News Wrap: U.S. and Germany reach agreement to send tanks to Ukraine

In our news wrap Tuesday, Germany and the U.S. have now agreed to send tanks to Ukraine to aid in the fight against Russia, the U.S. Justice Department and eight states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google over its dominance of digital advertising and retail giant Amazon announced a major expansion of its healthcare business with a prescription drug discount program.

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  • Geoff Bennett:

    In the day's other headlines: The man accused of killing 23 people at a Texas Walmart in 2019 will plead guilty to federal hate crimes and firearms charges. In return, new court filing say he won't face a federal death sentence.

    The attack in El Paso also wounded more than two dozen people. Many were Mexican citizens. And police said the gunman told them he targeted Mexicans. He still faces state murder charges that carry the death penalty.

    The "NewsHour" has confirmed tonight that Germany and the U.S. have now agreed to send tanks to Ukraine, with an announcement set for tomorrow. Both Washington and Berlin refusing to acknowledge any agreement publicly just yet, but they have been under mounting pressure to act.

    Germany's defense minister rejected criticism today that his government has been slow to respond to Ukraine's needs.

  • Boris Pistorius, German Defense Minister (through translator):

    It is not the case, as portrayed over and over again, that there is no unity or that Germany is isolated. There is an ongoing evaluation process. But last week's NATO meeting showed very clearly that there are countries which are just as careful in their evaluation is the German chancellor.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    Meantime, in Ukraine, several senior officials were ousted today, as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cracks down on corruption. They include the deputy head of Zelenskyy's office and the deputy defense minister. The U.S. and other nations have demanded more accountability for all of the aid being sent to Ukraine.

    And back in this country, the U.S. Justice Department and eight states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google over its dominance of digital advertising. The suit alleges the company has damaged competitors, consumers and advertisers by buying up rivals and forcing clients to use its products.

    Associate U.S. Attorney General Vanita Gupta spoke in Washington.

  • Vanita Gupta, Associate U.S. Attorney General:

    When any company, including a big technology company, violates the antitrust laws, our economy and our democracy suffer. Americans rely on the Internet for news and for community.

    And advertising revenue is essential for publishers to produce and share ideas and writings. But we allege that Google has captured that revenue for its own profits and punished publishers who sought out alternatives.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    Google's parent company, Alphabet, rejected the lawsuit's reasoning, and said it will only slow innovation and raise advertising fees.

    Retail giant Amazon announced a major expansion of its health care business today, a prescription drug discount program. Amazon Prime customers will be able to pay $5 a month to fill unlimited prescriptions from a list of about 50 generic medications.

    The new service will not use insurance and will not be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

    Media titan Rupert Murdoch has scrapped plans to merge his FOX Corp. with News Corp. He says he's withdrawing a proposal to reunite the two companies he divided nearly a decade ago. Prominent investors had criticized the plan.

    On Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange briefly halted trading in more than a dozen companies at the start of the day when their stock prices swung wildly. Officials said it appeared to be a technical glitch.

    Otherwise, the market had a lackluster session. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 104 points to close at 33734, but the Nasdaq fell 30 points, and the S&P 500 was down about three points.

    And the film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" tops this year's Oscar race with 11 nominations, including for best picture. It also made history today with Michelle Yeoh becoming the first actress of Asian descent nominated for best actress. Austin Butler landed a nomination for his starring role in the biopic "Elvis." And composer John Williams became the oldest nominee ever at age 90 for his score of "The Fabelmans."

    The award ceremony is going to be held on March 12.

    And still to come on the "NewsHour": Ticketmaster faces congressional scrutiny over whether it has a monopoly on the market; a former FBI agent is charged with violating sanctions against Russia; and Mikaela Shiffrin breaks a major record for World Cup wins in alpine skiing.

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