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
A question for your friends at the bar tonight: How Many Websites Are There?
🦅 U.S. NEWS
The Domino Effect: More retailers ask shoppers not to openly carry guns in stores
Drugstore chains Walgreens and CVS Health on Thursday joined Walmart and Kroger in asking shoppers not to openly carry guns in their stores, even in states where “open carry” is allowed, unless they are authorized law enforcement officers. Why it matters: this knock-on effect is exactly what industry analysts were watching for after Walmart CEO Doug McMillon issued a memo Tuesday to employees saying his chain would make some drastic changes in the wake of two deadly shootings at Walmart stores over the summer. Further reading: New research encourages CEOs to act on guns. Plus: here’s how it’s playing out on the right, left, and center. – Axios / CNBC / Breitbart / HuffPost
College Men Have Died in Frats Every Year for Two Decades
Every year for the past two decades, at least one young man has died in connection with fraternity hazing in the United States. Whether it’s alcohol poisoning, extreme physical labor, or physical injuries, dozens of lives have been lost in the name of fraternal kinship. Yet rush continues, pledge classes carry out antics, and Greek initiations roll on. In 2018-2019, the North American Interfraternity Conference, an organization with 66 fraternities, expects to have more than 300,000 members. Big picture: There have been more than 250 hazing deaths at schools in America since the 1800s and in 2017 specifically, the annual death toll at fraternities spiked to four, reviving an old discussion: Are the benefits of fraternity membership worth the lives of young adults? Keep reading. – USA Today
One Thing for the Weekend: Don’t Doubt Yourself
More than half of U.S. workers don’t believe they have the skills required to compete 10 years from now, according to a new survey by the insurance giant Prudential. Why it matters: despite societal talk about the future threat posed by technology, Americans believe that softer skills, such as adaptability, people management, and time management, will be most useful in the long term, according to the results. As for technology, three-quarters of respondents said it makes them more efficient by automating redundant tasks in their day. One other nugget: the survey results also show that workers want to stay with their employers longer than previously suggested. – LI / Prudential
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Jo Johnson, brother of PM Boris, quits as MP over Brexit differences
Jo Johnson, the younger brother of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Thursday resigned his post as a minister and stepped down as a member of Parliament. In a tweet announcing his resignation, Johnson said he was “torn between family loyalty and the national interest.” Background: Jo Johnson is a staunch supporter of remaining in the European Union and backs holding a second Brexit referendum. Big picture: His resignation came with discontent growing in the Conservative Party after Boris Johnson expelled more than 20 Conservative lawmakers who voted to delay Brexit. Here are all the ways Brexit could go now, explained for people who are confused. – Business Insider / BuzzFeed
South Africa closes embassy in Nigeria after xenophobic violence
South Africa has temporarily closed its diplomatic missions in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria, fearing reprisal attacks against its citizens. Background: The closures follow outbreaks of violence earlier this week in South Africa. At least five people were killed and 189 arrested during xenophobic attacks and looting in Johannesburg, Pretoria and elsewhere. Big picture: Xenophobic and anti-immigrant attacks are not new in South Africa. Demonstrators forced hundreds of foreigners from their homes and looted some businesses in Durban in April. The heart of the matter: they claimed that foreigners had taken jobs that should have been filled by locals. – BBC / CNN
Reach for the stars: India’s Moon landing
India’s second mission to the Moon is forecast to land on the lunar surface tomorrow. Why it matters: How well the landing goes will tell the world much about India’s pretensions to be a space power. Background: the unmanned mission was delayed several times, but was finally launched from southern India on July 22nd. Big picture: a soft landing would make India the fourth member of the lunar club, after America, China, and the Soviet Union. The Indian Space Research Organization says the landing module separated successfully from the orbiter on Monday, and is scheduled to land on the surface this weekend. Bangalore will be hoping that, unlike Houston, it has no problems. – The Economist
WeWork Weighs Slashing Valuation by More Than Half Amid IPO Skepticism
WeWork’s parent company is weighing a dramatic reduction in its valuation as it aims to go public while facing widespread skepticism over its business model and corporate governance according to the Wall Street Journal. Details: We Co. is now considering putting a price tag on its IPO that would value the company somewhere in the $20 billion range. Why it matters: that is less than half of the $47 billion mark where it last raised private capital just this year, making it one of the largest valuation comedowns in IPO history. So what’s next? The Real Deal has a good run down. Outside of WeWork, the broader market ended Thursday on a high note. U.S. stocks rose sharply after the U.S. and China said they would hold talks in Washington in October, reigniting hopes for an eventual trade truce. The Dow industrials jumped more than 370 points. – WSJ / The Real Deal
Michigan State University is fined a record $4.5 million for the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal
Michigan State has agreed to pay a $4.5 million fine for its failure to protect students from Larry Nassar, a former school employee and the former doctor to the USA Gymnastics national team, who is now serving more than 100 years in prison for sexually abusing young girls under the guise of medical treatment. Why it matters: The fine, which will go to the Treasury, is the largest levied under the Clery Act, a law that requires colleges to collect data on-campus crime and notify students of threats. Context: The previous largest fine, $2.4 million, was imposed in 2016 against Pennsylvania State University over its handling of sexual misconduct involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. – ESPN / Deadspin
From “Like” to “Love”: Facebook Dating launches in the United States
Nearly a year after it began testing in Colombia, Facebook Dating is now available in the United States. Why it matters: For more than a year, the social media company has come under fire for its data privacy practices and now it’s asking users to trust it with one of the most intimate activities they do online: search for love. Zuckerberg also wants you to trust him with your money, hence project Libra. The big question though is can Facebook Dating succeed? Well, the company says its research shows that 40 percent of people are unsatisfied with their current dating app, and the fact that Facebook has brought the product to 20 countries in under a year suggests that it has been popular with early users. Further reading: Match shares sunk 6% on the news. Seven opening lines to use on Facebook dating. Facebook leans on Instagram to boost a new dating service. – The Verge / CNN / AdAge / CNBC / Elite Daily
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1915: First tank produced
On September 6, 1915, a prototype tank nicknamed Little Willie rolls off the assembly line in England. Little Willie was far from an overnight success. It weighed 14 tons, got stuck in trenches and crawled over rough terrain at only two miles per hour.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
This is a live shot of the infamous Frying Pan American Flag as it stands strong against the winds of #Dorian. Last year the Flag ripped during Hurricane Florence. The question is: should they take this Flag down if authorities know it might be ruined? Click here to comment.
It Chapter 2 premiers in theatres today featuring one of America’s most infamous jesters: Pennywise. This made us wonder: Why are clowns so Creepy?