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
Captiva and Clearwater might be our favorite…
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Measles Outbreak Infects 695, Highest Number Since 2000
The number of measles cases in the United States has risen to 695, the highest annual number recorded since the disease was declared eliminated in this country in 2000. The total has now surpassed the previous high of 667 set in 2014. Moreover, the virus has been detected in 22 states. Just yesterday two L.A. universities quarantined hundreds of students and staff after being exposed to measles. Big picture: The outbreak, linked to skepticism about vaccines, has led to extraordinary measures, including $1,000 fines and bans on unvaccinated children in public. – NYT / The Washington Post / Tag The Flag
No More Surge Pricing: Uber Lowers Target IPO Valuation Again
Uber ratcheted down its target valuation to a range of about $80 billion to $90 billion for its initial public offering and is expected to make the price range public in a filing this morning. Be smart: One reason for Uber’s lowered valuation target is that smaller rival Lyft Inc. has struggled as a newly public company. Another thing to keep an eye on: The filing is also expected to include news of a roughly $500 million investment in Uber by PayPal, which already helps the ride-hailing firm process fares. – WSJ (subscription)
Legal marijuana creating a jobs high
Although marijuana remains illegal according to federal law, state and city-based legalization mean new markets continue to attract investors, and the industry represents one of the country’s fastest growing job sectors. Jobs in the legal marijuana industry range from hourly work in farms to positions in retail, drug stores, software companies, and nurses. The industry has so far created between 200,000 and 300,000 jobs in the US according to ZipRecruiter. – NYT / CNN / Fox News
🌎 WORLD NEWS
Cyclone Kenneth: Mozambique hit by its strongest storm ever
The strongest cyclone ever to hit Mozambique has made landfall in the country’s north, five weeks after Cyclone Idai devastated its center, according to meteorologists. Surpassing both Idai and the 2000 cyclone that had been the strongest to date, Cyclone Kenneth hit Cabo Delgado province with wind speeds of 140mph (225km/h), bringing the threat of extreme rainfall. Big picture: Hundreds of thousands of people could face hunger in the months ahead, and a new storm bringing fresh flooding will further complicate efforts to recover. – CBS/ The Guardian
Searching for a majority: Spain
Spaniards vote in their third general election in less than four years on Sunday in an increasingly fragmented political landscape. The Socialists seem set to make big gains, but they will fall well short of a majority in the 350-seat Congress. They will, however, be helped by a three-way split on the right. The far right has not been represented in Spain’s Congress since 1982. But Vox, a newish ultra-nationalist party, is set to win 10-15% of the vote, according to opinion polls. Whatever the outcome, Spain seems certain to have its first coalition government since the 1930s. – The Economist
Update: What we know about the Sri Lanka attack
Sri Lanka has revised the official death toll from Sunday’s attack down to 253, far lower than the 359 a police spokesman previously said died. What else: The defense minister resigned today after the government admitted it didn’t act on intelligence warnings. The suspected bombers came mostly from well-to-do families, and 2 were the sons of a wealthy spice merchant. Lastly, “hundreds of Muslims, fearing revenge attacks, have been fleeing the city of Negombo, site of one of the attacks.” – Axios / BBC
Major Mergers Flop
Two billion-dollar European mergers collapsed Thursday after Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank’s talks fell through and UK competition regulators rejected the planned Sainsbury’s takeover of the Walmart-owned Asda. The Banks: The German banks held formal discussions for six weeks, but investors questioned the deal’s financing and rationale, and labor unions opposed the estimated 30,000 job cuts, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Supermarkets: UK watchdogs argued the £7.3 billion ($9.4 billion) grocery deal would lead to higher prices, poorer quality and variety of products, and longer checkout lines. Speaking of supermarkets, they’re watching you. On this side of the pond, here’s what to expect in the first-quarter GDP report today. – Business Insider / AP
In the Cards: Arizona pick Kyler Murray No. 1 in NFL draft
The Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NFL draft. Why it matters: the selection marks both a stunning one-year rise by Murray and a full change of direction for the Cardinals, who 12 months ago spent a first-round pick on a different quarterback, Josh Rosen. Despite being 5-foot-10 Murray won the Heisman, led the Sooners to the College Football Playoffs and showed an explosive enough game that he backed out on a contract with Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics and entered the NFL draft. – Yahoo Sports
Microsoft has become the third US company to pass a market cap of $1 trillion. The software giant passed the milestone briefly yesterday after a jump in the stock price following strong fiscal Q3 earnings. Microsoft joins Apple and Amazon in hitting the $1 trillion valuation ahead of rival Google. Why it matters: in an industry that is feeling the pain of an unprecedented backlash over its business practices and broad impact on society, original tech giant Microsoft has managed to stay mostly above the fray. The bottom line: The corporate computing business may not be as sexy as consumer markets, but it’s steady and profitable. – The Verge / Axios
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📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1954: Polio vaccine trials begin
On this day in 1954, the Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. In the ensuing decades, polio vaccines would all but wipe out the highly contagious disease in the Western Hemisphere.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag was a bit of trivia: who knows the name of this bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona?