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
Two interesting reads, one interesting watch: First from Popular Mechanics: What Would Happen If the Internet Went Down … Forever? Next from the BBC: ‘The selfie that revealed I was a stolen baby’. Lastly, from Real Clear Politics: ABC News’ Amy Robach is caught on a hot mic saying the network spiked her Jeffrey Epstein bombshell.
⚡ Breaking: Democrats won majorities in both the state House and Senate in Tuesday’s legislative election. The win will give Democrats control of the legislature and governorship for the first time in 26 years. Why it matters: Democrats have pledged to pass new gun restrictions and raise the minimum wage once in power.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
A Change of Mind Doesn’t Lead to a Change of Heart
In a striking reversal, top diplomat U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland revised his testimony in the House impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump to acknowledge he understood that U.S. aid to Ukraine was being withheld until the country promised to investigate corruption. Every View Analysis:
- From the Left: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. wrote Tuesday in an op-ed in USA Today that “this is about more than just one call. We now know that the call was just one piece of a larger operation to redirect our foreign policy to benefit Donald Trump’s personal and political interests, not the national interest.”
- From the right: Across the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday predicted the Senate would acquit President Trump on any articles of impeachment passed by the Democratic-controlled House. “I will say I’m pretty sure how it’s likely to end. If it were today, I don’t think there’s any question it would not lead to removal,” he said.
A Change of Heart? 62% of people who approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president say they can’t think of anything he could do that would cause him to lose their support, according to a Monmouth University poll published Tuesday. (H/T: Axios)
Unknowing Pawns: American Colleges Are Buying Student Data to Boost Exclusivity
According to a fascinating piece from the Wall Street Journal, colleges are boosting their “exclusive” rankings through a little-known trick. Here’s how it works. For 47 cents per name, college admissions officers can purchase lists of high-school students’ names, ethnicities, parents’ education, and approximate PSAT or SAT scores from the College Board in order to solicit prospective candidates. After sending these hand-picked students informational brochures, assuming some will apply to the schools, the colleges then purposely reject the 18-year-old applicants. Why? Colleges rise in national rankings and reputation when they show data suggesting they are more selective. They can only do that by rejecting more applicants, whether or not those candidates ever stood a chance. Some applicants, in effect, become unknowing pawns. Keep reading. – WSJ (subscription)
Poison in the Pipes: A City Investigation Showed That New Orleans Had Botched Its Lead Testing For Years.
New Orleans has failed over the last decade to do urgently needed lead testing — claiming the water was safe even after losing track of where the city’s many lead pipes are — and then buried a 2017 report that would have alerted the public to the lapse, Buzzfeed News writes. Why it matters: Two years after the report was completed, officials still have not fixed the problems. And experts say the failures could have unknowingly exposed tens of thousands of people to the neurotoxin. Big picture: In 2016, about 11% of the kids under 6 in New Orleans tested for blood lead showed concentrations at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter (the CDC maintains that no level of blood lead is safe for children). That’s far higher than the national figure — 2.5% of kids between 1 and 5 — and double the rate in Flint during the water crisis there, when 5% of kids tested had blood lead levels that high. – BuzzFeed News
🤝 A MESSAGE FROM: OUR.NEWS
Pro Tip From Tag The Flag: If you’re having a hard time trusting what you read online then consider downloading Our.News. Why they Matter: Our.News makes it easier for anyone to make a quick determination between real and junk news, by attaching non-partisan Nutrition Labels to every news story. Free for consumers, these labels provide full transparency, self-service fact-checking, and news rating tools for all news online.
🌎 WORLD NEWS
American Moms and Kids Massacred in Mexican Ambush That Killed at Least 9
Three women and six children were killed in an attack on members of a fundamentalist Mormon family as they traveled in Mexico on Monday. All of those killed were U.S. citizens, and authorities say they might have been ambushed by gang members. Zoom Out: northern Mexico has historically been home to a number of fundamentalist Mormons. Polygamy was common among members until 1904 when the LDS Church outlawed the practice in deference to U.S. laws. Some Mormons who believed polygamy was an essential element of their faith began moving to Mexico and Canada in the 1870s and 1880s to avoid U.S. prosecution. – NPR / The Washington Post
In Major Nuclear Step, Iran to Resume Enrichment
Iran will start enriching uranium at an underground facility today, Tehran officials said, a significant step away from its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal that could raise pressure on Europe to take action. Why it matters: By scaling back its commitments, Iran further cuts into the one year that experts estimate it would need to have enough material for building a nuclear weapon – if it chose to pursue one. Be smart: protests in Iraq and Lebanon are chipping away at Iran’s political power in the region. The nuclear announcement seemed to push the negative headlines surrounding Iran’s position in the middle east to the backburner for the time being. – WSJ / Al Jazeera
More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a ‘climate emergency’
A new report by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries from a broad range of disciplines warns that the planet “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency,” and provides six broad policy goals that must be met to address it. The scientists say the urgent changes needed include ending population growth, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, halting forest destruction and slashing meat-eating. More from the right-leaning Daily Mail and more from the left-leaning Guardian.
Walgreens explores going private in what could be the largest LBO in history
International drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance has reached out to private equity firms about a deal to take it private, people familiar with the situation told CNBC. Why it matters: For Walgreens Boots Alliance a deal to go private would be a chance to get out of the public spotlight. Shares of Walgreens have slid about 22% over the past 12 months as both its retail and pharmacy businesses are under pressure. One of the firms looking at a deal is KKR, the people said. Big picture: the company has a market capitalization of roughly $55 billion, making it a large purchase for a single buyer. – CNBC
NFL Status Update: Yellow flags, red flags, black eyes for the league’s 100th season
The NFL’s 100th season has not been worth celebrating even if the history of the league is, the AP writes. What’s happening: Several teams are tanking, penalties are wrecking the flow of games, some of the biggest stars have been sidelined, the new pass interference rule appears to have been adapted only to quiet the uproar that started after last season’s NFC championship game and it all looks like one big mess on TV. But, but, but: Through all this, CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN report ratings jump from last season. – AP
UPS and CVS deliver prescription medicine via drone to US residential customers for the first time
UPS is rolling along with its drone delivery program, working with partner CVS Pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs to customer doorsteps via its newly deployed commercial drones. In fact, UPS delivered medications to two paying customers on November 1. Why it matters: It’s not exactly a booming business with just two deliveries but it’s still a significant milestone. The deliveries point to a future where patients can get the medicine you need within minutes of their supply running out. It also bodes well for mainstream adoption of drone delivery, even if it’s likely to be a long while before you can assume your prescription pills will descend from the skies. – Tech Crunch / Engadget
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1906: Teddy Roosevelt travels to Panama
On November 6, 1906, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt embarks on a 17-day trip to Panama and Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to make an official diplomatic tour outside of the continental United States.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag: Paralyzed Arizona Police Officer Stands For National Anthem
Which U.S. Presidents Have Had Tattoos?