☕ Cover Shot Salute: A pilot from the 28th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron conducts a preflight inspection of a KC-135 Stratotanker at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, May 26, 2019. The 28th EARS maintains a 24/7 presence in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, supporting U.S. and coalition aircraft in various operations in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
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
What would you do if your brother pulled a stunt like this…
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Across the U.S., efforts to contain the novel coronavirus escalated by the hour on Tuesday. New York set up the country’s first “containment area” around one of the largest clusters of cases in the U.S.; colleges told students not to return to campus this spring; and the Democratic presidential candidates canceled rallies in Ohio. US airlines have felt a brunt of the pain. Multiple carriers announced plans to cut more flights across domestic and international markets, park planes and freeze hiring, as businesses stop employee travel and people put off holidays as the virus spreads. If there’s any silver lining, it’s one that will benefit consumers. Currently, ticket prices are nosediving. Here’s how coronavirus coverage is infecting both sides of the political spectrum:
- President Trump Is Unfit for This Crisis. Period. Jennifer Senior, New York Times
- The Panic Must Stop–Media Needs to Be Held Accountable Drew Pinsky, CBS News
- The Most Important Coronavirus Question Alex Berezow, Geopolitical Futures
- Strictly by the Numbers, Coronavirus Is Not Dire Richard Schabas, Globe & Mail
Speaking of the coronavirus, President Trump’s push to suspend the payroll tax to boost the economy during the outbreak fell flat on Capitol Hill yesterday, as lawmakers of both parties said they preferred targeted measures to assist hourly workers and the battered travel industry. Behind the scenes: According to CNBC, President Trump, pitched a 0% payroll tax rate that would last through the rest of this year. The White House is also considering federal assistance for the shale industry as oil prices have tanked in recent days due to a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. See both sides:
- Trump’s coronavirus payroll tax cut motivated by reelection, not logic, Washington Examiner
- Is a Payroll Tax Cut a Good Idea? Mother Jones
- Why Bernie Sanders lost Michigan – and what it means for his campaign, The Guardian
- Biden is long way from presidential, Detroit News
- Berned Alive: Biden Demolishes Bernie Sanders in Michigan, Townhall
- Joe Biden, Not Bernie Sanders, Is the True Scandinavian, The New York Times
🌎 WORLD NEWS
Italy On Lockdown But Cases Fall in China
Overseas, Italy experienced its first day of a nationwide lockdown as European leaders attempted to curb the spread of the virus. All 27 nations in the European Union have now reported infections, and the death toll in Italy surpassed 600. Meanwhile, China has reported a decline in the number of new cases, and on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping even made a surprise visit to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. – Fox News
Putin Backs Proposal Paving Way for New Presidential Term
President Vladimir Putin backed a constitutional amendment that could prolong his two-decade grip on power until 2036. Why it matters: It’s the clearest indication yet that the Kremlin leader intends to remain in control of Russia’s future for years to come, possibly putting him among the ranks of leaders who have found ways to remain in power for life. Zoom out: Tuesday’s move was the latest step in a carefully choreographed process that began in January and has involved a change of government and Russia’s biggest constitutional overhaul since the end of the Soviet Union. – WSJ (subscription)
Turkey defies EU pressure to shut border, says to host migration summit
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he would not stop migrants trying to cross Turkey’s border into Greece despite EU pressure to do so, but he also announced a summit next week in Istanbul with European leaders to seek a solution to the crisis. Background: Tens of thousands of migrants have been trying to get into Greece, a European Union member state, since Turkey said on Feb. 28 it would no longer keep them on its territory as part of a 2016 deal with Brussels in return for EU aid for the refugees. The Longer Read: Is Europe on the Cusp of Another Migration Crisis? from Bosoni & Hawthorne of Stratfor.
Dicks Tops Earnings Estimates, Stick Fix Misses
During its holiday-quarter earnings release that topped Wall Street expectations, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it will remove guns from another 440 stores this year. After the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018, the sports retailer removed high-capacity magazines from its stores and stopped sales of firearms to customers under the age of 21. Elsewhere: Stitch Fix shares fell Tuesday after quarterly sales missed Wall Street estimates. The company also provided a grim outlook for its full-year results. Some analysts think the company with over 3.5 million active users may be reaching a “saturation point.” – CNBC
Watch Out EA Sports
Take-Two Interactive signed a multi-year deal with the National Football League on Tuesday to produce new video games for the first time since 2004. The partnership will introduce competition into a space that’s been dominated by Electronic Arts’ Madden franchise. – Sports Business
Woe is Me
Apple sold fewer than 500,000 smartphones in China this February, down from 1.27 million units in February 2019. Apple’s woes are part of the much larger downtrend for mobile device manufacturers in China due to the coronavirus. In total, only 6.34 million mobile devices were sold in February 2020 in China, down 54.7% from 14 million in February 2019. – Reuters
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
2009: Toyota sells 1 millionth hybrid in U.S.
The Toyota Motor Company announces on March 11, 2009 that it has sold over 1 million gas-electric hybrid vehicles in the U.S. under its six Toyota and Lexus brands. The sales were led by the Prius, the world’s first mass-market hybrid car, which was launched in Japan in October 1997 and introduced in America in July 2000.