Courtesy of Always Shooting, via Flickr. “Outline of Ohio map looks like heart. The state itself is on the left upper left part of USA. That’s why it is called Heart of USA.”
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
Heading to the gym? A US airman just set a world bench press record by making 551-pounds look easy. How’s that for a little morning motivation.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
The Mother of Presidents
Democrats are preparing to face off in the latest primary debate tonight. Elizabeth Warren is the front-runner, but she still lacks the endorsement of a single governor, big-city mayor or fellow senator outside Massachusetts. Context: Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio will be the setting and as an affluent suburb, Westerville (population 40,387) is a warning sign for Republicans. The picturesque college town outside Columbus moved into the Democratic column in 2016 and stayed there in the 2018 midterm elections. While tonight’s debate will give Democrats a chance to use that backdrop to make a case about their appeal to educated suburban voters, GOP strategists will be watching closely. Why it matters: No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio. There’s a reason one of the state’s nicknames is “The Mother of Presidents”. – NYT / Bloomberg
California to bar high schools from ringing the first bell before 8:30 a.m.
California high schools will soon be barred from beginning class before 8:30 a.m., under first-in-the-nation legislation signed into law Sunday night by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The legislation also bans middle schools from beginning before 8 a.m. Big picture: Backers of later start times claim teenagers, and their still-developing brains, need every extra minute of sleep possible. Data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics showed the average start time for public high schools in the United States was 7:59 a.m. while middle schools started at 8:04 a.m. – NBC News
The great American institution of the Las Vegas wedding is in trouble
Despite the fact that Las Vegas wedding tourism generated an impressive estimate of $2.5 billion in economic activity last year that number is at least a billion dollars down from the revenue generated at the industry’s height. How come? Marriage rates in the U.S. have dwindled significantly in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and shifting social values coupled with the burdens of student debt have made tying the knot for millennials unfeasible or unappealing, and sometimes both. Why it matters: Las Vegas’s wedding tourism industry employs more than 10,000 people. There were 74,534 marriages performed in Clark County in 2018, down 42 percent from the record in 2004: 128,238 marriages. – New York Times
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Syrian army returns to northeast, as Turkey widens invasion
Syrian government troops moved into towns and villages in northeastern Syria on Monday setting up a potential clash with Turkish-led forces advancing in the area. Background: The Syrian military’s involvement came after Syrian Kurdish forces previously allied with the U.S. said they had reached a deal with President Bashar Assad’s government to help them fend off Turkey’s invasion. President Donald Trump said the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops he has ordered to leave Syria will remain in the Middle East to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State threat. Targeting Turkey’s economy, President Donald Trump also announced sanctions Monday aimed at restraining the Turks’ assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians. One big thing: U.S. officials are quietly reviewing plans for how to evacuate roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons that are stuck in Turkey right now. Keep reading. AP / The Washington Post
Catalan Separatist Leaders Get Lengthy Prison Terms for Sedition
The Spanish Supreme Court on Monday sentenced former leaders of the Catalan independence movement to lengthy prison terms after finding them guilty of sedition for their botched attempt to break away from Spain in 2017. The former deputy leader of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras, received the toughest sentence: 13 years in prison. Why it matters: the idea of independence is still an extremely polarizing subject in Catalonia. An opinion poll in July showed 48.3% of Catalans against secession and 44% in favor. So what’s next? That’s the big question. The Catalan independence movement has always been characterized by its peaceful nature, but scenes at the airport yesterday showed tensions running high. Regardless, the ruling is likely to add color to the national election on Nov. 10, Spain’s fourth in four years. – NYT / The Guardian
The hunt for Asia’s El Chapo
He is Asia’s most-wanted man. He is protected by a guard of Thai kickboxers. He flies by private jet. And, police say, he once lost $66 million in a single night at a Macau casino. Tse Chi Lop, a Canadian national born in China, is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate formed out of an alliance of five of Asia’s triad groups, according to law enforcement officials. The syndicate, law enforcers believe, is funneling tonnes of methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine to at least a dozen countries from Japan in North Asia to New Zealand in the South Pacific. Meth, however, is its main business. In fact, estimates put the syndicate’s meth revenue in 2018 at $8 billion a year, and said figures could be as high as $17.7 billion. Keep reading. – Reuters / The Telegraph
Harley-Davidson halts electric motorcycle production
Harley-Davidson said on Monday it has stopped production and deliveries of its first electric motorcycle after discovering a glitch in the final quality checks. Why it matters: The company is betting on electric motorcycles to attract the next generation of younger and more environmentally conscious riders to reverse declining U.S. sales. Elsewhere: U.S. stocks inched lower, kept in a narrow range by thin trading volumes ahead of the start of third-quarter earnings season. Banks and financial services firms unofficially kick off earnings season today. J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, BlackRock, Charles Schwab, and Interactive Brokers all report. Keep an eye out to see if lower rates are crimping their net interest margins. – Reuters / The Street Sheet
Shake It Off: Los Angeles Kings cover banner due to Taylor Swift ‘curse’
The Los Angeles Kings aren’t taking any chances with the Taylor Swift “curse.” Background: The “Taylor Swift Curse” at the Staples Center dates back to the 2015-2016 season, a year after the Kings won two Stanley Cups in a three-season span. With the team struggling, Kings fans made Swift the de facto scapegoat, blaming the presence of the the pop star’s “most sold-out performances” banner – raised in August 2015 – for the team’s downfall. Believe the curse or not, the Kings won their home opener with the banner covered up on Saturday, beating Nashville. It didn’t hurt that the Predators are the team Swift roots for from her home in nearby Hendersonville, Tennessee. The Kings lost Sunday’s game at Staples, however, to the Vegas Golden Knights. – ESPN / Rolling Stone / NY Post
Would you give up Google for $17,000 a year? The Federal Reserve wants to know
The Federal Reserve wants to know what the internet is worth to you. How come? Right now GDP measures the value of products and services that are bought and sold. But many of the greatest technological innovations of the internet age are free: search engines, e-mail, GPS, even Facebook. That being said, a recent study showed on average people would need about $48 to give up Facebook for one month. The median price of giving up video streaming services like YouTube for a year is $1,173. To stop using search engines, consumers would need a median $17,530, making it the most valuable digital service. Why it matters: The answer could help the central bank solve one of the most puzzling paradoxes of the modern economy: The current expansion is the longest in history, yet productivity gains are weak and GDP growth, while steady, is far from stellar. – CNBC
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1863: H.L. Hunley sinks during tests
On October 15, 1863, the H.L. Hunley, the world’s first successful combat submarine, and property of the Confederates, sinks during a test run, killing its inventor and seven crew members.
The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of Hunley during her short career. Here is a painting of the Submarine Torpedo Boat.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag: What’s a hot air balloon’s least favorite type of music?
How many archaeological sites are located at or below sea level in Florida?