Cover: Hurricane Dorian reaching the Bahamas on its track to Florida, USA – September 1st, 2019. Photo: Pierre Markuse, Flickr
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
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🦅 U.S. NEWS
A New Threat: Hurricane Dorian Crawls Toward Florida After Devastating Bahamas
Hurricane Dorian finally moved away from the Bahamas yesterday, after devastating several islands and leaving at least five people dead, and began crawling toward Florida as a Category 2 storm. As many as 13,000 homes may have been severely damaged or destroyed in the island nation. What’s next: the storm is projected to approach dangerously close to Florida today, and then to turn north, skirting the coast and coming near Georgia and South Carolina tonight and tomorrow. Google has a pretty interesting live tracker. What makes Dorian Different: While over the Bahamas, Dorian’s forward motion was at times just one mile per hour, heightening its destruction and making it harder for forecasters to predict its future path. This slow-crawling storm might be the beginning of a new threat. – Fox News / Yahoo
Trump Administration Diverts $3.6 Billion From Military Projects To Border Wall
The Pentagon on Tuesday formally authorized the transfer of $3.6 billion in military funding for the construction of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, fulfilling a request by President Trump as he rushes to deliver on his signature campaign promise of building a wall to deter illegal immigration. Pentagon officials said they will halt 127 military construction projects to help build 175 miles of wall. Why it matters: The announcement fulfills a promise made by President Donald Trump in February to tap military construction funds to build his border wall. The move was slammed by Congress when it was first announced and only recently completed a Pentagon legal review. What’s next: Construction is expected to begin in about 135 days. – CNN
Looking for work? Check city hall
Local and state governments are struggling to find workers to fill crucial positions as the U.S. continues to experience low unemployment rates, reports The New York Times. By the numbers: state governments have lost about 20,000 jobs since mid-2018, according to the report. Why it matters: some of these governments are taking a second look at applicants who are not completely qualified, lowering educational requirements, and increasing pay. Big picture: states and localities across the country are struggling to compete for workers, encouraging pay increases where possible, and creating benefits where pay hikes are tough. – LI / NYT
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Parliament defeats Boris Johnson to take control of Brexit process
U.K.’s Parliament voted 328-301 on Tuesday night to take control of the legislative agenda in an effort to stop Prime Minister Boris Johnson from forcing through a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31. Why it matters: The lawmakers who voted in favor of the motion include a number of high-profile rebels in Johnson’s own Conservative Party. They were stripped of their affiliation after the vote. What’s next: today Parliament will vote on a bill to force Johnson to seek a Brexit extension from the European Union. Operating under the assumption that the bill will pass, Johnson said he will introduce a motion tonight to dissolve Parliament and hold a general election an Oct. 14. The bottom line: It was a devastating day for Boris Johnson. He lost his first vote as prime minister and saw his working majority drop from +1 to -22. – Axios
US, UK, France and Iran may be complicit in Yemen war crimes, UN says
The United States, United Kingdom, France and Iran may be complicit in war crimes in Yemen by supplying weapons to various parties involved in the conflict, a United Nations panel said Tuesday. For context: The Western powers provide weapons and logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s government, while Iran backs the Houthi rebels. Why it matters: The UN says the four-year conflict has claimed the lives of at least 7,290 civilians and left 80% of the population – 24 million people – in need of humanitarian assistance or protection, including 10 million who rely on food aid to survive. Further reading: The Yemen conflict explained in 400 words. – BBC
France Dangles $15 Billion Bailout for Iran in Effort to Save Nuclear Deal
France has proposed offering Iran about $15 billion in credit lines until year-end if Tehran comes fully back into compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal. The Details: The idea is “to exchange a credit line guaranteed by oil in return for, one, a return to the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) …and two, security in the Gulf and the opening of negotiations on regional security and a post-2025 (nuclear program),” according to France’s Foreign Minister. Here’s the thing: Neither a credit line nor oil sales are possible without American waivers on sanctions. That being said, Trump indicated he was open to the idea of a credit line so long as the U.S. doesn’t pay for it. – Politico
Walmart to stop selling ammunition for handguns, assault-style weapons
Walmart said on Tuesday it would discontinue sales of ammunition for handguns and some assault-style rifles in stores across the United States, in response to recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. Why it matters: this will absolutely impact their bottom line. As the country’s largest retailer Walmart said it sells around 2% of firearms and 20% of the ammunition in the U.S. This number is expected to fall to around 6% to 9% over time. One other thing: Walmart also said it will no longer allow shoppers to carry firearms openly inside any of its stores, although shoppers with concealed-carry permits will be allowed to continue to carry guns. Big picture: both announcements may be offputting for Walmart’s core-demographic so analysts are keeping an eye out for broader pushback from consumers. – Reuters / Bloomberg
Great Escape: US gets past Turkey 93-92 in OT
In the ultimate moments, everything hinged on free throws. Turkey missed them. The U.S. made them. And that is how the Americans escaped what would have been a massive World Cup upset. Khris Middleton’s two foul shots with 2.1 seconds left in overtime capped a wild finish to a wild game, as the U.S. held off Turkey 93-92 in a Group E game on Tuesday night — a contest that the underdogs simply gave away in the final moments. Big picture: The Americans have now won 21 consecutive World Cup games, extending the record for any nation at FIBA’s signature event. That being said, with such a close game against Turkey, Team USA might really be in trouble throughout the rest of the tournament. Here’s why. – AP / SB Nation
Report highlights Instagram, deep fake videos as key disinformation threats in the 2020 elections
Instagram will likely be the main social media platform used to disseminate disinformation during the 2020 election, while altered “deep fake” videos of candidates will pose a threat as well, according to a report from NYU out today. The report pinpointed China, Russia, and Iran as countries likely to launch such attacks against the U.S. in the lead up to the elections and said that voter suppression will be the main target of both streams of disinformation. If you’ve never heard of “deep fake” videos or haven’t seen any examples, then watch this. It’s genuinely terrifying. – The Hill / Indy100
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1886: Geronimo surrenders
On September 4, 1886, Apache chief Geronimo surrenders to U.S. government troops. For 30 years, the mighty Native American warrior had battled to protect his tribe’s homeland; however, by 1886 the Apaches were exhausted and hopelessly outnumbered. General Nelson Miles accepted Geronimo’s surrender, making him the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signaling the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest.
Today I Learned that people yell GERONIMO! when jumping from things due to a drunk private who, when testing parachutes in 1940, claimed he wasn’t scared. He yelled the name when he jumped to prove this. The rest of the platoon did not want to be shown up so they yelled it as well and it quickly caught on.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Check out this top tag from Wichita, Kansas. A group of veterans, scouts, young Marines and other participants helped hoist an 80 by 40-foot American flag. 70 veterans were asked to come help carry the flag to its new home, over 100 showed up for the event.
Last week the U.K.’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend, or “prorogue,” Parliament for five weeks starting on Sept. 9. Does the president have the power to suspend Congress?