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British gambling companies discuss mega-merger

GVC Holdings said that it is "detailed discussions" to acquire a majority stake in rival British bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral Group, in a deal that could value Ladbrokes at upwards of $5.2 billion.

Why it's a big deal: The result would be a gambling company in the FTSE 100, and comes amid a secular shift from physical betting parlors to digital, broader sector consolidation and a UK regulatory review that could cap the amount people are allowed to wager at fixed-odds gaming terminals (e.g., slot machines).

This is the third time these two companies have held merger talks, but this one by far seems the furthest along.

Bottom line: "Ladbrokes Coral, whose traditional betting shops in the U.K.'s town centers are fading, would get more exposure to the expanding digital gaming business, while GVC could reach more potential customers for its online platforms." — Eric Pfanner, Bloomberg

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Trump: Transgender people "disqualified" from the military

SecDef Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

President Trump late Friday issued an order disqualifying most transgender people from serving in the military.

"[T]ransgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

Why it matters: Anything short of an inclusive policy for transgender troops will be viewed as a continuation of the ban Trump announced on Twitter in August.

Haley Britzky 3 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.