads and harbors chief.

Great River trains will follow the current Empire Builder route west from downtown Milwaukee, with Wisconsin stops in Columbus, Portage, Wisconsin Dells, Tomah and La Crosse. Unlike the Empire Builder, the Great River also will stop in Sturtevant and at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport, and it won’t continue past St. Paul to Seattle and Portland.

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Former Wisconsin Governor Tony Earl Dies At Age 86

Former Wisconsin Governor Tony Earl has died. Governor Tony Evers’ office made the announcement on Thursday. Earl, the state’s 41st governor from 1983 to 1987, had recently suffered a stroke and was receiving palliative care.

Earl was a native of Michigan, a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Chicago Law School. Earl served as an assistant district attorney in Marathon County and as Wausau City Attorney before being elected to the state Assembly in a 1969 special election. He was reelected in 1970 and 1972 and served as majority leader in his second term.

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Wisconsin Tourism Industry Recovering Faster Than In Neighboring States, But Still Struggling Post-Pandemic

Wisconsin's tourism industry has seen a fast recovery from the pandemic compared to other states. But many sectors are not yet where they should be, leaders said at the Senate Committee of Agriculture and Tourism's public hearing earlier this month.

"We know that we're not back to where we need to be yet. And we all know there continues to be some pain points for a lot of important sectors," said Anne Sayers, secretary-designee of the state Department of Tourism.

"Restaurants and hotels and other businesses, the arts, business travel, meetings and conventions all continue to lag," Sayers said.

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Wisconsin Wins Most Gold Medals In US Championship Cheese Contest

Arethusa Farm Dairy of Connecticut won the competition with their aged gouda, Europa. It had a final score of 98.739 out of 100.

There is a Wisconsin tie here, though. The head cheesemaker for Arethusa got his start right here in the Badger State.

"I'm originally from Wisconsin, a southern Wisconsin boy," said Eric Schmid in a virtual acceptance speech Friday. "[I] moved out here to Connecticut, helped make some really great cheese. I'm very proud to be involved with this."

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Last Update: Feb 24, 2023 6:02 am CST

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