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
This country roads shot on Saturday got a lot of love…
🦅 U.S. NEWS
One nation, Up at Night
People tumble into bed each night across the U.S., hoping for pleasant dreams. Most would likely settle for no dreams at all, just as long as they can get some rest. But more than half of Americans toss and turn because of money issues, according to a new survey. According to Bankrate, more than half of Americans lose sleep worrying about money. As many as 56% of Americans experience restless sleep over at least one financial issue, with nearly a third concerned about everyday expenses. More money, more problems? Maybe. The problem doesn’t affect only those with lower incomes. More than half of those making over $80,000 reported losing sleep on financial issues, compared to 63% of those who make less than $30,000. – Bankrate / Bloomberg
Ammunition Sales Surge in California Ahead of Background-Check Requirement
Sales of ammunition in California gun stores have surged in advance of a first-in-the-nation background-check requirement for most ammunition purchases that goes into effect today. Background: America’s most populous state already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Now bullet buyers will have to show their IDs and undergo a check that for the first time blocks sales to felons and others who are also barred from possessing firearms. Supporters saythe requirement will allow the check to be more up-to-date than a license that may have been issued years before. On the other hand, critics argue the new restrictions will create unnecessary hurdles for people who legally own guns and a black market for those who don’t. Immediate Impact: Ammo sales have tripled in the past week. – WSJ (subscription)
History Made: the first woman to lead an Army division
Major Gen. Laura Yeager made history Saturday as she assumed command of the U.S. Army’s 40th Infantry Division. Big picture: Yeager is the first woman to lead a U.S. Army division, with command of 10,000 soldiers from the Army National Guard who serve across the West Coast of the United States and as far away as Hawaii and Guam. American Dream: Yeager, whose father is a retired major general, said that she joined the military to make money for college. For context: The 40th Infantry Division has a rich history. Founded in 1917, its soldiers have fought in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. More recently, 40th ID soldiers have deployed to Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and numerous other locations around the globe. – USA Today
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Trump meets Kim in DMZ, becomes first sitting US president to step into Hermit Kingdom
With wide grins and a historic handshake, President Trump became the first sitting U.S. leader to set foot in North Korea when he took 20 steps into the Hermit Kingdom on Sunday. The event in the Demilitarized Zone — which also included a roughly 50-minute meeting behind closed doors — marked a return to face-to-face contact between the two leaders after talks broke down during a summit in Vietnam in February. Why it matters: The West for decades has seen the North Korean side of the DMZ, a vestige of the Cold War, as enemy territory. The encounter reflects Trump’s instinct for stagecraft and spontaneous diplomacy. – Fox News / Axios
Hong Kong protests return
Demonstrators today are again expected to flood the streets of Hong Kong, this time to mark 22 years since the territory reverted to China. Background: Last month, millions of people demonstrated against a proposed extradition bill that would extend Beijing’s reach into the territory, prompting Hong Kong’s government to suspend it. Protesters want it fully withdrawn, and many are demanding an investigation into the police force, which they accuse of using excessive force. – NYT
OPEC: Is Anyone Even Listening?
OPEC power brokers will gather in Vienna today and meet with non-OPEC states (known as OPEC+) tomorrow. They need to decide whether to extend a deal on oil output curbs that expire at the end of June. Why it matters: it will be interesting to see how much impact any decision will even have on the markets. Remember, both Iran and Venezuela are under U.S. sanctions so actual supply is down by 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) versus the 1.2 million bpd that was agreed. Evidently, President Trump has had more impact on oil production than OPEC. – Reuters
U.S.-China Trade Talks Are Back On but Obstacles Remain
President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China managed to get trade talks back on track this past weekend, but an even tougher job lies ahead—appeasing hard-line factions within their own governments demanding they give no quarter. Big picture: Wall Street just wrapped up its best first half to a year in two decades. The Dow rallied more than 7% this month, notching its biggest June gain since 1938. Meanwhile, the broad-based S&P 500 index is also up more than 17% this year, marking its biggest first-half gain since 1997. Futures pointed to a higher open this morning to kick off the second half of the year, but a slowdown in the global economy and plenty geopolitical hotspots could derail the upward trajectory. – WSJ / The Street Sheet
Nothing But Nets
Kevin Durant will swap blue and gold for black and white, announcing Sunday night that he’s heading to the Brooklyn Nets after three seasons with the Golden State Warriors. Durant announced that he has agreed to sign a deal for the league maximum, a four-year $164 million deal with the Nets when the free agent moratorium period ends July 6. Not only that, but Brooklyn appears to be winning big in its free agent sweep, after reportedly gaining six-time All-Star Kyrie Irving, who is leaving the Boston Celtics, and DeAndre Jordan, who is leaving the New York Knicks to head across the East River. – ESPN
A Temperamental Truce: Huawei
Huawei is getting a partial reprieve from the US trade ban after President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached a truce that will remove some restrictions on the Chinese company buying technology from the US. Be smart: this feels very temperamental – it’s still on the Commerce Department’s Entities List, preventing it from doing business with US companies unless there’s explicit government approval. With that said, the turnaround comes as part of a larger concession that could be good news for technology as a whole. This is far from a permanent solution, but it could reduce pressure on tech companies to move some production outside of China in their bid to avoid tariffs. – Engadget
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1997: Hong Kong returned to China
At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand Hong Kongers protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful. Why this matters: See the world section above.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag was a Sunday Salute to the US Army…
What percent of the world’s almonds come from California?