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
Barr Says Release of Mueller Report Can Come Within a Week
Attorney General William Barr said he would deliver the special counsel’s still-secret report to Congress within a week and vowed to explain his reasons for blacking out parts of the roughly 400-page document, a pledge that did little to mollify demands from Democrats for full access to the report. Big picture: Democrats have criticized Mr. Barr’s approach, saying they want to see the complete conclusions of the 22-month investigation and have threatened to issue a subpoenafor the report in the coming days if their demands aren’t met. – WSJ (subscription)
Feds break up $1.2B Medicare orthopedic brace scam
Federal authorities said Tuesday they’ve broken up a $1.2 billion Medicare scam that peddled unneeded orthopedic braces to hundreds of thousands of seniors via foreign call centers. The Details: The Justice Department announced charges against 24 people across the U.S., including doctors accused of writing bogus prescriptions for unneeded back, shoulder, wrist and knee braces. Others charged included owners of call centers, telemedicine firms and medical equipment companies. – PBS
Population loss looms over the economy
Trade wars and fading fiscal stimulus may be cited for slowing growth now, but the biggest economic threat on the horizon is declining population. By 2037, two-thirds of American counties are expected to have fewer adults of working age than in 1997, despite an increase in overall population. The tech-funded Economic Innovation Groupestimates that for every 1 percentage-point decline in a country’s growth rate, the rate of startups falls three times as fast. – New York Times
‘Magician’ Netanyahu Headed for Fifth Term as Israel’s Leader
People don’t call Benjamin Netanyahu “the magician” for nothing. He’s set to be indicted for bribery and fraud. And he faced a strong opponent, a former military chief with a reputation with integrity. But it wasn’t enough to sink the Israeli prime minister in Tuesday’s election. Netanyahu’s alliance is on track to secure a majority in the parliament, giving him a clear path to form the next government. He’ll become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. – Bloomberg
Japanese F-35 fighter goes missing over the Pacific
Japan’s military said on Tuesday it lost contact with one of its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters over the Pacific Ocean close to northern Japan. Background: Japan’s first squadron of F-35s has just become operational at the Misawa air base and the government plans to buy 87 of the stealth fighters to modernize its air defenses as China’s military power grows. Why it matters: this could be a major security headache for the U.S. if Russia or China locate the state-of-the-art fighter jet first to glean information. While experts think that it would be difficult to reverse engineer the aircraft from pieces of wreckage recovered from the seabed, he warns that the debris could still offer vital information. – Fox News
Dalai Lama, 83, hospitalized with a chest infection
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was admitted to a New Delhi hospital on Tuesday with a chest infection, an aide said, adding that the 83-year-old Buddhist monk was stable. The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in early 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, lives in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala. Why it matters: Many of the up to 100,000 Tibetans living in India are worried that their fight for a genuinely autonomous homeland would end with the Dalai Lama. – Reuters
Bank of America raising hourly minimum wage to $20
Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20 an hour over a two-year period, the bank said Tuesday, starting with a hike next month. Be smart: The timing of Bank of America’s announcement is no coincidence. B of A’s CEO, Brian Moynihan, and the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and three other banks will appear in front of a House finance committee today in the most significant hearing on the banking industry since Democrats took control of the House earlier this year. – ABC15
NHL playoff predictions 2019: Who’ll be left standing with Stanley Cup?
The best postseason tournament in all of professional sports is about to begin tonight with the start of the NHL playoffs. Big picture: This year has the potential to be one of the wilder playoffs in recent memory for a couple of reasons. To start, while the Tampa Bay Lightning are your prohibitive favorites, they face arguably the toughest path to the Cup Final of any division winner. Meanwhile in the Western Conference, well, it’s anybody’s guess who will make it out alive. The first game starts tonight at 7 pm in Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida where the Lightning will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. By the way: The New Jersey Devils got the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft last night. Last but not least: NHL is hosting a bracket challenge where your picks can win you $100,000. – NBC / NHL
Five months after Airbnb announced the company would be removing their listings from the West Bank, the team has decided not to move forward with the original policy following backlash in Israel and the U.S. Details: The decision is part of a lawsuit the company settled with hosts and potential hosts. However, Airbnb will not accept any of the profits from the West Bank listings, instead donating the money to humanitarian nonprofits. The company said it will do the same for listings with Abkhazia in South Ossetia, another disputed region. – Axios
🤝 PRESENTED BY
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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1942: Bataan Death March begins
The day after the surrender of the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese, the 75,000 Filipino and American troops captured on the Bataan Peninsula begin a forced march During this infamous trek, known as the “Bataan Death March,” the prisoners were forced to march 85 miles in six days, with only one meal of rice during the entire journey. By the end of the march, which was punctuated with atrocities committed by the Japanese guards, hundreds of Americans and many more Filipinos had died.
We could get used to the view in this top tag…
U.S. News & World Report just released this year’s list of the best places to live in America after evaluating the country’s 125 most populous metropolitan areas. Which city is the number one place to live in the United States?