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
Developing: US warns of possible ‘imminent threats‘ to its forces in Iraq. To our readers overseas, be safe.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Let’s Get Back to the Moon: White House to ask for $1.6 billion extra for NASA
NASA and the White House plan to ask Congress for an extra $1.6 billion in next year’s budget to accelerate human missions to the Moon and return people to the lunar surface by 2024. The space agency is requesting these funds in addition to the $21 billion budget that the president already requested for NASA. Why it matters: The extra funding is meant for projects that would help with extraction of water and oxygen from lunar sources, test advanced electric-propulsion systems and help produce fuel. NASA Administrator James Bridenstine also announced that a woman astronaut would be part of that first two-person team to attempt the goal. Related: Jeff Bezos wants to build a “road to space” so 1 trillion humans can live and work there. – The Verge / Axios
Florida Governor Says Russian Hackers Breached 2 Counties In 2016
Russian hackers breached the systems of two county elections systems in Florida in 2016, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday at a news conference. DeSantis said no data were tampered with and vote tallies were not affected. Why it matters: Florida is a key swing state that proves every vote matters: Flashback: After an intense recount process and the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore, Bush won Florida’s electoral votes by a margin of only 537 votes out of almost six million cast and as a result became the president-elect. – NPR
Disney Assumes Full Control of Hulu in Deal With Comcast
Disney will take “full operational control” over Hulu from Comcast, effective immediately, the companies announced Tuesday. Why it matters: Giant American media companies are consolidating and getting bigger so they can take on the giant tech companies. The result for consumers: You’re going to need to work harder to find your favorite TV shows. At the end of the day, all the big media companies want their own streaming service. Big question: Do you want to subscribe to lots of streaming services? Here is the Hulu/Disney/Comcast divorce, explained. – CNBC / Vox
🌎 WORLD NEWS
Trash Talk: Philippine diplomacy
Today is the deadline set by the Philippine government for Canada to take back 69 shipping containers full of rubbish that it exported to the country over five years ago. The deal was made on the understanding that the contents were recyclable. It turns out they weren’t. President Rodrigo Duterte threatened Canada with “war”, and issued today’s deadline, maintaining his custom of being rude to friends such as America and polite to foes such as China. – The Economist
Oil prices jump on drone attack on Saudi Aramco facilities
Saudi Arabia said armed drones hit two oil pumping stations in the kingdom, sparking fears about the security of oil infrastructure. Iran suggested the oil attacks were orchestrated to spark conflict. Oil prices rose on the news. Geopolitical Context: On Sunday two Saudi oil tankers were among four sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. American investigators said they believed Iran was responsible; they offered no evidence. Tensions have been mounting since America reintroduced sanctions on Iran last year. – Yahoo Finance / Al Jazeera
Crackdown on online extremism
New Zealand and France are fighting back after a series of terror attacks. Their leaders will meet today to discuss ways to stop violent extremism online, and several social media companies are sending representatives. Driving the Discussions: In March, a gunman attacked mosques in Christchurch, killing dozens of people in a rampage that was live-streamed on Facebook. – CNN Business
Walmart launches free one-day online shipping, in a challenge to Amazon
Walmart is joining the race to make one-day shipping the new e-commerce standard. Amazon last month announced plans to upgrade its Prime membership program in the US from two-day shipping to just one day. Not looking for Amazon to hog all the attention, Walmart on Monday unveiled its own plans to provide one-day shipping. Walmart had hinted that this effort was in the works soon after Amazon’s announcement. Big picture: While Amazon plans to build up its one-day shipping capacity over the course of this year, Walmart started offering it new “NextDay” perk immediately, but only in Phoenix and Las Vegas and with a limited inventory of up to 220,000 items. Southern California is coming on board in a few days. By year’s end, Walmart expects to reach about 75% of the US population. Related: Alibaba Reports Earnings today. Here’s What to Expect. – CNET / Barrons
Nike Faces Backlash
Nike is facing backlash for allegedly penalizing female athletes when they get pregnant. Runner Alysia Montano said she had to “fight with her sponsor to keep her paycheck,” while other track stars revealed they were not guaranteed financial support when they became moms. Responding to the comments, Nike acknowledged a previous inconsistency but insisted “no female athlete is penalized financially for pregnancy.” Why it matters: the U.S. is currently the only country among 41 industrialized nations that does not offer mandatory paid maternity leave. – The New York Times
WhatsApp hackers install surveillance on users’ phones — just by Calling
WhatsApp was hacked, and attackers installed spyware on an unknown number of people’s smartphones. Bad actors installed the surveillance technology simply by calling the target through WhatsApp, according to the Financial Times, which first spotted the issue. The FT reported that the spyware was developed by Israel’s NSO Group. WhatsApp is urging users to update the app and said it was targeted by “an advanced cyber actor.” Why it matters: The Facebook subsidiary has 1.5 billion users. – Business Insider / FT
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📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
The Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially begins when England declares war on France. However, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag: just another reason hockey is our favorite sport…
How Much Money Do You Need to be ‘Wealthy?’ in the United States?