Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Mystery Of Covid-19's Origins Deepens With New Report: What We Know

Since the first cases of a mysterious new respiratory illness were recorded in China in late 2019, scientists have come to know the pathogen named SARS-CoV-2 (along with its Greek-letter variants) with an uncommon intimacy. With astonishing speed, they decoded its genetic architecture and, using that knowledge, created treatments and vaccines that have reduced the pandemic to a background concern in many parts of the world.

Yet more than three years after the advent of the coronavirus, the most fundamental question remains: Just where did it come from?

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Top 5 Questions Surrounding Biden Student Debt Relief Fight At Supreme Court

President Biden’s student loan plan will get its final shot at victory Tuesday at the Supreme Court when the majority-conservative court prepares to hear arguments that will determine the fate of up to $20,000 in debt relief for millions of Americans.

The showdown between the Biden administration and the two groups of challengers to the president’s plan has been building for months, with many protesters having camped outside the court ahead of today’s session, which begins at 10 a.m.

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar in back-to-back oral arguments will attempt to fend off a group of six GOP-led states, represented by Nebraska Solicitor General James Campbell, followed by a separate challenge from two individuals.

Here are five top questions heading into oral arguments.

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"Major" Cyberattack Compromised Sensitive U.S. Marshals Service Data

The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating a major ransomware attack that has compromised some of its most sensitive information, including law enforcement materials, and the personal information of employees and potential targets of federal investigations.

The cyberattack was considered a "major incident" by officials, impacting a "stand-alone" system (meaning it is not connected to a larger federal network) within the service, an agency spokesperson said Monday. The attack was discovered on Feb. 17.

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Rupert Murdoch Admits Some Fox News Hosts 'Endorsed' False Election Fraud Claims

News Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch declined to rein in Fox News hosts who spread false claims of widespread voter fraud in the days after the 2020 election despite privately expressing that he had seen little evidence for then-President Donald Trump’s claims and that he found half of them “bulls--- and damaging,” according to court documents unsealed Monday.

Fox News was “trying to straddle the line between spewing conspiracy theories on one hand, yet calling out the fact that they are actually false on the other,” Murdoch said in testimony released in the court documents.

Murdoch acknowledged in testimony that some of those hosts, including Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo, had done more than just give a platform to baseless claims of voter fraud.

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Christian High School Girls' Basketball Team Forfeits Playoff Game After It Was Revealed Transgender Student Was On Opposing Team

A Christian prep school in Vermont forfeited a playoff girls basketball game in the state championship tournament after discovering the opposing team had a transgender player on the roster.

The Mid Vermont Christian School girls team, the Eagles, were set to face off against the Long Trail Mountain Lions in the fourth game of the playoffs last week before the Christian school dropped out, therefore giving up its place in the tournament.

The head of the institution, Vicky Fogg, said it would be unfair and unsafe for the high school girls to play against a biologically male player on the other team.

'We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.'

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Wisconsin Headlines

State Parties Preparing For Record Spending In Supreme Court Race

Both Dem and GOP state party chairs say they’re planning major and likely historic investments ahead of the April Supreme Court race.

“The cow has left the barn on this, I’m afraid,” Dem Chair Ben Wikler said on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com. “We cannot unilaterally disarm. In this race, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is organizing in every square inch of Wisconsin, in rural areas, suburbs and cities alike across gender, ethnicity, race.”

The race features liberal candidate Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz and conservative former Justice Daniel Kelly. The race will determine philosophical control of the high court, which has been controlled by conservatives.

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Why Is There A Long Line Of Railcars Parked On The Tracks Near Spooner?

If you're driving north along Highway 53 between Spooner and Trego, you'll see a long line of railcars parked on tracks on your right. The string of railcars seems like it will never end. 

Some have graffiti and look weathered. Others appear new. Some railcars are round and others look like a box.

Mary Kay Lovejoy passes these railcars on the way to her cabin in Bayfield County. And she has always wondered why they're parked here.

"I always wondered, do these move? Are they just here in storage? And then I got curious, well, are they related to the frac sand mining? Why are they there all the time?" she said.

Lovejoy tried to answer her questions on her own.

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Gov. Evers Wants Extended Bar Hours For Republican National Convention

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wants bars to stay open until 4 a.m. next year for the Republican Party’s national convention in Milwaukee.

A provision in Evers’s budget proposal would allow bars in 14 counties surrounding Milwaukee to extend their hours to accommodate convention-goers, CBS 58 in Milwaukee reported Monday. The convention is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to battleground Wisconsin’s largest city from July 15-19, 2024.

Currently, Wisconsin bars and restaurants must close by 2 a.m. on weekdays and 2:30 a.m. on weekends.

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Which Committees Are Wisconsin's Us House Members Assigned To In The 118th Congress?

The U.S. House of Representatives is wrapping committee and subcommittee assignments for the 118th Congress, which began in January and continues until January 2025.

"Overall, this looks like a good set of committee assignments for the Wisconsin delegation," said David Canon, a UW-Madison Department of Political Science professor who focuses his research on elections and Congress. It includes some plum assignments for both new and veteran members of Congress in Wisconsin.

Legislative bodies like the U.S. House are broken into issue-specific committees, which write and negotiate bills and vote to approve or deny them before they go to the full membership for further changes and a possible up-or-down vote. The party in the majority, currently the Republicans, typically seats a majority of its members onto committees, while the party in the minority, currently the Democrats, get a minority of seats on each committee.

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Pat McAfee Has Been ‘Officially Served’ In Brett Favre Lawsuit

Pat McAfee has been officially sued by Brett Favre, he revealed Monday on the latest episode of “The Pat McAfee Show.”

He opened his three-hour show by announcing that he had been officially served, noting that he received notice less than a day after arriving home in Indiana following a trip to Hawaii. He went to sleep Saturday night, and a woman presented him with the news Sunday morning with a knock at his door.

“’I am so sorry,’” McAfee recalled the woman saying. “‘I am a fan of the show. I just work for a company that was hired. These are for you.’”

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Last Update: Feb 28, 2023 5:32 am CST

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