Morning Headlines - Monday, Feb. 27, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Monday, Feb. 27, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Biden Says Concerns About His Age ‘Totally Legitimate’

President Biden said in a new interview that concerns about his age are “totally legitimate” as questions swirl around whether he will run for reelection in 2024.

During the interview with ABC’s David Muir, Biden, 80, was asked whether he is considering his age when deciding whether to run again, to which he replied no. However, he said it is “legitimate” for people to raise concerns about it.

“It’s legitimate for people to raise issues about my age,” he told Muir. “It’s totally legitimate to do that. And the only thing I can say is, ‘Watch me.’"

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New Assessment On The Origins Of Covid-19 Adds To The Confusion

“We want to know what led to this, so we can hopefully try and prevent something similar from happening in the future.”

Those words, from Dr. David Relman, an infectious disease expert and microbiologist at Stanford University, reflected the national conversation around the origins of Covid-19 in 2021.

Did it come from a lab? Was it a zoonotic transfer? Something else? Surely, with time, an answer would become clear.

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Recession Or Not, Americans Feel Like They’re Poorer

The nation may not be in recession, but Americans are reckoning with a classic recessionary symptom: feeling poorer.

Half of American respondents say they are worse-off financially than a year ago, according to a Gallup poll released this month. In nearly 50 years of polling on this question, only once before have so many people reported dwindling fortunes: during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.

The nation’s collective economic ennui has far-reaching implications, observers say, on everything from consumer spending to President Biden’s reelection hopes.

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China Accuses U.S. Of ‘Disinformation’ Over Warnings It’s Considering Sending Artillery And Ammo To Russia

China on Monday accused the United States of “disinformation” and a “double standard” over warnings that it is considering sending Russia artillery and ammunition for its war in Ukraine.

Beijing is promoting peace talks while it is Washington that is stoking the conflict, the country’s foreign ministry said, after Western officials raised growing concerns about China’s intentions.

“On the Ukraine issue, China supports an objective and just position and actively promotes peace talks. The U.S., however, has been fanning the flames and fueling the fight with more weaponry” for Kyiv, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing.

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Elon Musk Posts Tweet Hours After Sacking 200 More Twitter Staff Slashing The Work Force To Less Than 2,000

Twitter has laid off another 200 employees, around 10 percent of its remaining workforce, in the latest round of job cuts since Elon Musk took over last October.

The layoffs, announced Saturday, bring Twitter's workforce down to under 2,000 - a sharp fall from the 7,500 employed when the billionaire first took over.

On Sunday, Musk Tweeted: 'Hope you have a good Sunday. First day of the rest of your life.'

Saturday's cuts targeted product managers, data scientists and engineers and include product manager and Musk devotee Esther Crawford who led the launch of paid subscription service Twitter Blue.

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Wisconsin Headlines

The Biggest Election Of 2023 Reaches Final Sprint

Millions of dollars are flowing into the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, as the state rockets toward an election that could decide the future of abortion rights, redistricting and more in the key battleground state.

The court has a 4-3 conservative majority, with one swing conservative justice who has broken with the rest of the ideological bloc on some major cases. The April 4 election could flip that dynamic to a liberal-leaning majority.

The contest is poised to be the most expensive state Supreme Court race ever, with major outside groups — particularly those focused on abortion — rushing in funds. The previous record was over $15 million for a 2004 Illinois contest, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. In Wisconsin, $10.4 million was spent on advertising alone in the runup to the primary, according to data from the ad tracking firm AdImpact.

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Tiffany Formally Asks Lac Du Flambeau Tribe to Remove Roadblocks

Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07) sent a letter to the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians formally asking them to remove the roadblocks on four taxpayer-funded roads in Lac Du Flambeau. Since, Tuesday, January 31st, the Tribe has been blocking access to the roads on Annie Sunn Lane, Center Sugarbush Lane, East Ross Allen Lake Lane, and Elsie Lake Lane.

In the letter, Tiffany said that legislative action could be taken the longer this goes unresolved:

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Last Call For Comments: Dnr Seeking Input On Proposed Wolf Management Plan Through Feb. 28

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages the public to provide input on the proposed Wolf Management Plan before the public review and comment period comes to an end on Feb. 28.

The proposed plan was developed in consideration of many factors, including public input, consultations with Wisconsin's tribal nations, scientific literature reviews, a study on current public attitudes towards wolves and potential outcomes of various management decisions.

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Wisconsin Bill Would Remove Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Supplemental Breast Cancer Screenings

Patients at a higher risk of breast cancer could see the cost of preventative screenings eliminated under a new bill introduced to the Wisconsin Legislature.

The bill, introduced last Tuesday, would require health insurance companies to cover additional breast cancer screenings and diagnostic exams like ultrasounds and MRIs.

Current state law requires health insurance agencies to provide one mammogram per year to women over 50, and two mammograms per year for those ages 45 to 49 who meet certain risk factors. Tests currently provided are free of cost.

But the bill aims to close a loophole for some 40 percent of women with dense breast tissue — something that makes mammograms less effective.

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Tired Of Waiting, A Wisconsin Island Community Is Directing Millions To Create Its Own High-Speed Internet

As Wisconsin lawmakers consider expanding aid for high-speed internet this year, one island community is undertaking a pricey effort to connect its residents with miles of fiber cable.

The project is expected to cost about $6 million, or the equivalent of about $8,500 for each of Washington Island’s 700 year-round residents. At the northern tip of Door County, the island is a popular tourist destination and only accessible by ferry.

In October, a Washington Island school became the first recipient of high-speed internet using the new fiber optic network. An entire classroom of students can now use internet-connected devices. Residents and businesses are next in the project’s queue.

"We are connecting people every day," said Robert Cornell, manager of the Washington Island Electric Cooperative. "We’re going to serve every single member of the (cooperative). We’re not just passing people like most internet service providers talk about. We’re actually bringing the service to the home."

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Last Update: Feb 27, 2023 6:48 am CST

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