Morning Headlines - Monday, Feb. 20, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Monday, Feb. 20, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Biden Visits Kyiv Ahead Of Anniversary Of Russia’s Invasion

President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday, arriving in Ukraine’s capital in a show of support for the war-torn nation and statement of defiance ahead of the one-year anniversary of the war Russia launched.

Arriving at 8 a.m. local time, Biden stepped off the plane to be met by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife. “Thank you for coming,” Zelenskyy said. Biden asked about the Ukrainian leader’s kids and then said that the purpose of his visit was to signal the United States was “not leaving” Kyiv during the conflict.

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Jimmy Carter Enters Hospice Care At Home

Former President Jimmy Carter will begin to receive hospice care at home following a series of hospital stays, his foundation said in a statement on Saturday.

"After a series of short hospital stays, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention," the statement said. "He has the full support of his family and his medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers."

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Big Tech's Future Is Up To A Supreme Court That Doesn't Understand It

The firestorm over Big Tech and content moderation is coming to a head at the Supreme Court — but some experts fear it's a job the court simply isn’t equipped to do well.

The court has historically not been great at grappling with new technology. As it dives into the political battle over social-media algorithms, there's a real fear that the justices could end up creating more controversies than they solve.

The court is set to hear arguments this week in two cases involving Section 230, the federal law that says tech platforms aren’t liable for what their users choose to post.

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North Korea Launches Two More Missiles Days After ICBM Test, South Korea Says

North Korea has fired a pair of short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Monday, South Korea's military said, two days after the North resumed testing activities with an intercontinental ballistic missile launch.

South Korea detected the two launches from a western coastal town, just north of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Monday morning, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It also said South Korea boosted its surveillance posture and maintains a readiness in close coordination with the United States.

Japan's coast guard also issued warnings over what it called possible ballistic missile launches by North Korea.

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Nearly 30 Percent Of Work Remains Remote As Workers Dig In

The pandemic may be winding down, but the work-from-home revolution marches on.

Nearly 30 percent of all work happened at home in January, six times the rate in 2019, according to WFH Research, a data-collection project. In Washington and other large urban centers, the share of remote work is closer to half. In the nation’s biggest cities, entire office buildings sit empty.

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the American workplace. The share of all work performed at home rose from 4.7 percent in January 2019 to 61 percent in May 2020. Some economists consider the remote-work boom the greatest change to the labor market since World War II.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Abortion Among Major Issues At Stake In Wisconsin Court Race

A conservative tilt on the Wisconsin Supreme Court has given Republicans victories on voting restrictions, gerrymandered legislative districts and other high-stakes cases in recent years.

Voters now have a chance to tip that balance toward the left, with implications for abortion rights and perhaps the outcome of the 2024 presidential election in one of the nation's most closely divided political battlegrounds.

Tuesday's primary will feature two conservatives and two liberals running for the seat of a retiring conservative justice. The top two finishers advancing to the April 4 general election.

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Rebecca Blank, Who Led University Of Wisconsin, Dies At 67

Rebecca Blank, an economist who served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has died, less than a year after announcing that she had an aggressive form of cancer. She was 67.

Blank's illness forced her to step aside in July 2022 from a new job as president of Northwestern University.

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Evers Asks For More Staff To Speed Up Processing Of Professional Licensing

As Wisconsin faces complaints from people waiting weeks for months for professional licenses, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is asking to hire more staff to speed up the process.

Included in his recently-submitted budget request to state lawmakers are nearly 80 additional full-time-equivalent positions for the Department of Safety and Professional Services, an agency that oversees building safety as well as more than 200 types of credentials for occupations ranging from nurses to barbers to certified public accountants.

The proposed staffing boost is badly needed, said Marc Herstand, who leads the National Association of Social Workers. He says he's heard from social workers who are deterred from working in Wisconsin because they can't afford to wait for extended time periods before they get the credentials needed to start a job.

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Wood County Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For 1984 Murder

The Wisconsin Department of Justice today announced that Wood County Judge Nicholas J. Brazeau, Jr. sentenced John A. Sarver, 59, of Port Edwards, Wis., to life in prison, on February 17, 2023, in connection to the November 26, 1984, murder of Eleanore Roberts, 73, of Saratoga, Wis.

A jury found Mr. Sarver guilty after an 8-day trial in November of 2022. The evidence presented at trial established that Mr. Sarver entered Mrs. Roberts’ home in Saratoga, Wis. on the night of November 26, 1984, and beat and stabbed Mrs. Roberts with scissors. Advances in DNA testing over the years showed the defendant’s DNA on evidence presented at trial.

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Federal Jury Convicts Two Green Bay Men Of Trafficking Fentanyl Disguised As Percocet

United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that February 16, 2023, a federal jury in Green Bay convicted Don A.K. James, Jr. (age: 24) and Frederick L. Brewer (age: 34) of Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, Possessing Fentanyl With Intent to Distribute, and Distributing Fentanyl, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841 and 846.

The evidence presented at trial showed that in January and February 2022, Brewer sold fentanyl pills to an informant working with the Brown County Drug Task Force. The potentially lethal pills had been illicitly manufactured to resemble Percocet. After DTF arrested Brewer, they learned that James—Brewer’s brother—had negotiated with an Arizona-based source to buy thousands of counterfeit Percocet pills containing fentanyl. James flew to Arizona in early January 2022 to buy at least 15,000 pills. While there, he sent a video to a large-scale buyer in the Green Bay area—the video showed that James had at least 19,000 pills to distribute.

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Last Update: Feb 20, 2023 5:52 am CST

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