Cover: Airmen from Hill Air Force Base place flags beside gravestones at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bluffdale, Utah, Nov. 10, 2015. More than 5,000 flags were placed during the detail in honor of veterans and their families. The annual event was organized by the Air Force Sergeants Association, Chapter 1163. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw/Released)
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
20 Million Salutes: Today we salute the roughly 20 million armed forces members who have bravely served in uniform. Without our veterans, our way of life would not be possible. Make sure you take the time to thank someone who has served today.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Republicans, Democrats brace for first public testimony in impeachment inquiry
President Trump’s congressional allies and critics on Sunday doubled down on their respective positions on the impeachment inquiry as the House prepares to move into the public phase of the process this week. Let’s take a look at what’s happening on both sides of the aisle:
- The Wall Street Journal noted that right now the GOP is divided on their defense of Trump over Ukraine, showcasing the challenge to mount a unified defense of the president. Which witnesses should appear was a key topic after House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) requested that former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden be called to testify. Republicans also plan to call the whistleblower whose complaint helped spark the inquiry, among others. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. said impeachment will be ‘dead on arrival‘ in the Senate if Democrats keep the whistleblower from testifying.
- Democrats, on the other hand, see “no reason to have Hunter Biden as a witness” and have “indicated they were confident in their position going into public hearings” according to The Hill. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that closed-door depositions had already shown evidence of an “extortion scheme” on the part of the White House.
Were there any bipartisan efforts on display? Yes. On the Republican side, Rep. Will Hurd (Texas), a former CIA officer, broke with some of his colleagues by defending the whistleblower’s right to anonymity. However, Hurd backed up Nunes’s call for Hunter Biden to testify.
Nikki Haley claims top aides tried to recruit her to ‘save the country’ by undermining Trump
One story that most outlets featured this weekend was former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley’s claims that two of President Trump’s senior advisers undermined and ignored him in what they claimed was an effort to “save the country.” These remarks were made in Haley’s new book, “With All Due Respect,” in which she describes how former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly sought to recruit her to work around and subvert Trump. Generally, there was a decent amount of overlap in the coverage of this story from both sides. That being said, here is how right and left-leaning outlets differed after the initial coverage of the quote from the book:
- From the right-leaning Daily Caller: in an interview with “CBS’ Sunday Morning Haley said, “you’re going to impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn’t happen and giving money, and it wasn’t withheld? I don’t know what you would impeach him on.”
- From left-leaning CNN: “Since the President took office, his Cabinet has been a revolving door for officials who at times departed over policy differences with the commander in chief. Some of them went to land book deals, including former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former communications director Anthony Scaramucci. More recently, CNN reported former national security adviser John Bolton has struck a deal to write a book for Simon & Schuster.”
Why it matters: Haley’s comments come just days after the release of “A Warning” written by an anonymous author — who wrote an Op-Ed for The Times last year about resisting the president’s “more misguided impulses”. Haley’s claims lend credence to the fact that there were and possibly still are insiders trying to subvert the President.
Instagram to hide ‘likes’ in US
Instagram’s chief, Adam Mosseri, announced that beginning this week, Instagram will begin hiding the “likes” counter on some users’ accounts in the U.S. The users in the test will be able to see the likes on their photos or videos, but no one else will.
- Supporters like Mosseri say the primary goal behind this, which has similarly been tested in Australia, Canada, Ireland and Japan, is to “depressurize” the platform and make it less competitive for young people.
- Opponents, such as companies that leverage influencers for advertising, argue that they will now have no idea if a certain personality’s followers or engagement is real, which could lead people to buy fake followers to inflate the price of their advertising deals. – WIRED
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Bolivia’s socialist President Evo Morales, who claimed victory in a disputed election Oct. 20, sparking outcry across the Latin American country, announced Sunday he’s resigning.
- Why Morales Matters: Morales became the first president from Bolivia’s indigenous population in 2006 and presided over a commodities-fed economic boom in South America’s poorest country. The former leader of a coca growers union, he paved roads, sent Bolivia’s first satellite into space and curbed inflation.
- That being said, after nearly 14 years in power, Morales claimed he won a fourth term last month which brought many people to the streets to protest. – Fox News
Iran has discovered a new oil field in the country’s south with an estimated 50 billion barrels of crude oil, its president said. Why it matters: The find could boost the country’s proven reserves by a third as it struggles to sell energy abroad amid US sanctions. Big picture: Iran currently has the world’s fourth-largest proven deposits of crude oil and the world’s second-largest deposits of natural gas. – The Independent
Australia bushfires: Sydney area faces ‘catastrophic’ threat
Australia has warned of a “catastrophic” bushfire threat to the areas around Sydney, its largest city, as blazes rage across two states. At least three people are dead and thousands have been displaced by three days of bushfire emergencies. More than 120 bushfires are burning across the two states and more than 150 properties have already been lost to the fires. Video footage of firefighters driving through the flames shows the magnitude of the blaze. – BBC / The Guardian
The market rally will soon be tested by a big Trump speech and testimony from the Fed chief
This week President Trump speaks to the Economic Club of New York and Fed Chairman Powell speaks to Congress against a backdrop of a stabilizing global economy and new highs for stocks. Why it matters: Trump’s comments tomorrow could create more volatility because of the market’s intense focus on trade negotiations with China, while Powell is likely to be more bland, repeating that the Fed is on hold but will be ready to cut interest rates if the economy turns down. Big picture: There is a sense that the global economy is improving and that has triggered a bond market selloff, lifting interest rates around the world, so all economic reports will be important, including data on consumer and producer inflation, retail sales and industrial production. – CNBC
Seattle Sounders claim 2nd title in 4 years, beating Toronto FC 3-1
The hometown Seattle Sounders sent almost 70,000 of their closest friends home in ecstasy in Sunday’s MLS Cup final against Toronto FC, beating the Reds 3-1 in the domestic league’s championship match for the second time in four years to hoist the hardware despite being thoroughly outplayed by the visitors for most of the match. In college football, LSU raced to an overwhelming No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll after beating Alabama in a 1-2 matchup. Minnesota also moved into the top 10 for the first time in 57 years. – Yahoo Sports / AP
Alibaba Singles’ Day sales hit $13 billion in first hour
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding said today that sales for its annual Singles’ Day shopping blitz hit 91.2 billion yuan, or $13 billion in the first hour alone. Background: Akin to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, Singles’ Day has been promoted as a shopping fest by Alibaba. Also known as “Double Eleven”, the festival’s name originates from the calendar date 11/11, with the four ones referencing being single. Why it matters: Alibaba saw sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles’ Day last year, dwarfing $7.9 billion U.S. online sales for Cyber Monday. – CNBC
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1918: World War I ends
At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag was from one of our subscribers who is wrapping up his last deployment as a United States Marine. The Marines celebrated their 244th birthday yesterday.
Today is also known as Armistice Day to mark the end of WWI in 1918. Why have so many Americans forgotten about World War I?