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
Day 1 of the U.S.-China trade talks ended with hopes for a limited deal. The two sides are scheduled to meet today to wrap up the summit.
Whatever happens, we’ll have a breakdown in Sunday’s Street Sheet. Sign up here to have it delivered directly to your inbox.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Florida Man: Florida men tied to Giuliani, Ukraine probe arrested
Two Florida businessmen tied to President Donald Trump’s lawyer were charged Thursday with federal campaign finance violations. The men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of Rudy Giuliani, had key roles in Giuliani’s efforts to launch a Ukrainian corruption investigation against Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Why it matters from the AP: The indictments mark the first criminal charges related to the Ukraine controversy. While they do not suggest wrongdoing by the president, they raise additional questions about how those close to Trump and Giuliani sought to use their influence. Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Rick Perry was the latest to be subpoenaed in the House impeachment inquiry. Related, but Unrelated: if you don’t know what we’re referencing when we say “Florida Man” do yourself a favor and read this. – AP / USA Today
Political Campaigns Know Where You’ve Been. They’re Tracking Your Phone.
Democratic and Republican candidates, political parties and outside groups are increasingly tapping into a new source of data as they gear up for the 2020 election: your smartphone. How: When potential voters bring their smartphones to a political rally, church, or gun show inevitably a few of them have apps with location permissions that send the device’s location and a unique identifier to a company offering location-tracking services. Then a political campaign works with the location-tracking company to use that data to target ads back at the voter who was at the rally or even send them mail at their home address. Why it matters: Political campaigns have long compiled exhaustive lists of all registered voters from state offices or other groups. Now detailed information gathered from smartphones is adding a new dimension to those techniques. – WSJ (subscription)
For the first time in decades, EPA is overhauling how communities must test for lead in water
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday issued a long-awaited proposal aimed at improving how communities around the nation test for lead in drinking water and forcing quicker action when problems arise. A few takeaways: Local utilities will be required for the first time to test for lead in child-care facilities and schools. The EPA also said it will require utilities to create an inventory of lead service lines and to make those findings public. Why it matters: there are still an estimated 6 million or more lead service lines that remain underground throughout the nation. Big picture: the updated testing is meant to help reliably identify elevated lead levels across 68,000 public water systems and to force utilities to tackle problems faster. – The Washington Post
🤝 SUMMER 2019 SURVEY RESULTS
Our goal with this survey is to get a sense of the American public’s perspectives towards not only traditional media but social media as well. KEEP READING →
🌎 WORLD NEWS
Turkey’s Erdogan Threatens EU With Wave of Refugees if It Doesn’t Support Syria Offensive
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the U.S. and other NATO allies to back Turkey’s military offensive in Syria, threatening to allow waves of Syrian refugees to head for European shores if his country doesn’t receive adequate support. More specifically, Erdogan said, “If [the EU tries] to describe our current operation as an occupation, our task will be simple. We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way.” Background: The EU struck a migration deal with Turkey in 2016 after political backlash over the inflow of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers. The bloc promised to give Ankara €6 billion ($6.6 billion). Meanwhile, ISIS has a plan to bust out 70,000 supporters from Kurdish jails. Keep reading. WSJ / Insider
Guessing name: the Nobel peace prize
In Oslo today the Norwegian Nobel Committee announces its peace-prize winner, from 301 nominees. The prize is sometimes shared and often goes to an organization. For example, the International Committee of the Red Cross has won three times. Why it matters: this time betting odds favor Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who would overtake Malala Yousafzai (17 when she won in 2014) to become the youngest laureate. Other contenders include Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, who made peace with Eritrea; Raoni Metuktire, a Brazilian rainforest defender; and Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, who shone after deadly attacks on Christchurch mosques in March. – The Economist
Election Alert: Europe’s Nationalist Movements Face Tests in Polish, Hungarian Votes
Elections in Poland and Hungary on Sunday will provide a test of the continued appeal of two European governments that have been a standard-bearer for conservative, nationalist movements across the region. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party is all but certain to win the country’s parliamentary election on October 13, but alarmed by what they say is creeping authoritarianism, Poland’s three most important opposition parties are likely to form a coalition government if they manage collectively to overtake the ruling party. In Hungary, the same thing is happening. Opposition parties are banding together for the first time in local elections in a bid to push back against the power of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose party has won seven back-to-back nationwide contests. – Politico / Bloomberg
Bankers Set to Deliver Crucial Aramco Valuation
Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s investment bankers could deliver as soon as today a recommended valuation of the state-owned energy giant’s IPO below the $2 trillion targeted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The recommendation is that $1.5 trillion is more realistic. Background: Aramco is in the final stages of preparing to list shares on the domestic Tadawul exchange, as the government pursues a key part of the crown prince’s economic-reform program, which in a nutshell is diversification, specifically away from oil. Here’s the catch: The challenge for Aramco and MBS, as the crown prince is known, is settling on a valuation that attracts sufficient investor demand to ensure enough money is raised for the crown prince to fund his ambitious economic diversification plans. – WSJ / Forbes
What the F?
It’s Friday and that means it’s time for some hard-hitting journalism in our sports section. According to Deadspin sources, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation, no NBA team has an “F” in its name. Here’s the full list of NFL teams if you need to see this first-hand. Elsewhere in the sports world, Naomi Osaka announced that she will represent Japan — not U.S. — at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Travis Kelce got caught on camera shoving his offensive coordinator and said he immediately regretted it. Overseas, Iranian women attended a FIFA soccer game for the first time in decades. Last but not least, Simone Biles did her thing and continued her all-time great run as she won her fifth all-around title at the 2019 World Gymnastics Championships. – Deadspin / CBS Sports
Chinese will have to scan faces to access internet and get new phones
Starting December 1, Chinese citizens will have to allow telecommunications carriers to scan their faces when signing up for internet access or to get a new phone number. Why it matters: this gives the Chinese government yet another means of controlling what people say, see, and do online. Big picture: Facial recognition already has an extensive presence in China. You can find it in airports, and reportedly, the police use a facial recognition system to track Uighurs, a Muslim minority. Most recently, the Hong Kong government banned protestors from wearing masks or face paint—a strategy protestors use to avoid being recognized by cameras with facial recognition software. – Gizmodo
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
2002: Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize
On October 11, 2002, former President Jimmy Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
Trivia Flashback: Who was the first President to be born in a hospital?
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag was a Guessing game: out of the roughly 1,000 crosswalks in New York City, how many crosswalk buttons actually work?
Hint: this was one of our trivia questions in the past…
Since Halloween is right around the corner, here’s a spooky piece of trivia to end your week: Should you kill spiders in your home?