Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Colorado Supreme Court Removes Trump From State's Ballot

The Colorado Supreme Court made history Tuesday with an unprecedented, freeze-in-your-tracks ruling that former President Donald Trump is constitutionally ineligible to run in 2024 because the 14th Amendment’s ban on insurrectionists holding public office covers his conduct on January 6, 2021.

The 4-3 decision removes Trump from the Republican primary ballot in Colorado, which is scheduled for Super Tuesday in early March. However, the Colorado justices paused their ruling so Trump can appeal to the US Supreme Court, which could even preserve his spot on the state’s primary ballot if the appeal isn’t settled quickly.

Here are the key takeaways from the decision and what comes next:

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Ex-White House Lawyer Says Supreme Court Could Rule ‘9-0’ In Possible Trump 14th Amendment Case

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb on Tuesday predicted the U.S. Supreme Court could rule “9-0” in favor of former President Trump in a potential appeal of Colorado Supreme Court’s new ruling that would kick Trump off the state’s ballot.

“I think this case will be handled quickly, I think it could be 9-0 in the Supreme Court for Trump,” Cobb said in an interview on CNN, adding later, “I do believe it could be 9-0 because I think the law is clear.”

The Colorado Supreme Court issued a ruling on Tuesday that Trump should not appear on Colorado’s ballot due to his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack.

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List Of Jeffrey Epstein's Associates Named In Lawsuit Must Be Unsealed, Judge Rules

A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that a list of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims and associates —some of whom have been accused of being involved in the disgraced financier's exploitation and abuse of underage girls— must be unsealed and made public.

More than 150 names may be made public as part of a settled civil lawsuit against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell — who was found guilty of conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse underage girls for at least a decade — brought by Virginia Giuffre, who accused Maxwell of recruiting her for abuse.

Giuffre has called Maxwell "the mastermind" behind Eptein's sex trafficking ring.

The list of names could include Epstein's accused co-conspirators as well as a wide range of people listed in the lawsuit.

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AI's Colossal Puppet Show

Here's an early New Year's resolution for anyone who works with, deals with or writes about artificial intelligence: Stop saying "AI did this" or "AI made that."

AI doesn't do or make anything on its own. It's a software tool that people imagined and invented — the only capabilities and goals it has are those that people give it.

Throw away your pictures of AI as a robot — and start imagining the technology as a big puppet instead.

Many social media experts believe 2024 will see an explosion of generative-AI-produced synthetic media colliding with pivotal elections in the U.S. and around the world.

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Doctors In England Begin A 3-day Strike Over Pay At Busy Time Of The Year In NHS

Doctors in the early stages of their careers in England started a 72-hour strike Wednesday in their long-running dispute with the British government over pay levels.

Patients in Britain's state-owned National Health Service have been warned that there will be “significant disruption," with thousands of appointments and procedures postponed or even canceled. The strike began at 7 a.m. and will run until Saturday morning.

Tens of thousands of so-called junior doctors, which make up around half of the medical workforce in the NHS, will also go on strike for a six-day stretch early next year, the longest walkout in the health service's 75-year history.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Vos Calls For Review Of Diversity Positions Across State Agencies

The Republican lawmaker who forced the Universities of Wisconsin to reduce diversity positions called Dec. 19 for an in-depth review of diversity initiatives across state government and repeated his claim that he has only begun to dismantle equity and inclusion efforts in the state.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos made the remarks after the Legislature’s employment committee voted to release $107.6 million to cover a 6% raise for about 35,000 UW employees over a two-year period. Vos agreed to release the money for the raises and construction projects across the university system after regents voted Dec. 13 to freeze diversity hires, re-label about 40 diversity positions as “student success” positions and create a position at UW-Madison focused on conservative thought.

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'I've Lost Faith': Voters Express Mixed Opinions Ahead Of President Biden's Milwaukee Visit

Air Force One is just hours away from touching down in Milwaukee. President Joe Biden will be visiting Cream City to talk "Bidenomics" as he continues his push to get voters in his corner for next year's election.

As it stands now, opinions of Biden and his efforts as president are a mixed bag for those in Milwaukee. While some are confidently in favor...

"I like him," voter Jim Bingham said. "I'm a fan of President Biden."

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SCOWIS Hears Arguments In Amazon Employment Case

The Justices on Wisconsin's Supreme Court are weighing a legal case about if some drivers who delivered packages for Amazon are Amazon employees.

They heard arguments Tuesday.

Amazon said the drivers are independent contractors. But the State Department of Workforce Developments said that's an "inappropriate classification." The agency argues those delivery drivers are employees.

"Amazon logistics does not dispute that the drivers were paid by it for performing services but claims that those workers who deliver packages using their own vehicle and their own cellphone are independent contractors," Ryan Farrel, the attorney representing DWD, said. "Amazon logistics has not shown that any of these drivers had independent businesses."

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Some Wisconsin Hospitals Return To Mask Requirements As Covid-19 And Other Viruses Spread

Respiratory viruses continue to circulate in Wisconsin communities, leading some hospital systems to again require masks for all patients and staff.

On Tuesday, UW Health returned to requiring masks in medical clinics, outpatient care and waiting rooms.

Dr. Jeff Pothof, UW Health's chief quality officer, said the health care system has continued to require masks in areas with highly vulnerable patients like transplant or cancer treatment centers since the height of the pandemic. But with moderate levels of influenza-like illnesses now present across the state, he said hospital leaders felt it was time to return to masking in other areas.

"(We want) to do our part to reduce disease transmission among our patients, our staff and to maybe a small extent, the greater community until those numbers start to decrease," Pothof said. "We don't need to be doing this stuff year round, but when numbers are really high, the benefits start to exceed the risks."

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Newly Elected Senate Minority Leader Dianne Hesselbein Speaks On Issues She's Prioritizing In 2024

A shift in leadership among the state Senate's Democratic caucus is prompting conversations on potential changes Wisconsinites can expect to see in 2024.

Senator Dianne Hesslebein (D - Middleton) is entering the third week of her new role as Senate Minority Leader, succeeding Senator Melissa Agard (D - Madison), who is well underway with her campaign for Dane County Executive. Agard has already received several endorsements, including that of Secretary of State Sarah Godlewski.

Hesselbein was elected by her colleagues during a private vote that took place just a day after Agard announced she was stepping down in November.

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Last Update: Dec 20, 2023 6:12 am CST

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