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
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Lawmakers reach deal to avert shutdown with fence funding but no money for border wall
Congressional negotiators said last night they had reached an “agreement in principle” to prevent another partial government shutdown. Ahead of a Friday deadline, Republicans and Democrats struck a deal that features nearly $1.4bn for a border wall, which is less than what President Trump wanted. It also reportedly places limits on the detention of undocumented migrants. Mr. Trump has yet to say whether he supports the deal. U.S. stock futures rose early this morning on hopes of an agreement. What to watch for today: whether or not Trump supports the deal. – NBC / Fox News / Market Watch / CNN
More than 200 Baptist ministers, deacons and others have been found guilty of sex abuse, report says
Yesterday The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News in an expansive investigation named 220 pastors, ministers, deacons, volunteers, Sunday school teachers and others who were found guilty of sexually abusing churchgoers over 20 years. By the numbers: more than 250 have been charged, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, which involves more than 700 victims. Read “Abuse of Faith.” – The Houston Chronicle / San Antonio Express-News
America’s top sustainable companies
Best Buy, Cisco and Agilent Technologies top Barron’s ranking of the 100 most sustainable companies this year. The Criteria: the list put the 1,000 largest public companies through hundreds of metrics addressing environmental, social and corporate governance factors. Big Picture: Corporate sustainability, which advocates say doesn’t have to come at the expense of profits, has gained traction in public discussion over the past year. Wall Street money managers have also looked to sustainable enterprises as generators of reliable long-term growth. The Longer Read: “The Remarkable Rise Of ESG” (ESG stands for: “environmental, social and governance”) – Barrons / Forbes
Port-au-Prince Paralyzed on Fifth Day of Protests in Haiti
Thousands of protesters in Port-au-Prince and other Haitian cities came out for the fifth consecutive day, demanding the resignation of Jovenel Moïse, the president. At least four people have died in the protests, which were called by opposition groups after a report alleged economic mismanagement and misappropriation of funds by officials. Haiti, Latin America’s poorest country, also has double-digit inflation. Prensa Latina / UN
The Good and the Bad from Britain
The Bad: Britain’s economy slowed sharply. GDP growth fell to 0.2% in the final quarter of 2018, equalling its most sluggish year-on-year growth rate since 2012. Last week the Bank of England said there is a one-in-four chance of the country falling into recession in 2019. The Good: Meanwhile, Liam Fox, Britain’s trade secretary, signed a deal with Switzerland. The “trade continuity agreement” will prevent additional tariffs between the countries, whose trade is worth £32bn ($41bn) a year. The Longer Read: How Theresa May Might Just Pull It Off. – The Economist / Bloomberg / Sky News
Trial of twelve Catalan secessionist leaders starts in Madrid
The trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders is due to begin in Madrid today. It stems from the unilateral referendum on independence that was held in autumn 2017 by the Catalan regional government, in defiance of Spain’s national government and the courts. The Catalan government has embarked on a vigorous diplomatic and PR campaign to portray the proceedings as a show trial. Nine of those on trial are accused of rebellion while those on the most serious charges could face up to 25 years in jail. So, who are the 12 Catalan leaders facing years in prison? Here’s the rundown. – Al Jazeera / Reuters
Toys R Us is rising from the dead
Toys “R” Us is being resurrected as a brand under Tru Kids, with the liquidated chain’s chief of merchandising at the helm. Tru Kids announced that it became the parent company of Toys “R” Us, Babies ”R” Us and Geoffrey brands in January. While the new company didn’t lay out a launch plan, it said there’s still a gap between supply and demand for toys that needs to be filled. Tru Kids will be headquartered in New Jersey. Separately but related: Mattel, the maker of Barbie,also reported a resurgence. Barbie’s worldwide gross sales for the quarter reached $391 million, a 12% increase from a year ago. For the year, they hit just over $1 billion, a 14% increase from 2017. – Business Insider / Quartz
What you need to know about Kyler Murray’s decision to pursue a career in football
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray announced Monday that he will fully commit to an NFL career and at least put on hold his interest in baseball. Here’s what you need to know about the decision. One: Murray would be the first person ever drafted in the first round of both the NFL and Major League Baseball drafts. Two: height may be an issue in the NFL draft. Only five quarterbacks listed at 5-foot-10 or shorter have thrown an NFL pass since 1960 – Murray is “5-foot-9 ⅞ in socks” according to Oklahoma assistant athletic director Mike Houck. Three: The Oakland A’s guaranteed him $4.66 million after drafting him. Four: He does not get to keep that money, however. Five: the A’s do not get any compensation, but they do retain his rights if he ever returns to baseball. Quick trivia: who was the last quarterback listed under 5-foot-10 or shorter to have thrown an NFL pass since 1960? (ANSWER HERE) – ESPN
Softbank invests almost $1B in Nuro
Nuro, a self-driving delivery startup, said it raised $940m from SoftBank’s $100bn Vision Fund. Last year, the company launched an autonomous grocery-delivery service in Scottsdale, Arizona. The firm hopes to use the new capital to build its fleet of driverless vehicles and expand into new markets. Founded in 2016 by two former Google engineers, Nuro is now valued at $2.7bn. – WIRED
🤝 PRESENTED BY: STATE & LIBERTY
More on State and Liberty: As mentioned yesterday, State and Libertywas founded by two University of Michigan Alumni who could not find an off-the-rack dress shirt to fit their athletic body types. Dress shirts that would fit in the upper body would be too baggy at the waist and shirts that fit in the waist would be too tight in the chest. By providing more room in the upper body and a tapered waist with darts in the back, they created the best fitting dress shirt for those with a V-shape body. On top of the fit, they are crafted from a performance fabric that is stretchy, moisture wicking and wrinkle-free. They are also machine washable and do not have to be dry cleaned. KEEP READING →
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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1999: President Clinton acquitted
On February 12, 1999, the five-week impeachment trial of Bill Clinton comes to an end, with the Senate voting to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice. Fun Fact: the inspiration for Sonic the Hedgehog came from an unlikely mix of Michael Jackson, Santa Claus and Bill Clinton.
Yesterday’s Top Tag: Guess which state this Frozen Flag was sent in from. We’ll give you a hint – it’s not Florida.
Telescopes of the Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii. Visible is the Subaru Telescope, W. M. Keck Observatory, and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility.