Cover: Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C.
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
The Song of the Summer: Spotify reveals its most-streamed song of the summer — and it’s not ‘Old Town Road’. Take a listen…
🦅 U.S. NEWS
That’s it, You’re Cutoff: Democrats face debate-cutoff deadline
Out of the wide field of eager Democratic presidential hopefuls, only 10 have qualified for the September debate in Houston so far — with today marking the last day to do so. The next debate is at Texas Southern University and will air on ABC Sept. 12 and, if necessary, Sept. 13. The debate will be hosted by four moderators: ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. Background: to qualify, the Democratic National Committee required each candidate to have at least 2 percent support in four polls and contributions from at least 130,000 individual donors. The Pushback: on Friday, presidential candidate Michael Bennet criticized the qualification rules, arguing that the current process rewards celebrities, billionaires and repeat candidates. – USA Today
Sacking the Sacklers: Purdue Pharma in Talks to Resolve Opioid Cases Through Bankruptcy
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and its owners, the Sackler family, are in talks with state and local governments to resolve more than 2,000 opioid cases in a deal valued at between $10 billion and $12 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Details: would put Purdue into bankruptcy and have it emerge as a public benefit trust corporation, with proceeds going toward the governments bringing the lawsuits. Why it matters: The Sackler family, which has owned the company since its founding in the 1950s, would cede ownership as part of the bankruptcy reorganization. Big picture: after an Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for contributing to the state’s opioid-addiction crisis other drugmakers, wholesalers and retail pharmacy chains are now facing lawsuits brought by states and local municipalities seeking to hold them accountable for the opioid crisis. – WSJ / NBC / CBS / Fox News
College Board Drops Plans for SAT Student Adversity Scores
The College Board is dropping its plan to give SAT-takers a single score that captures a student’s economic hardship. The change comes after blowback from university officials and parents of those taking the college admissions exam. Background: The adversity score as originally planned included 15 factors, such as crime rates, neighborhood poverty, and high school quality, to form a score to show the level of hardships that SAT test-takers face. The score would have only been available to colleges and not students. The goal of the score was to counteract higher scores by wealthier students. Why it matters: Considering a student’s race and class in college admissions decisions is a contentious issue. Many colleges, including Harvard University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California system are currently facing charges of unfair admission practices. – NPR / Washington Examiner
🤝 PRESENTED BY: GRILLAHOLICS
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
U.S. Plans to Open Direct Talks With Iran-Backed Houthis in Yemen
The Trump administration is preparing to initiate direct talks with Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen in an effort to end the four-year-old war, something the Obama administration tried to do in 2015. Why it matters: The conflict in Yemen has metastasized from a troubling regional civil war into a volatile international fight pitting Iran-backed Houthi forces against a Saudi-led military coalition supported by the U.S. Moreover war in Yemen has generated rare bipartisan opposition in Congress which has pressured the U.S. military to scale back its limited support for the Saudi-led coalition. Be smart: The Houthi leadership appears to be split between those who favor continuing the war and those who want to end it, which could further complicate negotiations with the group. The bottom line: don’t expect any surprise breakthroughs. – WSJ (subscription)
Dorian may test a fragile Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Dorian spun directly over St. Lucia on Tuesday, and is expected to continue moving northwest, passing over or near Puerto Rico today. The storm is forecasted to strengthen over the next 24 hours, and the threat of winds and heavy rains reaching Florida this weekend is increasing. Making Headlines: San Juan mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz and President Trump are already exchanging choice wordsover the amount of aid money that Congress approved for the island after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Big picture: With the island still recovering two years after Hurricane, officials have declared a state of emergency as the storm is expected to grow stronger and become a hurricane the closer it gets to the U.S. territory. – ABC
How China Recruits Spies Abroad: LinkedIn
Foreign agents are exploiting social media to try to recruit assets, with LinkedIn as a prime hunting ground, Western counterintelligence officials say. Intelligence agencies in the United States, Britain, Germany and France have issued warnings about foreign agents approaching thousands of users on the site. Chinese spies are the most active. Why LinkedIn? LinkedIn is also the only major American social media platform not blocked in China because the company has agreed to censor posts containing delicate material. Big picture: After Russia’s success in 2015 and 2016 at sowing disinformation over social media, other countries like China are getting creative now to serve their own needs. – New York Times
Philip Morris, Altria Eye Merger to Meet New Challenges to Tobacco
Philip Morris International is in discussions with Altria about a possible all-stock, merger of equals, the tobacco giants announced Tuesday. Background: A deal, if one is reached, would reunite Philip Morris International and Altria more than a decade after the two companies split. Altria spun off PMI in 2008 and has remained a largely U.S.-focused company, selling Marlboro cigarettes domestically while PMI has focused on selling cigarettes overseas. Why it matters: cigarette sales are falling and both companies are searching for new ways to grow. Combining Altria and PMI would create a global tobacco powerhouse with investments in e-cigarettes and cannabis. In tech-related business news, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a criminal indictment against ex-Google engineer Anthony Levandowski Tuesday for stealing self-driving car trade secrets. Keep reading. – CNBC
What’s Good for Players is Good for the NFL, Right? NFL brings back tinted helmet visors
The NFL is bringing back tinted helmet visors league-wide for the first time since 1998, although they won’t look as intimidating as they did in the 90s and 80s. Details: the league’s new sponsorship deal with Oakley will allow players to wear a slightly pink-tinted shield that improves players’ vision. Players will still have to wear corrective lenses in addition to the visors to keep their vision up to par, but the new Prizm lens heightens the contrast between colors. Background: The NFL previously instituted its tinted visor ban to make sure coaches and athletic trainers could see players’ eyes without having to remove their helmet. Food For Thought: While the NFL has been slow to put ads on teams’ fields and uniforms, leaving tens of millions of dollars on the table, Oakley will get rare access with their new four-year deal. Of course, the NFL likely want players to have a good playing experience, but this is also an easy opportunity to make a few million at the same time. – Yahoo Sports
No Service, No Problem: Apple’s Failed Plan to Let iPhones text each other without cell service
Apple was reportedly working on a new iPhone feature that would have let users text each other without cell service. Those plans have been postponed indefinitely, according to The Information’s Aaron Tilley. It’s not exactly clear why Apple reportedly canned the project, but one of The Information’s sources said the person who “championed” the project left the company earlier this year. It’s also possible the plans fell apart because it was contingent on using Intel chips for future iPhones. Elsewhere in the tech world, Oracle is trying once again to get itself put back into the running for JEDI, the $10 billion cloud contract that Amazon is the favorite to win, Apple and Samsung phones are reportedly being investigated by the FCC for emitting too much radiation, and An early image of the PlayStation 5 may have been revealed by a Sony patent. – Business Insider / The Information
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1963: Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech at the March on Washington
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the African American civil rights movement reaches its high-water mark when Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks to about 250,000 people attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The demonstrators–black and white, poor and rich–came together in the nation’s capital to demand voting rights and equal opportunity for African Americans and to appeal for an end to racial segregation and discrimination.
Today I Learned Hiroshima is one of the only places outside of the United States to observe Martin Luther King Day because he wrote a letter to Japan weeks before his death, requesting to visit the county and spread his message of peace.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag: Man Recovers American Flag From Middle Of Busy Highway
What percent of non-unionized workers would join a union if given the opportunity to do so?