Cover: Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash. At Indian Cave State Park in Nebraska, there is a small village that has been restored, one building is an old-time schoolhouse – not much to look at from the outside but well-maintained inside.
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
Oh, Back to School: summer is officially over, and the beautiful American fall is here. It’s a tough transition sometimes, so we’ve got a little pick-me-up coming your way this afternoon. Stay tuned.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Texas gunman was fired from job, called FBI before shooting
The gunman in a spate of violence after a routine traffic stop in West Texas had just been fired from his job and called both police and the FBI before the shooting began, authorities said Monday. Authorities said 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator killed seven people and injured at least 22 others Saturday before officers killed him outside a busy movie theater in Odessa. Timing: on Sunday, a number of looser gun laws took effect on the first day of September, including one that would arm more teachers in Texas schools. The Spectrum: here’s how the shooting played out on the right, left and center. – CNN / USA Today / Washington Examiner
U.S. to withdraw 5,000 troops from Afghanistan, close bases: U.S. negotiator
The United States would withdraw almost 5,000 troops from Afghanistan and close five bases within 135 days under a draft peace accord agreed with the Taliban, the chief U.S. negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Monday. In exchange for the phased withdrawal, the Taliban would commit not to allow Afghanistan to be used by militant groups such as al Qaeda or Islamic State as a base for attacks on the United States and its allies. Why it matters: got half an hour this morning? Listen to the latest episode of the Intelligence Matters podcast with former acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell who speaks with former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers about recent developments in Afghanistan. – Reuters / Intelligence Matters
New York City faces an exodus
An estimated 277 people a day are bailing on the Big Apple, making the metro area the biggest net loser of people in the U.S. (followed by L.A. and Chicago), Bloomberg reports. Some 200,000 people left NYC between July 2017 and July 2018, according to Census data. Meanwhile, Sun Belt cities like Dallas and Phoenix are gaining the lion’s share of new arrivals. What’s likely driving the movement? Cost of living, weather and work opportunities, MarketWatch suggests. – LI / Bloomberg / Marketwatch
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Hurricane Dorian triggers massive flooding across Bahamas
Hurricane Dorian unleashed massive flooding across the Bahamas on Monday, pummeling the islands with so much wind and water that authorities urged people to find floatation devices and grab hammers to break out of their attics if necessary. Context: On Sunday, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph, with gusts up to 220 mph, tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to make landfall. What’s next: in the United States, the National Hurricane Center extended watches and warnings across the Florida and Georgia coasts. Forecasters expected Dorian to stay offshore, but meteorologist Daniel Brown cautioned that “only a small deviation” could draw the storm’s dangerous core toward land. Big picture: UBS says that Hurricane Dorian will likely cause up to $25 Billion of losses, a figure that would make it the most expensive natural disaster for the insurance industry since 2017. – AP / Bloomberg
Brexit: Back to Business
Britain’s House of Commons returns to work today for an explosive week. It will start with MPs opposed to leaving the EU with no deal demanding an emergency debate. They hope to use this debate to take control of the Commons agenda a day or two later, in order to pass a law demanding that the government ask the EU for another extension of the Brexit deadline rather than allowing no-deal to happen by default on October 31st. As many as 40 Tory rebels publicly oppose no-deal. On the face of it, this suggests a law forbidding it should have the numbers to pass. But Boris Johnson, the prime minister, said flatly on Monday that “there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay.” Hence the speculation that Mr Johnson may have an emergency gambit up his sleeve: a snap election. – The Economist
China may have used a recent massive iPhone hack to target Uighur Muslims
A recent massive iPhone hack discovered by Google researchers may have been a campaign to target Uighur Muslims, an oppressed ethnic minority living in China, TechCrunch and Forbes report. Details: if users visited certain websites the page would plant a “monitoring implant” on the device, which could then steal messages, photos, and real-time GPS location data. Why it matters: It’s part of the latest effort by the Chinese government to crackdown on the minority Muslim community in recent history. In the past year, Beijing has detained more than a million Uyghurs in internment camps, according to a United Nationshuman rights committee. – TechCrunch / Forbes / Business Insider
Small Businesses’ Faith in Economy Hits Low on Tariff Uncertainty
Higher tariffs on Chinese imports are adding costs and uncertainty for small businesses and dimming their outlook for the U.S. economy according to a monthly survey of more than 670 small companies conducted for The Wall Street Journal. By the numbers: The portion of respondents that expect the economy to worsen over the next 12 months rose to 40%, compared with 29% in July and 23% a year ago. Why it matters: tariffs are causing small firms be more cautious in their investment and hiring plans. If enough hesitation leads to widespread delays of hiring and investment, economic growth will stall at the very best, and the U.S. may even dip into a recession. – WSJ (subscription)
Two Number Ones Are Done
Naomi Osaka’s 10-match US Open winning streak and title defense are done after she was outplayed in the fourth round by Belinda Bencic and lost 7-5, 6-4 Monday. With Osaka out, that leaves No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina as the highest seed remaining in the women’s draw. Serena Williams is seeded eighth and is the second-highest remaining seed. On the men’s court: Last year’s men’s champ, Novak Djokovic, retired in his fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday night because of a painful left shoulder. This outcome scuttles the much-discussed possibility of a semifinal in New York between Djokovic and Federer, which would have been a rematch of their historic Wimbledon final in July. – ESPN
Facebook is thinking about hiding like counts, too
Facebook could soon start hiding the Like counter on News Feed posts to protect users’ from envy and dissuade them from self-censorship. Background: Instagram is already testing this in 7 countries including Canada and Brazil, showing a post’s audience just a few names of mutual friends who’ve Liked it instead of the total number. Why it matters: the idea is to prevent users from destructively comparing themselves to others and possibly feeling inadequate if their posts don’t get as many Likes. Big picture: Removing Like counts could put less pressure on users and encourage them to share more freely and frequently, which could lead to people spending more time on the platform. Higher engagement means higher revenue for Facebook. – Tech Crunch
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1783: Treaty of Paris signed
The American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783. The signing signified America’s status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies.
Today I Learned: the British were so upset after not winning the American War of Independence that the British delegates that signed the 1783 Treaty of Paris refused to sit for the official painting of the event. This left us with an unfinished painting by Benjamin West of only the American delegates.