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
Huge thank you to everyone who read and responded to our 2019 Media Bias survey. We plan on making this an annual endeavor so be on the lookout for round two next summer. In the meantime, buckle up for a fun fall and active end of the year. We’ve been working hard on a few initiatives that we can’t wait to share with you. For now, on to your unbiased briefing, and news from every view.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Smoke Signals: Study finds lung cancer in mice exposed to nicotine vaping
A New York University study has identified a pattern of lung cancer in mice exposed to the same amount of e-cigarette vapor as someone who’s been using e-cigs for approximately three to six years. Why it matters: Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study is the first to definitively link vaping nicotine to cancer. Big picture: because the industry is still relatively young, it might be another decade before the impact of vaping on humans is more thoroughly understood. On the radar: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., is introducing a bill that would cap the amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes. Also, Kroger and Walgreens are joining Walmart and other retailers in discontinuing the sale of electronic cigarettes. – Axios / CNBC
The Trump Tax Return Showdown Intensifies
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Donald Trump that attempted to block access to his tax returns on Monday. Why it matters: the decision paves the way for Manhattan’s district attorney to subpoena eight years’ worth of the president’s personal and corporate returns as part of an investigation into payments made to Stormy Daniels, a porn star. Trump’s private legal team immediately filed an “emergency appeal” and the appeals court quickly issued a temporary stay of the ruling while proceedings are pending. – Politico
The Vanishing Dream: How Housing Wealth Transferred From Families to Corporations
More than 12 million single-family homes are currently being rented in the United States. Those homes, valued at more than $2.3 trillion, make up 35 percent of all rental housing around the country. Here’s the thing: In the past, these single-family homes were being rented out by their owners or small real-estate companies. Today, however, a large and growing share of single-family rental homes are owned and managed by large corporations, real-estate firms, and financial institutions. Proof: The percentage of homeowners is at its lowest level since the 1960s. Why it matters: For a growing number of families, the American Dream of owning their own home and the wealth and financial security that comes from it have given way to renting a place to live from a mega-corporation. – City Lab
🤝 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
A Symbolic Blow: Kurds in Syria
The White House will pull back from northern Syria, endorsing a Turkish military operation that would push America’s Kurdish allies out of the area. Why it matters symbolically: The Kurds have been key to defeating Islamic State in Syria, fighting shoulder to shoulder with U.S. forces. Turkey, on the other hand, considers them terrorists. One important thing that didn’t get as much coverage: the change in U.S. policy in Syria that triggered the media storm involves the redeployment of fewer than 25 troops. President Donald Trump has promised to “destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy should the government do anything deemed “off-limits”. – The Economist / Breitbart
Hit & Run: Wife Of U.S. Diplomat Flees U.K. After Fatal Car Crash
A deadly car accident in England has led to a diplomatic standoff with the United States. Background: Harry Dunn, 19, was struck and killed on his motorcycle in late August by a vehicle allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road, and police say they were about to arrest a U.S. diplomat’s wife in the case. That American woman, a U.S. diplomat’s wife, was allowed to leave Britain under diplomatic immunity, however. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke out for the first time on Monday, criticizing the diplomatic hit and run. Why it matters: This comes at a time when Johnson needs the U.S. and President Trump to back him on a leaving the EU and renegotiating an independent trade deal. – CBS
France: calls grow for answers over police killer’s radicalization
France has been rocked by a security breach that allowed an Islamist extremist to work in the heart of its counterterrorism apparatus for years before he killed four of his colleagues last week. Newspaper front pages on Monday described a “serious malfunction” in the intelligence community and “shortages” in the anti-terrorism machinery, as critics called for interior minister, Christophe Castaner’s head. The extremist had caused alarm among colleagues as far back as 2015 when he defended the massacre of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris by two brothers vowing allegiance to al-Qaida. No report was filed, however. – The Guardian
GE to Freeze Pensions for 20,000 Workers
General Electric said on Monday it was freezing the pension plan for about 20,000 U.S. employees with salaried benefits. From GE’s Perspective: the company’s traditional pension and post-employment benefits programs, which were underfunded by $27 billion as of the end of 2018, are one of the company’s biggest liabilities. The company said the latest changes could reduce its pension deficit by as much as $8 billion. From the employee’s perspective: 20,000 U.S. employees will no longer accrue new benefits under the pension plan as of the beginning of 2021. Why it matters: For decades, a job at GE with its generous pension was a safe ticket to a middle-class life for many Americans. The 300,000-person company shifted work overseas and restructured its operations, but GE has been slower than some U.S. firms to pare back that safety net. – WSJ / USA Today
Players With C.T.E. Doubled Their Risk With Every 5.3 Years in Football
Former tackle football players with C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head hits, doubled their risk of developing the worst forms of the disease for each 5.3 years they played, according to a new study. Why it matters: Scientists already knew that more years playing tackle football is associated with thinking and memory deficits later in life. This study specifically, however, for the first time, calculated the number of years played with levels of measurable disease in the brain. Big picture: studies like these have spurred a public debate about the safety of youth and high school football. While some researchers are calling for children to avoid collision sports others point to the fact that there are hundreds-of-thousands of ex-NFL and ex-college football players who do not have CTE symptoms. – NYT
Like two STDs merging: Taboola & Outbrain
If you’ve been on the internet in the last 10 years, you couldn’t have missed them: Rows of small, box-shaped ads at the bottom of articles on news sites, promising to take you to other (irrelevant) articles with click-bait titles like, “You won’t believe what she looks like now”. Well, the two companies that dominate that corner of the ad business are getting together. Taboola and Outbrain, two New York City-based companies run by Israeli CEOs, are combining. (Great commentary: Benedict Evans of a16z said, “This is like two STDs merging“.) Big picture: this was expected. Both Taboola and Outbrain say they are profitable and that the combined company will do $2 billion in gross revenue next year. Why it matters: the combination could be an issue for regulators, who in recent months have been increasingly scrutinizing companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook over antitrust concerns. – Recode / Ben Evans
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1871: Great Chicago Fire begins
On October 8, 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, igniting a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages.
Bonus Trivia: Who started the Great Chicago fire of 1871?