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
How About This: One of our subscribers just launched an American Flag line on Amazon. Best part about it – every Flag is made right here in the USA. Show your support by purchasing a Flag to help one of ours kickstart and increase their ranking on Amazon. More below.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
In deep water: Southern Baptists in crisis
The Southern Baptist Convention, America’s biggest Protestant denomination, holds its annual conference in Birmingham, Alabama, today and tomorrow. Why it matters: The gathering takes place amid a furor over revelations of rampant sexual abuse among the denomination’s 47,000 churches. Flashback: A recent investigationfound that nearly 400 Southern Baptist officers, including several well-known pastors, have been found guilty of sex crimes against over 700 victims since 1998. Big picture: The scandal has overlaid deeper worries about the Southern Baptists’ long-term health, following a dramatic and ongoing shrinkage in membership, church attendance, and baptisms. The convention has lost a million members since 2003. – The Economist / Houston Chronicle
Supreme Court will hear racial discrimination case against Comcast
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a discrimination case against Comcast –– and the outcome could have broader implications for the limitations of racial bias cases. Background: African American media mogul Byron Allen said Comcast refused to distribute his Entertainment Studios Network stations. Entertainment Studios bills itself as a 100 percent African American-owned media company, and Allen said these rejections were based on racial discrimination. As evidence, the lawsuit says that lesser-known white-owned networks were granted contracts while Comcast rejected Allen’s proposals. Big picture: The Court’s ruling could dictate how easy or hard it will be to bring future racial discrimination cases to court. – Vox / Reuters / Variety / CNN
Trump will award the Medal of Honor to David Bellavia, the first living Iraq War recipient
The White House announced on Monday that former Army Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia will become the first living Medal of Honor recipient for the war in Iraq for his heroism during the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004. The five previous Medals of Honor in the Iraq War were handed out posthumously and Bellavia’s award is an upgrade from the Silver Star he had previously received. The Army veteran is credited with saving his entire squad after being pinned down by enemy fire coming from a block of houses. Watch more about Operation Phantom Fury. – USA Today / U.S. Army
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Kim Jong Un’s Half-Brother Kim Jong Nam Was a CIA Informant
Kim Jong Un’s slain half-brother was reportedly an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency who met with U.S. officials a number of times, according to The Wall Street Journal. Details: Kim Jong Nam, who mainly lived outside North Korea, traveled to Malaysia in February 2017 to meet with his CIA contact—reportedly a “Korean-American” man who Malaysian officials suspected to be a U.S. officer. It was in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport that Kim Jong Nam was killed after two women smeared his face with a nerve agent. The U.S. and South Korea blamed his murder on North Korea, which denied having anything to do with it. Big picture: sources also told the Journal that Kim Jong Nam was likely a source of intelligence for China’s security services, among others. – WSJ / Daily Beast
China’s Way Around the Paris Climate Agreement
China’s ambition to become a world leader on climate change has led its government to pursue an ambitious initiative to reduce emissions domestically. Amid massive reforms to switch to cleaner energy sources such as natural gas, China has barred new coal plants in 10 regions and proposed suspending construction of more than 100 coal plants last year. Here’s the thing: While China is on track to meeting its Paris climate agreement targets domestically, it continues to invest in and profit from coal power projects across the world. Domestic restrictions do not apply to projects abroad, and China has invested in coal projects in 34 countries, 11 of which are in Africa, and six of which have no existing coal-related infrastructure. Why it matters: Once completed, these projects would generate 102 gigawatts in coal power globally, locking countries that currently have little to no coal capacity into coal dependency. Worth a read. – Foreign Policy
The Vatican Rejects Notion That Gender Identity Can Be Fluid
The Vatican released a document Monday stating that gender cannot be changed and the idea of it being a personal choice rather than biology is an attempt “to annihilate the concept of nature.” Why it matters: The 30-page document came without warning and at a questionable time – LGBT Pride Month. Which is also 50 years since the Stonewall riots of 1969 – one of, if not the, most pivotal moments in gay history. – U.S. News & World Report / BBC
Salesforce acquires Tableau for $15.7 Billion
Salesforce on Monday announced it will acquire data analytics company Tableau Software for $15.7 billion in stock. Per the words of Marc Benioff, Chairman, and co-CEO of Salesforce, the merger will “bring together the world’s #1 CRM with the #1 analytics platform. Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers.” Big picture: the race is on. Just last week we told you that Google is acquiring Looker, a California-based data-analysis startup for $2.6 billion. These tech titans are battling it out for cloud supremacy by attempting to build one-stop shop platforms. – ZDNET
Corner Kick: USWNT Looks to Defend Their Title in France
The 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup kicked off last week and the defending champion US national team is set to play its first match today against Thailand. Why it matters: Fans have purchased more than 720,000 tickets to attend the matches in France. The tournament is projected to attract a record television audience of around 1bn viewers. Noteworthy: Over the weekend on the BBC’s Football Daily podcast former USWNT goalkeeper, Hope Solo, stirred up some drama. Big picture: that’s not what you want on the eve of the team’s World Cup opener. – The Street Sheet / BBC / Deadspin
Microsoft Plans to Test New Videogame-Streaming Project
Microsoft announced it will begin publicly testing its new videogame-streaming initiative in October, allowing people to stream any Xbox One game to a mobile device though it didn’t say which ones. Additionally, the company said its next-generation console will come out in late 2020. Back to streaming: the reason the streaming initiative matters is because the release is ahead of when Google’s competing service is slated to launch. Stadia, which will be released in November will be accessible on computers, laptops, TVs and its own Pixel 3 devices. Another tech item going on sale later this year? Boston Dynamics creepily lifelike robot dog. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) one of the video-gaming industry’s most important events kicks off in LA today. – WSJ / Business Insider
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1979: John Wayne dies
On this day in 1979, John Wayne, an iconic American film actor famous for starring in countless westerns, dies at age 72 after battling cancer for more than a decade.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag was an amazing timelapse from the west coast. Check this out…
Friday is Flag Day so we’re celebrating with quick-hits of Flag related trivia all week. Here’s question number two:
Does the flag have to be destroyed if it touches the ground?