Jan 27, 2017

Verizon is kicking Charter's tires

Verizon is considering a merger with Charter Communications, per the WSJ. CNBC poured some cold water on the report earlier this morning, but didn't dismiss it entirely. Shares of both companies fell yesterday on the news, although Charter's market cap remains just shy of $90 billion.

Why it's a BFD: This combination would bring together America's largest wireless company with its second-largest broadband provider (and Verizon isn't too shabby on broadband either). If Trump thinks AT&T and Time Warner is too big, wait until he gets a look at this.

Bottom line: New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai generally favors a hands-off approach to merger reviews if the companies can show how deals serve the public interest. Trump Attorney General pick Jeff Sessions indicated the DOJ should weigh big mergers on antitrust grounds rather than "some other discreet agenda that's not reasonably connected to the merger itself."

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Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 54 mins ago - Health

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee Molson Coors on Wednesday, including the 51-year-old gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

WHO official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, special advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health