☕ Cover Shot: Jumping into the weekend like… A special tactics operator from the 24th Special Operations Wing jumps out of the back of an MC-130H Combat Talon II, Hurlburt Field, Fla., April 19, 2019. Public Domain.
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
After nearly 11 months in orbit, NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth, setting a new record for the longest spaceflight by a woman.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
With the months-long saga wrapping up on Wednesday, senators in both parties are pitching at least three different changes to both the House’s and Senate impeachment rules, Jordain Carney reports for The Hill. Let’s hear the ideas:
- On the right: Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) will introduce a constitutional amendment to raise the threshold for passing articles of impeachment in the House from a simple majority to three-fifths.
- On the left: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) will introduce legislation next week that would require the Senate to hear from witnesses in future impeachment trials.
- On the right: Meanwhile, 16 Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have backed a floated rules change by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that would make House-passed articles of impeachment “deemed” as received if they had not been sent to the Senate within 25 days of passage.
Coming to Your Census
According to new LinkedIn analysis, “the ultimate gig job is now hiring”. According to the site, “the Census Bureau is looking for as many as 500,000 temporary workers as it prepares for a tradition that takes place every 10 years: tallying the U.S. population. In today’s booming economy, door-to-door census work is drawing in retirees, students, and adventure-seekers, paying $22 to $30 an hour in many big cities — at least 22% above what Uber and Lyft drivers typically earn per hour. It can also help launch a career: Almost half of 2010 census workers are now in jobs that typically pay more than $50,000 a year.” – Linkedin
Big Job Losses in the Big Apple
New York City lost the most jobs in the country last year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As Bloomberg points out, Brooklyn shed 15,204, the biggest drop of any U.S. county. This was followed by Queens with a loss of 14,875 jobs. With New York County (Manhattan), Bronx and Richmond added, New York City had 52,120 fewer people employed in December 2019 compared with a year earlier. On The Flipside: The NYC metro area outside the city limits gained 97,300 jobs last year, making it one of the faster-growing U.S. regions for employment. This could suggest that city residents, possibly millennials, are leaving the city for suburban life. On the other end of the spectrum, more than 89,000 additional people were employed in the Phoenix, Ariz., countywide area in December 2019 compared with a year earlier – leading all U.S. counties by a wide margin. – Bloomberg
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
U.S. Plans Last Flights From Wuhan as China Logs Deadliest Day for Coronavirus
The State Department offered Americans in the Chinese city at the center of the coronavirus epidemic a last chance for evacuation: two planes, departing last night. Scientists tracking how the deadly new coronavirus leapt from animals to humans said the likely source of the infection is bats, underscoring the health risks associated with humans’ increasing push into the habitats of wild animals. The spread of the virus has put a massive strain on the global medical-mask market. China is one of the world’s top producers of medical masks and other gear. Now, officials, there are directing much of that supply to the front lines of the outbreak, leaving customers in the U.S. and other countries to look elsewhere for masks as global supplies tighten. P.S. The Chinese doctor who was targeted by police after warning the public early about the deadly coronavirus has died from the illness. – WSJ / CNN
China Will Cut Tariffs In Half On $75 Billion Of U.S. Products
China cut tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. imports including soybeans, pork, and auto parts in a trade truce with Washington while the nation struggles with a costly virus outbreak. The two sides’ tariff cuts are slated to take effect on Feb. 14, in the latest sign that a trade war between the world’s largest economies is easing. Global stocks climbed on Thursday as traders cheered this news along with strong US economic data. – USA Today
Hong Kong pro-democracy movement nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
US Senator Marco Rubio and Representative James McGovern have nominated the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. The co-chair and chair of Congressional-Executive Commission on China sent the Nobel Peace Prize Committee a nomination letter for the city’s “impressively organized and coherent, yet notably leaderless and flexible” protest movement. The prize, they said, shall honor “millions of people in Hong Kong whose bravery and determination have inspired the world.” – Hong Kong Free Press
Stocks Keep Climbing. Plus Casper’s First Trading Day Wasn’t a Complete Nightmare
After China announced on Thursday that it will cut in half additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of US imports, stocks gained for a fourth straight day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite indexes all hit record highs as investors appear to be putting concerns over the coronavirus on the backburner. Plus, Don’t sleep on Casper. Despite pricing its IPO at just $12 per share, the lowest end of its target range, the stock opened for trading at $14.50 on Thursday morning. Also, After beating analyst expectations and making efforts to clean up its platform, Twitter shares jumped on Thursday. The company also pulled in $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time and announced it has 152 million daily active users, a 21 percent jump from last year. – Reuters / Forbes
Tokyo tries to quell fear of Olympic-Paralympic cancellation
Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizers again tried on Thursday to allay fears that the 2020 Games could be postponed or canceled by the fast-spreading virus from China, Stephen Wade of the AP reports. On Thursday, Japan confirmed 45 cases of the virus but no deaths have been reported. Why it matters: The Olympics open on July 24, and the Paralympics follow on Aug. 25. Both events are experiencing record ticket demand, which could begin to shift the longer the virus threat spawns uncertainty. Zoom out: The Olympics have been canceled during wartime, and faced boycotts in 1980 and 1984. Back home: Los Angeles will host a public memorial Feb. 24 at Staples Center for Kobe Bryant and eight others killed last month in a helicopter crash – AP
Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019
The Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019, according to a new report. Market research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple shipped 30.7 million units worldwide of its smartwatch last year, compared to 21.1 million for all Swiss watch brands combined. Why it matters: Apple’s wearable category which includes the Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones has been growing strongly. In the December quarter, that division brought in over $10 billion in net sales, a near 27% year-on-year increase. – CNBC
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1964: The Beatles arrive in New York
On February 7, 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow lands at New York’s Kennedy Airport—and “Beatlemania” arrives. It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles. At Kennedy, the “Fab Four”—dressed in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts—were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil.