Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

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

Morning Headlines - Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

U.S. and World Headlines

As The Ukraine War Enters A Third Year, Putin Waits For Western Support For Kyiv To Wither

When the invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, some analysts predicted it might take as few as three days for Russian forces to capture the capital of Kyiv.

With the war now entering its third year, Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be trying to turn that initial failure to his advantage — by biding his time and waiting for Western support for Ukraine to wither while Moscow maintains its steady military pressure along the front line.

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Capital One Says It's Buying Discover For $35 Billion, Creating Credit Card And Payments Giant

Capital One Financial said it will buy Discover Financial Services for $35 billion, a deal that would bring together two of the nation's major credit card companies as well as potentially shake up the payments industry, which is largely dominated by Visa and Mastercard.

Under the terms of the all-stock transaction, Discover Financial shareholders will receive Capital One shares valued at nearly $140. That's a significant premium on the $110.49 that Discover shares closed at Friday. Capital One said the deal is expected to close late this year or early next.

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This Year Will See More Elections Than Ever. But Don’t Call It A Win For Democracy

This year, more than any in recent memory, global democracy rests on the edge of a knife: Never before will so many people around the world have the opportunity to vote, but rarely have democracy’s core tenets been so fundamentally threatened.

In 2024, around half the world will go to the polls — some 4 billion people in 76 nations — the most of any year on record.

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Five Moves Walmart Is Making To Overhaul Its Business For The Future

Walmart, the global mega-retailer that began in Arkansas in 1962, is making huge moves in 2024. It’s making investments in technology and inventory that move it into new businesses and which will alter the Walmart experience of many customers.

The company will release its fourth quarter earnings before the market opens Tuesday. They will provide the first clue to how and whether this is all going to work out. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is expected to further outline Walmart’s the company’s new strategies and initiatives.

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Brightest And Hungriest Black Hole Ever Detected

The most luminous object ever detected has been spied in the distant Universe. It's a quasar - the bright core of a galaxy that is powered by a gargantuan black hole some 17 billion times the mass of our Sun.

Known as J0529-4351, the object's power was confirmed in observations by the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Scientists say the black hole has a voracious appetite, consuming the mass equivalent to one Sun every day.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Evers Signs His Maps Despite Concerns From Dems They Could Be Challenged In Court

Dem Gov. Tony Evers today signed his legislative maps, which were approved by GOP lawmakers, despite concerns from Dems they could be challenged in federal court.

Evers had previously pledged to sign his maps if Republicans sent them to him with no changes. During a ceremony in his conference room, Evers said the maps before him were his, “nothing more and nothing less.”

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Wisconsin Spring Primary Election: Check Your Ballot And Polling Place Now

The spring primary election is taking place on Tuesday in Wisconsin.

Some people will be voting on county board seats, common council spots and/or local referendums. But not everyone will have something to vote for during this election.

You can check your ballot ahead of time on MyVote.WI.Gov.

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New Home Construction In Wisconsin Picked Up Last Year, But More Is Needed

New home construction in Wisconsin picked up last year after two years of declines, but there’s still a long way to go to address the state’s housing shortage.

The Wisconsin Builders Association collected new home permit data submitted to municipalities across the state, and found 11,657 permits were pulled in 2023. That’s 331 more permits than in 2022, representing a roughly 3 percent increase.

The final three months of 2023 were among the strongest of the year with 2,608 permits pulled, a 22 percent increase from the prior three-month period, the builders association said.

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DNR To Make $460,000 Available For Wetland Restoration Projects

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages conservation groups, government organizations and private landowners to apply for a share of the $460,000 available through a federal Natural Resources Conservation Service grant.

The DNR will use these dollars to fund two agricultural wetland mitigation projects, selected from the applicant pool, and add them to the Wisconsin Agricultural Mitigation Bank. 

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Wisconsin Newlyweds Who Were Shot Dead In Sports Bar Were Killed For Less Than $150

The Wisconsin newlyweds who were shot dead in a sports bar were killed over less than $150, police have revealed.

Gina Weingart, 37, and Emerson Weingart, 33, were shot to death inside the Sports Page Barr in downtown Elkhorn on February 1.

Thomas Routt Jr., 57, has been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide after he admitted to investigators that he fired his gun at the bar with plans to rob the business.

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Last Update: Feb 20, 2024 5:21 am CST

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