Cover: The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building (commonly known as the Eccles Building or Federal Reserve Building) located at 20th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret in 1935, construction of the Art Deco building was completed in 1937. Its 2009 property value is $109,029,200.
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
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Better Safe Than Sorry: the Federal Reserve meets
Investors will lose their minds today if America’s monetary policymakers do not cut interest rates. Assuming that everything goes according to plan, Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, will probably justify the move by citing the same trade tensions, global uncertainty and sagging inflation that he used to explain the previous cut in July. Since then the trade war with China has escalated, the weakness in American manufacturing has continued and the labor market is decelerating. That being said, consumers are still spending money and unemployment rates are at a decades-long low. Low economic growth may simply be a return to normality after too much hype caused by the fiscal stimulus last year. On the other hand, it’s nice to avoid recessions, therefore better safe than sorry. – The Economist
Trump to Revoke California’s Authority to Set Stricter Auto Emissions Rules
The Trump administration is expected today to formally revoke California’s legal authority to set tailpipe pollution rules that are stricter than federal rules. Significance: the move is designed by the White House to strike twin blows against both the liberal-leaning state that President Trump has long antagonized and the environmental legacy of President Barack Obama. Why it matters: A revocation of the California waiver would have national significance. Thirteen other states follow California’s tighter standards, together representing roughly a third of the national auto market. Mixed (Smoke) Signals: knowing that the Trump administration is considering a ban on the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes, here is an interesting read: Air Pollution Kills More People Than Smoking. – NYT / PSMag
Amazon’s Hiring Spree Starts
Amazon’s nationwide jobs fairs opened Tuesday in six locations, including the home of its second headquarters, Arlington, Virginia — as well as Nashville, Tennessee; Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and hometown Seattle. What’s happening: the online giant is attempting to hire 30,000 permanent employees in the U.S. alone, with the jobs spread out across departments and locations. Why it matters: filling them is an especially tall order in such a tight labor market, with unemployment hovering near a 50-year low. – LI / Amazon / NPR
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Oil plunges as Saudi Arabia says production fully restored
Saudi Arabia will soon restore most of its oil output and fully recover within weeks, the country’s oil ministry said Tuesday, seeking to calm global markets reeling from twin attacks on its largest oil facilities. Oil prices dropped by about 6% on the news. He said the planned initial public offering of state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Aramco, won’t be affected by the attack as well. Though Riyadh hasn’t directly accused Tehran of mounting the attacks, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are now focusing on southern Iran as the likely launchpad for a complex missile and drone attack. Further Reading: The Biggest Week In 50 Years For Oil. – WSJ / Oil Price
As Amazon Smolders, Indonesia Fires Choke the Other Side of the World
Brazil has captured global attention over deliberately set fires that are burning the Amazon rainforest, often called the earth’s lungs. Now Indonesia is compounding the concern with blazes to clear forest on the other side of the world. What’s happening: hundreds of wildfires burned across Indonesian Borneo and Sumatra on Tuesday, 80 percent of which were set intentionally to make room for palm plantations, a lucrative cash crop that has led to deforestation on much of Sumatra. Why it matters: these wildfires produce thick clouds of smoke that disrupted air travel, forced schools to close and sickened many thousands of people. Poorly equipped firefighters were unable to bring them under control. Zoom out: A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions. Keep reading. – NYT / NYT Mag
Juul’s Sales Are Halted in China, Days After Debut
Juul, America’s largest e-cigarette brand, only started selling its nicotine vaporizers online in China last week, but the products have already disappeared from stores without explanation. Why it matters: International growth is important for Juul, especially as vaping comes under increasing scrutiny in the U.S. after rising teen use and a rash of mysterious illnesses. In fact, the company claims there are more than 300 million adult smokers in China – the world’s largest tobacco market. While the products were originally available on Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com, two of the largest online shopping sites in the country, they were gone by the end of the week. – Bloomberg
American Becomes 1st Person To Swim English Channel Four Times Without Stopping
Sarah Thomas, an American ultra-marathon swimmer, has just completed a swim that no other human on the planet has ever accomplished. The 37-year-old from Colorado plunged into waters off the shore of Dover, England, in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Her goal: swim the entire length of the English Channel. Then do it again. And again. And again. Why it matters: Thomas completed the final leg of her swim, at around 6:30 a.m. local time Tuesday in just over 54 hours— the first person to cross the channel four times without stopping. For Context: According to the Channel Swimming Association, the English Channel is about 21 miles wide. – NPR
Millions of medical images are available on the internet
Medical images and health data belonging to millions of Americans, including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are sitting unprotected on the internet and available to anyone with basic computer expertise according to a new investigation published by ProPublica. Details: The records cover more than 5 million patients in the U.S. and millions more around the world and in some cases can be accessed by just a typical web browser. Why it matters: The insecure servers that were uncovered add to a growing list of medical records systems that have been compromised in recent years. Unlike some of the more infamous recent security breaches, in which hackers circumvented a company’s cyber defenses, these records were often stored on servers that lacked the security precautions that long ago became standard for businesses and government agencies. Keep reading. – ProPublica
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1793: Capitol cornerstone is laid
On September 18, 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was called into use during the Civil War.
Today, the Capitol, which is visited by 3 million to 5 million people each year, has 540 rooms and covers a ground area of about four acres.
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A family’s doorbell camera in Chantilly, Virginia, captured Preston Satterthwaite, 5, walk up to the American flag to recite the pledge of allegiance, with his father – who installed the camera after their flag was vandalized – pleasantly surprised by the moment the footage revealed.
What percent of US parents are unmarried?