☕ Cover Shot: Credit, “One Day on the trail in Iowa” by Kelsey Kremer.
Welcome to America’s Newsletter from Tag The Flag, the best morning newsletter on the internet, bringing you nonpartisan news and every view of the Red, White, and Blue. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
📌 BULLETIN BOARD
American Innovation: Chemists are collaborating with the US Army to build uniforms that can quickly break down toxic substances, protecting soldiers from chemical weapons. (Wired)
🦅 U.S. NEWS
What happened in Iowa was an absolute disaster. Plain and simple, it was a complete mess, and that characterization is still being echoed on both sides of the political spectrum. In a nutshell, a new app (called Shadow of all names) was meant to speed up the reporting of caucus results but instead, it was an utter failure. The team that built the app was run by veterans of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, which again, was something that was pointed out by both right and left-leaning outlets (LA Times / Fox News). At the end of the day, here are the main takeaways:
- One: Democrats have been warning the entire country since 2016 that elections are unsafe. Iowa was a chance to put their best foot forward and they blew it.
- Two: For the voters on both sides of the aisle who continue to say the nomination process is unfair, the Iowa debacle provided just the proof they needed to justify their claims.
- Three: As the Democratic candidates head to New Hampshire, every one of them, specifically the ones who underperformed (like Joe Biden), can now label the caucus “unfair” or “rigged”, ironically echoing Donald Trump to some extent.
- Four: Many Democrats consider the 2020 vote a once in a lifetime election to remove a President they view as a “danger to the country“, as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff said last Friday night. Costly blunders like this don’t seem to align with those sentiments.
Number of Homeless Students Rises to New High, Report Says
More than 1.5 million public school students nationwide said they were homeless at some point during the 2017-18 school year, the most recent data available, according to a report from the National Center for Homeless Education released last week. Why it matters: that’s the highest number ever compiled by the center, 15 percent higher than the 2015-16 school year and more than double the figure from 2004-05. Drivers: Severe natural disasters could be driving the increase, particularly in Texas and Florida. Moreover, lack of affordable housing, the opioid and methamphetamine addiction crises, and fluctuations in local economic conditions — a factory shutting down, leaving parents unemployed and unable to pay rent, for example — could all influence the rise in homeless students as well. – New York Times
🤝 PRESENTED BY: BEAUTY BY EARTH
Beauty By Earth is devoted to pure, effective ingredients that overflow with natural goodness. These environmentally sustainable bath bombs are a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other and you’ll be happy to know that they are made right here in the U.S.A. Click here to start relaxing→
🌎 WORLD NEWS
The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is not a pandemic, World Health Organization officials said Tuesday, adding that they’re hopeful transmission of the virus can be contained. That being said the outbreak claimed its first life in Hong Kong, compounding the international financial center’s problems after anti-government protests. Elsewhere, Macau, the world’s biggest gambling playground, urged casinos to shut their doors. Here’s how it’s playing out across the world:
- The political cost of the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong, Yuen Chan, Al Jazeera
- China could spend billions buying stocks if the coronavirus panic continues. It’s done it before. Laura He, CNN Business
A man sentenced to death in Iran for spying for the CIA and attempting to pass on information about Tehran’s nuclear program will be executed soon, Iran authorities announced on Tuesday. Background: Last summer, Tehran announced it had broken up a CIA spy ring of 17 people and that some had been sentenced to death. The man they were referring to yesterday is named Amir Rahimpour who has been incarcerated in Evin Prison since at least last fall. Big picture: “It’s the first Iranian death sentence for spying on behalf of America in nearly a decade,” NPR’s Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul. The announcement also comes at a time of heightened tensions between the two coutries. – NPR / BBC / NY Post
EU rejects Trump Middle East peace plan, annexation
The European Union rejected parts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East on Tuesday, prompting an angry response from Israel which has strongly backed the U.S. proposal. The Reason: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, said Trump’s plan departs from “internationally agreed parameters”. Zoom Out: EU policy in the Middle East tends to be cautious, as the bloc includes members with varying degrees of sympathy towards the Palestinians and Israel. Some EU members have already recognized a Palestinian state, although the bloc as a whole says this is a matter to be resolved in peace talks. – Reuters
Electric Vehicles Have a Day
Tesla shares continued to rocket higher, and have jumped more than 110% this year alone. CNBC noted that some investors believe Tesla has ballooned to levels unjustified by its fundamentals, drawing comparison to past speculative bubbles. Overseas, Britain will ban the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars starting in 2035, which is five years earlier than was originally planned. This step could be a major victory for electric vehicles, and if adopted by other countries it could also be a huge hit to global oil producers. Speaking of electric vehicles, Amazon said Tuesday it has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian Automotive. The privately held company is backed by Amazon and Ford and the tech giant plans to have the vehicles on the road in 2021. – CNBC / Reuters
Pro Golfers Are Hitting the Ball Too Far
Golfers at all levels keep hitting the ball farther, and the game’s governing bodies plan to do something about it by going after the one area they can control — equipment. Details: According to a USGA study, modern clubs and golf balls, improved athleticism and training, swing techniques geared toward hitting it longer and course conditions with tightly mowed fairways that allow for extra roll, have steadily helped players crush the ball further and further every year. By the numbers: The figures revealed a steady increase in distance for more than 100 years — with average gains of about 30 yards by PGA Tour players in the last 25 years — and golf courses that keep expanding. The Result: the association may implement rules for specific golf balls or clubs that result in players not hitting it as far. – AP
Nvidia’s Game-Streaming Service Surprises
Yesterday Nvidia launched a video game streaming service that lets you log on to the cloud, access games you already own and play them on any Windows, Mac, or Android device… for free. Why it matters: It’s a stunning entrance into a space that industry insiders anticipated would be dominated by Google’s Stadia, which was released last November. The thing is, Google’s service had a terrible rollout. There were device restrictions, pricing confusion, and a limited gaming library. Big picture: In a sector of the technology world that was supposed to be dominated once again by Google and Microsoft, Nvidia’s entrance is being welcome across the board for injecting fresh competition into the marketplace. – Ars Technica / Gizmodo
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
2003: Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks at UN, justifies US invasion of Iraq
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell gives a speech to the United Nations that is both highly consequential and full of fabrications on February 5, 2003. Using talking points that many within his own government had told him were either misleading or outright lies, Powell outlined the United States’ case that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, making the argument for the invasion that would happen the following month. Powell has called it a “blot” on his record.