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
‘Tis The Season: We know Christmas is in the rearview, but in case you want to ring in the 2019 season super early, you can now apply to be an extra in a Hallmark Christmas movie. If you get picked, invite us to the premiere?
President Trump, in his first State of the Union address before a divided Congress, railed against “the politics of revenge” and “partisan investigations” as he appealed for unity at a time when Washington is struggling to break a deadlock over border security funding that threatens to trigger another government shutdown in a matter of days. Here’s why women lawmakers wore white. From the right: Trump’s State of the Union nailed the border wall and immigration in just 4 sentences. From the Left: Nancy Pelosi and the Sarcastic Point Clapback Heard Round the World. From our shared past: 24 Pictures From History That Capture The Spirit Of The State Of The Union Address. Fox News / Slate / Washington Examiner / BuzzFeed
Reddit eyes epic funding round
Reddit is set for a mammoth round of fundraising. A Series D round led by Chinese tech firm Tencent is expected to raise between $150 million and $300 million — which could see the so-called “front page of the internet” valued at as much as $3 billion. Why this matters: believe it or not, some people have never even heard of Reddit, and if they have they have “no idea how it works”. With that said, it is the fifth most popular website in the U.S. behind Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon. TechCrunch notes a growing number of people looking for niche and off-kilter content is contributing to the popularity of the website, which attracts 330 million monthly active users. – Tech Crunch / Alexa Website Rankings
Online grocers struggle to find fans in US
According to a survey, a quarter of grocery shoppers in the U.S. said they have tried an online grocery service in the past year. With that said, only about a quarter of those shoppers kept buying food online at least once per month, according to a new report from Bain & Co. Big Picture: convenience and pricing appear to be major hurdles for grocery services. Despite the challenges and less-than-stellar uptake, the consulting group expects online grocery ordering to “explode at some point.” Here’s why. – CNBC / Bain
Egypt’s parliament debates proposal to extend presidential term
The Egyptian parliament is debating a proposal to amend the country’s constitution that will extend the presidential term from four years to six. This means President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi may be able to stay in power beyond 2022, when his second term in office ends. Two-thirds of Egypt’s parliament has already endorsed proposed amendment so far. Big Picture: The motion would give the president the power to appoint top judges and bypass judicial oversight in vetting draft legislation before it is voted into law. Worth a Watch: Why African Leaders Are Refusing To Give Up Power. – Al Jazeera / NowThis World
Central African Republic, rebel groups initial a peace deal
The government of the Central African Republic signed a peace deal with 14 armed groups after two weeks of talks. The agreement “opens the door for peace to return to our homeland,” said Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the president of the CAR. The country has been roiled by violence since 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted then-president François Bozizé. – The Economist
Profits in the first quarter are now expected to decline as company outlooks fall short
Wall Street expectations for earnings growth for the first quarter of 2019 have turned negative, which would mark the first decline in more than two years, according to FactSet. More specifically, analysts now expect S&P 500 companies to report an average 0.8 percent decline in first-quarter profits. Why it matters: At the end of September, analysts expected first-quarter profits to increase by 6.7 percent, on average. Six of the 11 sectors are expected to report a decrease in earnings for the first quarter, with the information technology sector projected to decline the most by 8.9 percent, the data show. – CNBC
Today in Sports: Legal Betting, Sergio Garcia, and the LPGA
Football fans legally bet almost $6.5 million on the Super Bowl this year in Rhode Island. Why it matters: Rhode Island is the only New England state that allows sports betting at the moment. Remember: After New Jersey’s Supreme Court victory last year, any state that wishes can legalize sports betting. ESPN ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of how likely it is for each jurisdiction offer full-scale legal sports betting. Elsewhere, Spain’s Sergio Garcia’s bunker meltdown and controversial DQ in Saudi Arabia over the weekend is receiving a lot of attention after Brooks Koepka called his actions childish. And in fun golf news, LPGA pro Pernilla Lindberg got married and will spend her honeymoon competing in a tournament with her husband as a caddie. – AP / ESPN / Golf.com
Oh, Snap: Snapchat rises again, like the ghost of holiday earnings
Snapchat, saw its stock rise nearly 16% in after-hours trading Wednesday, after the company reported record revenues and lowered the margins on its losses. Why it matters: Wall Street was looking for consistency from Snapchat last quarter, after a tumultuous year in which it lost several high-level executives, suffered a few internal leaks, and faced blowback for the rollout of an app redesign. The positive news is good for Snapchat shareholders, but it still might be worth holding the applause for these six reasons. – Axios / Business Insider
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1952: Elizabeth becomes queen
On this day in 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dies in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the oldest of the king’s two daughters and next in line to succeed him, was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death; she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, at age 27.
Yesterday’s Top Tag came from the warm weather and white sandy beaches of Dry Tortugas National Park.
A lot has changed since Queen Elizabeth inherited the crown, including the rise of social media and pervasiveness of big tech. How many young people in the UK say they do not believe that life is worth living? And how are these two things related?