Morning Headlines - Monday, May 20, 2024

U.S. & World and Wisconsin headlines, and today's meme.

Morning Headlines - Monday, May 20, 2024

U.S. and World Headlines

Iran's Hardliner President Ebrahim Raisi Killed In Helicopter Crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed after his helicopter crashed in poor weather in mountains near the Azerbaijan border, officials and state media said on Monday.

The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew was found early on Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions.

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Alarmed Democrats Flee Biden’s Ailing Brand In Battleground States

Vulnerable Senate Democrats are distancing themselves from President Biden’s ailing brand after polls show him trailing former President Trump in several battleground states.

Democrats in tough races are breaking with Biden over border security, liquified natural gas exports, the Israel-Hamas war, and tariffs on Chinese goods.

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The Coming War Between DC And Silicon Valley

The fight over who’ll innovate fastest and get the most commercial juice out of artificial intelligence is in the news nearly every day. Sam Altman won last week’s round, once again, with OpenAI’s splashy new, voice-enhanced GPT-4o.

The other fight over AI is political, and here the story is different. As recently as last fall, Altman and other AI princes were toasted in Washington. No more. What started off with polite symposia about “guardrails” and “best practices” is turning into a struggle over power between the worlds of tech and politics. Watch it get messier and louder.

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Marijuana Research Could Still Be Difficult After Rescheduling

Marijuana could get easier to study following the Biden administration's move to reclassify it as a less dangerous drug, but scientists say research barriers won't entirely disappear.

Even as most Americans live in states that have legalized marijuana, stringent federal requirements have limited research on its uses and effects. Those who've been studying the drug for years say marijuana's reclassification could jumpstart investment and research, but ongoing regulatory and infrastructure hurdles may temper research interest.

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Edwards Leads Wolves Back From 20-Point Deficit For 98-90 Win Over Defending NBA Champion Nuggets

Anthony Edwards overcame a slow start and the Timberwolves roared back from a 20-point second-half deficit to eliminate the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets 98-90 in a Game 7 Minnesota masterpiece on Sunday night.

The Timberwolves overcame a 15-point halftime deficit — the largest comeback in a Game 7 in NBA playoff history — behind Edwards, who had just four points, no rebounds and three assists at halftime but finished with 16 points, eight boards and seven assists.

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Wisconsin Headlines

GOP Activists Elect Dittrich, Travis To RNC

Party activists at the state GOP convention today elected Waukesha County GOP Chair Terry Dittrich and Pam Travis, one of the Republicans who submitted a false slate of electors for Trump in 2020, to fill two of Wisconsin’s three slots on the Republican National Committee.

Dittrich, who defeated former state GOP Chair Brad Courtney, highlighted the need to boost fundraising. The state Dem Party outraised its Republican counterpart 15-to-1 over the first three months of 2024.

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Noncitizen Voting, Illegal In Federal Elections, Emerges As A 2024 Republican Talking Point

One political party is holding urgent news conferences and congressional hearings over the topic. The other says it’s a dangerous distraction meant to seed doubts before this year’s presidential election.

In recent months, the specter of immigrants voting illegally in the U.S. has erupted into a leading election-year talking point for Republicans. They argue that legislation is necessary to protect the sanctity of the vote as the country faces unprecedented levels of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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New La Crosse Program Aims To Save Reusable Household Items From Landfills

When futons, microwaves and rugs line curbs near colleges and universities, Wisconsinites know it’s campus move-out season.

This year, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Habitat for Humanity of the Greater La Crosse Region created a dumpster diversion program, which prevented furniture and other reusable household items from going to landfills.

“You can think back to when we were moving out. We just didn’t have any space in our cars. The only option was to put it in the dumpster,” said Kaitlyn Wiehe, who works for the AmeriCorps VISTA program with La Crosse’s Habitat for Humanity.

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2 Elections For Same Wisconsin Seat Have Election Officials Fearing Voter Confusion

Wisconsin election officials voted Thursday to provide more details to voters than normal to avoid confusion about a ballot that will have both a special and regular election for a vacant congressional seat.

The rare anomaly for the 8th Congressional District is due to the timing of former U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher's surprise resignation. Under state law, if Gallagher had quit before April 9, a special election before November would have had to be called.

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Workers Remove Dozens Of Apparent Cannabis Plants From Wisconsin Capitol Tulip Garden

Someone's plans to harvest dozens of apparent cannabis plants grown on the Wisconsin state Capitol grounds have gone up in smoke.

The plants sprouted in a tulip garden outside the Capitol.

Tatyana Warrick, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration, told The Associated Press in an email Friday that workers had removed the plants, but that her agency couldn't determine if they were marijuana or hemp. Both are forms of cannabis, but only marijuana has the compound that gets people high.

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Last Update: May 20, 2024 6:19 am CDT

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