Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.
Wisconsin extends pitch for Amazon's 2nd headquarters beyond Milwaukee: Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes: "Southeastern Wisconsin's long-shot pitch to land Amazon.com Inc.'s second headquarters will extend beyond Milwaukee to the larger area. Milwaukee 7, which promotes job retention and creation efforts in the Milwaukee area, plans to pitch multiple sites to Amazon, said Jim Paetsch, the non-profit group's vice president of corporate relocation, expansion and attraction. For competitive reasons, Paetsch declined to provide details. 'I think there are some interesting assets here,' he said Wednesday. 'And we plan to highlight those assets.' Amazon in September announced its request for proposals for the project, called 'HQ2.' The deadline for proposals is Oct. 19, with a decision expected in 2018. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in September the city would make a pitch. The fact that Foxconn Technology Group has since formally announced plans for a massive flat-screen manufacturing complex in Mount Pleasant, in Racine County, will help the M7 region in its broader pitch to Amazon, Paetsch said. 'To have more employers here, especially those interested in digital talent, helps build our entire infrastructure for everyone,' Paetsch said. M7 covers Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine, Walworth and Kenosha counties." Read more.
Cat Café Mad remodels, expands food and drink menu to stay in business: Allison Geyer of Isthmus writes: "Cat Café Mad owner Cheryl Glover just didn’t realize how much money it would take to care for all those cats. She pays for health insurance to cover her crew of about 20 felines, but she’s still had to shell out thousands in unexpected medical costs. Less than a year after opening, her business was in jeopardy. 'There were two ways I could go,' Glover tells Isthmus. 'I could close, which would break my heart, or I could go big.' Glover opted for the latter, launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to improve her space at 1925 Monroe St. The effort brought in more than $11,000, which Glover has since matched — twice. She’s using the money to install a more substantial 'café' area at the front of the store, where she will serve sweet and savory crepes alongside coffee from True Coffee Roasters. The new restaurant area is separated from the 'cattery' by a newly built wall, which features bubble windows where the the cats can perch and observe what’s going on in the café. It’s a major improvement from the original café setup, which was a simple, self-service beverage bar separated from the cat area by a chain link door." Read more.
Trump to sign order to eliminate ACA insurance rules, undermine marketplaces: Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post writes: "President Trump is due to sign an executive order Thursday morning intended to allow individuals and small businesses to buy a long-disputed type of health insurance that skirts state regulations and Affordable Care Act protections. The White House and allies portray the president’s move to expand access to 'association health plans' as wielding administrative powers to accomplish what congressional Republicans have failed to achieve: tearing down the law’s insurance marketplaces and letting some Americans buy skimpier coverage at lower prices. The order will be Trump’s biggest step to carry out a broad but ill-defined directive he issued his first night in office for agencies to lessen ACA regulations from the Obama administration. Critics, who include state insurance commissioners, most of the health-insurance industry and mainstream policy specialists, predict that a proliferation of such health plans will have damaging ripple effects: driving up costs for consumers with serious medical conditions and prompting more insurers to flee the law’s marketplaces. Part of Trump’s actions, they predict, will spark court challenges over their legality." Read more.
Who's winning Trump's war with media?: Niall Stanage of The Hill writes: "President Trump has opened up a new front in his war against the media, this time with NBC News in his sights. But is the conflict taming the press or simply making it stronger? Trump has used attacks on the media to fire up his base since his campaign began. There are few more reliable applause lines at his rallies than his attacks on the 'fake news media.' Yet at the same time, news organizations have reaped journalistic and commercial rewards from a White House that is unparalleled in its drama and volatility. Media outlets across the board have seen their audiences grow, often in ways that seem correlated with their willingness to confront Trump. 'It is a matter of record that, for a number of media outlets, there is this thing called the ‘Trump bump’ that has helped with circulation and paid subscriptions and traffic,' said Rick Edmonds, who covers the media business for the Poynter Institute. MSNBC, the most liberal of the three cable news networks, has been enjoying its best-ever ratings during the Trump presidency. The New York Times, far from 'failing' as Trump often insists in his tweets, has seen subscriptions surge." Read more.
Democrats dogged by Weinstein cash: Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico writes: "It took nearly a week, but leading Democrats hope they’ve done enough to wash their hands of politically uncomfortable ties to Harvey Weinstein. But Republicans aren’t letting go just yet. The Democratic Party’s recent days have been punctuated by a flurry of statements condemning the Hollywood fixture — for years a high-profile fundraiser for leading Democrats — and a flood of promises to send years’ worth of donations to charity from nearly every prominent lawmaker to receive Weinstein’s backing in the past. By Wednesday, each high-profile Democrat to receive money from Weinstein had made plans to direct it elsewhere, aside from recent retirees like former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — who still denounced him. But even as top Democratic lawmakers pledged to donate the cash they’d gotten from Weinstein, the Democratic National Committee itself stopped short of promising a full giveaway. The committee pledged 'over $30,000' of Weinstein donations to political groups that work to elect women. The only problem? The DNC had raised over $300,000 from Weinstein, a fact Republicans have been quick to exploit.'” Read more.
Massive hole appears in Antarctic ice and scientists aren't sure why: Josh Lowe of Newsweek writes: "A vast hole has re-opened in Antarctica, and it could have something to teach us about climate change. Some 40 years after satellites observed a wintertime gap in the ice of the Weddell Sea near the Antarctic Peninsula, the phenomenon has returned; and it comprises an area larger than Maryland. At this time of year, the area is usually coated in thick ice. So the appearance of the hole—or polynya, as this type of phenomenon is called—is of interest to climate scientists and other observers. 'For us this ice-free area is an important new data point which we can use to validate our climate models,' said Dr. Torge Martin, meteorologist and climate modeler at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel. Martin says that the re-appearance of the hole at this time confirms the center’s previous calculations; GEOMAR has posited a model that explains the polynya as part of natural climate processes." Read more.