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
America’s origin myth: where does the name for our country, “America” come from? If the obscure Florentine navigator, “Amerigo Vespucci” comes to mind, you may be wrong according to a recent dispute. It looks like the Spaniards may have had a greater influence on our moniker than we thought. Keep reading.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
30 Minutes That Changed the Trump Presidency
What was thought to be a routine conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy turned into anything but that the AP writes. In fact, just 10 words that came out of Trump’s mouth — “I would like you to do us a favor, though” — are what triggered the House impeachment inquiry that has imperiled his presidency. Big picture: Even for people who follow every headline fairly diligently, the consistent breaking news can still be wildly confusing, Axios’ Mike Allen notes. That being said, it’s a good time to use hindsight as a way to clarify where we currently stand. This overview (longer) and this overview (shorter) cover some of the most important milestones. The bottom line: Barring dramatic new information, expect Trump — like Bill Clinton — to be impeached by the House, then acquitted by the Senate. Bonus Read: Andrew Johnson is back in the spotlight for his 1868 impeachment brush. – AP / Axios
Generation Burnout: Half of millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left their job for mental health reasons
A recent study by Mind Share Partners, Qualtrics and SAP reveals that half of millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left a job for mental health reasons. In addition, the American Psychological Association found the percentage of people dealing with suicidal thoughts increased 47% from 2008 to 2017. Big picture: It’s a growing problem in today’s workplace because of trends like rising workloads, limited staff and resources and long hours. Why it matters: The costs to treat depression, stress, anxiety and other ailments exceeds $200 billion a year, and for many employers the number of sick days and lost productivity associated with mental health represent one of their biggest expenses. – CNBC
PG&E’s Big Blackout Is Only the Beginning
PG&E’s decision to shut off power to more than two million Californians this week represents a new reality: It now plans to pull the plug as a desperation measure whenever its equipment threatens to spark destructive and potentially deadly wildfires. How come? Because utilities are liable under California law for wildfire damage caused by their equipment, even if they aren’t negligent, California’s three big investor-owned utilities may opt to turn the power off instead of face lawsuits that could drive the companies into insolvency. Why it matters: it’s annoying when the food in your fridge spoils because there’s no electricity, but it’s dangerous for medically vulnerable populations who rely on electric devices to survive, and economically disastrous for businesses that could lose customers and inventory. At the end of the day, “We must have zero risk of a spark,” said PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson. “We will very likely have to make this kind of decision again in the future.” – WSJ (subscription)
🤝 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
Trump Orders U.S. Forces to Withdraw From Northern Syria
President Trump ordered a withdrawal of virtually all U.S. forces from northern Syria, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Sunday. State of Play: Amid rapidly changing dynamics, the U.S. military said in a revised assessment that Turkish artillery deliberately targeted areas within hundreds of feet of American troops on Friday. Hundreds of relatives of imprisoned Islamic State fighters fled refugee camps after Kurdish security personnel fled Turkish shelling. In his first public comments on the matter, Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis criticized President Trump’s decision saying the Islamic State now “will resurge” in the region. What’s next: “It’s getting worse by the hour” – Mark Esper on Fox News yesterday afternoon. (Keep Watching: Fox News / MSNBC) – Washington Post / Fox News
Hong Kong Protesters Maintain Pressure
Antigovernment protesters built roadblocks, smashed storefronts and clashed with police in multiple locations around the city on Sunday, as demonstrators sought to keep pressure on Hong Kong’s government. Why it matters: On Wednesday Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will give her annual address, in which she is expected to lay out the government’s policy goals. Protesters will be watching to see if the controversial extradition bill that sparked the protests is officially withdrawn—as the government has pledged. Also in play: while on a state visit to Nepal on Sunday China’s President Xi Jinping issued a stern warning against dissent as the protests continued in Hong Kong, saying any attempt to divide China will end in “crushed bodies and shattered bones”. (Watch More) – WSJ / BBC / South China Morning Post
Japan sends in troops after deadly typhoon floods towns, threatens more damage
Japan sent tens of thousands of troops and rescue workers on Sunday to save stranded residents and fight floods caused by one of the worst typhoons to hit the country in recent history. By the numbers: At least 30 people were killed, 15 were missing and 177 were injured by Typhoon Hagibis, which paralyzed Tokyo on Saturday and dumped record levels of rain around Japan. About 100,000 homes were left without power. (Watch More). – Reuters / BBC
UAW Increases Strike Pay for GM Factory Workers
The United Auto Workers is increasing its weekly payout to General Motors workers on strike to $275 from $250, a sign the union is preparing to extend a nearly monthlong walkout that has halted work at the company’s U.S. factories. Why it matters: The lost production and other disruption from the work stoppage has cost GM roughly $1.5 billion so far. Other going-ons in the business world include Hunter Biden resigning from the board of a Chinese-backed private equity company following Trump attacks, Elizabeth Warren deliberately publishing a fake post to highlight Facebook’s refusal to fact-check political ads, and Wework founder Adam Neumann being removed from Forbes’ Billionaires List. Last but not least, today is Columbus Day so the bond market is closed but the stock market is open regular hours. – WSJ / CNBC / NY Post / Inquirer
Simone Biles becomes most-decorated gymnast, male or female, at the world championships
Simone Biles really knows how to close out a show. Biles became the most-decorated gymnast, male or female, at the world championships Sunday, winning gold on balance beam and floor exercise. Those were her 24th and 25th medals at worlds, surpassing the previous record by Vitaly Scherbo who competed for the Soviet Union, Unified Team and Belarus. In another example of U.S. women running show 15-year-old, Coco Gauff won her first WTA (tennis) title on Sunday. Elsewhere, South Carolina upended No. 3 Georgia in double overtime and Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge became the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours. – AFP / ESPN / USA Today
Facebook’s cryptocurrency project suffers massive blow as MasterCard, Visa, eBay, and others withdraw from Libra
The future of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project is in jeopardy as many of the companies initially attached to Libra have jumped ship. We told you PayPal left the consortium in early October, and now Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Stripe, and Mercado Pago are following suit. Why it matters: They’re not just names dropping off a list. Each potentially made Libra more useful, ubiquitous, or reputable. Now they could become obstacles to the token’s launch or growth. Big picture: The exits, combined with intense scrutiny from lawmakers, represent a huge blow to the initiative and leave its future uncertain. – Business Insider / Tech Crunch
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1947: Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier
On this day in 1947, U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.
Today I Learned that Chuck Yeager broke two of his ribs two nights before a test flight. Worried an injury would have him removed, he told almost no one and snuck a broom handle into the plane to help him seal the hatch. He then proceeded to become the first human being to break the sound barrier.