Daily Briefing: 'I'm not going anywhere'

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A defiant Nikki Haley said it's clear that Americans want a choice beyond Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Also in the news: Some areas in California are under evacuation warnings Wednesday amid continued rounds of rain. As the acquisition of Discover brings more premium customers, experts say Capital One will need to compete on the perks.

🙋🏼‍♀️ I'm Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. A dead satellite will crash back to Earth today.

Here is the news to know Wednesday.

Nikki Haley vows to keep fighting Trump in 2024 GOP race

In a campaign speech from her home state, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley reiterated Tuesday that she believes she is better positioned than Donald Trump to defeat President Joe Biden in a general election match-up.

Haley and Trump will face off in South Carolina this weekend. The primary is a pivotal turning point in the 2024 GOP race after Trump defeated Haley by major margins in previous races this year.

Nearly all of California's coastal areas are under flood watches

Nearly all of California's coastal areas are under flood watches through Wednesday morning as additional rounds of rains drench the already-soaked state. The atmospheric river causing the precipitation is expected to lose intensity with time, weather experts say, but this week's rainfall is exacerbating recovery from a massive storm two weeks ago that killed several people. Read more

More news to know now

What's the weather today? Check your local forecast here.

What the $35 billion Capital One-Discover deal means for your lounge access

Capital One is acquiring Discover Financial Services in an all-stock transaction valued at $35.3 billion, the company said. The move "adds scale and investment" to Discover, making the brand more competitive with other U.S.-based global payments networks. Customers can look forward to a flurry of new perks if the purchase goes through, experts say, giving  Capital One access to Discover’s high-credit-quality customers and its network of payment processing services, an area dominated by Visa and Mastercard. Read more

US vetoes UN resolution demanding cease-fire in Gaza

The United States on Tuesday vetoed an Arab-backed U.N. resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, the 13-1 Security Council vote further isolating the U.S. on Israel's side in a conflict that has generated global outrage. The U.S., which vetoed two similar resolutions since the war began, called the vote "wishful thinking and irresponsible." Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said in a statement the U.S. has been working on a hostage deal and six-week truce that could serve as the first step toward building a long-term solution to the crisis. Read more

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Vlogger Ruby Franke sentenced on child abuse charges

Ruby Franke, a former family vlogger and "parenting advice" guru, will face four to 60 years in prison on charges of child abuse. Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildenbrandt, were handed down the same sentencing recommendation Tuesday in a Utah court, where prosecutors called the conditions the women's children lived in "concentration camp-like." The woman had convinced the kids they were evil and possessed and needed to be punished to repent, prosecutors said. Franke was arrested back in August 2023 on multiple charges of child abuse after one of her kids escaped her oversight and ran to a neighbor asking for food and help. Read more

This image from video shows Ruby Franke during a hearing Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in St. George, Utah.
This image from video shows Ruby Franke during a hearing Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in St. George, Utah.

Photo of the day: A lake in the famously dry Death Valley

A temporary lake has bubbled up in the park's Badwater Basin, which lies 282 feet below sea level. What is typically a dry salt flat at the bottom of Death Valley has for months been teeming with water after record rains and flooding have battered eastern California since August. Read more

Tourists enjoy the rare opportunity to walk in water as they visit Badwater Basin, in Death Valley National Park.
Tourists enjoy the rare opportunity to walk in water as they visit Badwater Basin, in Death Valley National Park.

Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note? Shoot her an email at NFallert@usatoday.com or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.

Associated Press contributed reporting.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nikki Haley, California rain, cease-fire in Gaza, Ruby Franke, Capital One, Discover: Daily Briefing