Cover: Devils Tower is a butte, possibly laccolithic, composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Ranger District of the Black Hills, near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River. It rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, standing 867 feet from summit to base.
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
Voters across the country have the opportunity to select their representatives today as several states hold elections. Here are the key races to watch and why they matter.
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🦅 U.S. NEWS
Full Trump Impeachment Transcripts Released For First Time
House Democrats leading the Trump impeachment inquiry publicly released the first transcripts from their closed-door interviews on Monday. The Contents include testimony from former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Every View Analysis:
- From the Right: Fox News focused on the fact that Republicans are still questioning the process and called out Rep. Jim Jordan’s Tweet which read, “Democrats cherry pick which transcripts they release and when. Why not release Ambassador Volker’s testimony? He was the very first witness to testify!” (Fox News / Rep. Jim Jordan)
- From the Left: Meanwhile CNN outlined how Michael McKinley said he raised concerns about Yovanovitch’s removal. Pompeo told ABC News last month that McKinley never raised the idea of issuing a statement of support for Yovonovitch, therefore McKinley’s testimony suggests he’s directly contradicting his ex-boss. (CNN)
A New Plan for Our National Parks: Amazon, food trucks and no senior discounts
At the urging of a controversial team of advisors, the Trump administration is mulling proposals to privatize national park campgrounds and further commercialize the parks with expanded Wi-Fi service, food trucks and even Amazon deliveries at tourist campsites the LA Times writes. Why it matters: The U.S. National Park Service is nearly $12 billion in the hole on necessary repairs that largely pre-date the Trump administration, according to Axios and Pew Trust. Big picture: Leaders of the Interior Department’s “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee say these changes could make America’s national parks more attractive to a digitally-minded younger generation. As part of its plan, the committee calls for blacking out senior discounts at park campgrounds during peak holiday seasons.
Hundreds of Oklahoma inmates released in the largest commutation in US history
Hundreds of Oklahoma inmates left prison Monday before their original sentences were over. Why it matters: it was the largest mass commutation in US history. At least 462 non-violent inmates were released, officials said. A total of 527 inmates had their sentences commuted Friday, but 65 of them have detainers and will be released later. Big picture: The move is one of many prison reform efforts in Oklahoma aimed at reducing overcrowded prisons while helping low-level offenders build a life of self-sufficiency rather than reincarceration. – CBS
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Unrest in Iraq: Iraq clashes leave 5 dead as anti-government protesters storm Baghdad
Clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government protesters Monday left at least five people dead in the country’s capital, as the sounds of gunfire could be heard echoing through Baghdad’s streets. Big picture: Tens of thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated in central Baghdad and across mostly Shiite southern Iraq in recent days, calling for the overthrow of the political system. The protests are fueled by anger at widespread corruption, high unemployment and poor public services. Go Deeper: Why does Iran care about protests in Iraq and Lebanon? – Fox News / AFP
‘No Compromise’: India Won’t Join World’s Largest Trade Deal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that India will not join the China-backed mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal. Background: Launched in 2012, RCEP is a trade pact between the 10-member ASEAN bloc, along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and until recently, India. It was supposed to link around 3.4 billion people and cover about 40 percent of global commerce. Why it matters: It mainly matters because it doesn’t include the US – and is notably being backed by Beijing. Observers say it will cement China’s domination over its backyard, where it faces little competition from America since President Donald Trump pulled out of a trade pact of its own. – The Quint / Gulf News
Pirates board Norwegian vessel, abduct nine crew members off West Africa
Pirates have kidnapped nine crew members from a Norwegian shipping vessel off the coast of Benin in West Africa. Big picture: The Gulf of Guinea is the world’s most dangerous piracy hotspot. Some 62 seafarers have been captured off the coasts of Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin, and Cameroon this year. Although piracy has decreased worldwide, it continues to rise in Benin and there are fears that the area could emulate Somalia in terms of the threat to shipping. Why it matters: “These are not parrot wearing, sword carrying outlaws. Today’s pirates operate a carefully planned, well-executed business with investors, a stock market, chain of command, and experienced negotiators.” Keep watching: How Somalia’s Pirates Make Money. – BBC / Poly Matter
Stocks Push to Highs on Trade Optimism
Stocks were lifted by rallying bank and energy shares, and expectations of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average notched its first record since July, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both hit fresh highs. It wasn’t all good news on the street yesterday, however. Uber posted a large quarterly loss even as revenue climbed 30% and as the ride-hailing company faces unrelenting challenges from competitors and regulators across the globe. Shares fell in after-hours trading. Under Armour shares also fell after the company confirmed it was the subject of a federal investigation into its accounting practices. By the way, Microsoft experimented with a 4-day workweek in Japan, and productivity jumped by 40%. – WSJ / CNBC / Insider / Yahoo Finance
World Series champ Nationals take celebration to White House
President Donald Trump mostly stuck to sports on Monday while honoring the World Series champion Washington Nationals, who had a handful of players skip the White House visit. Trump received a No. 45 Nationals jersey from first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, applauding the team’s first title and calling it a “comeback story for the ages.” Arrangements are being made for President Donald Trump to attend Saturday’s game between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., according to a report from BamaCentral.com’s Christopher Walsh. Why it matters: there is a history with U.S. presidents attending a regular-season “Game of the Century” between No. 1 and No. 2 teams. – AP / Sporting News
Keep an eye out: Apple reportedly working on a product like nothing we’ve seen
Nobody is really calling for Apple to enter a new product category, but the company might soon do it, BGR reports. In fact, according to multiple sources, the company may release Apple Glasses at some point next year. Why it matters: some analysts claim that Apple has to develop new products to reduce its bottom line’s reliance on the success of the iPhone. Big picture: Apple confirmed that augmented reality (AR) is a core technology for its future and the best way to enjoy AR is by using AR glasses, a product that Apple has been developing for the past few years. Keep an eye out: 2020 may finally be the year the Apple Glasses hit stores. Elsewhere, Facebook unveiled its new logo in a rebranding effort to be more transparent about the products it owns. – BGR / NY Daily News
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1994: George Foreman becomes oldest heavyweight champ
On November 5, 1994, George Foreman, age 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion when he defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round of their WBA fight in Las Vegas.
Today I Learned George Foreman was originally paid 40% of the profits for endorsing the George Foreman Grill. At the peak of the grill’s sales, he was making 4.5 million dollars a month.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday we posted a video of the Desert Fanatics 2019 Flag Run, which is done every year to raise money for Veterans Charities. This past weekend they had 209 vehicles in a convoy all flying American Flags and raised close to $20,000. See the video…
Americans are currently living in one of the lowest crime periods ever. Following decades of increasing crime during the 1960s, ‘70s and ’80s, U.S. homicide rates declined by almost 40% throughout the 1990s, and have remained low since.
Homicide is declining around the world – but why?