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
Funky Friday: We’ll be emailing the three winners from our survey today and want to thank everyone one more time for participating. The number of responses was just incredible and we have another announcement Monday, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend and if you need something to listen to on this summer Friday, check out this retro-themed website, Poolside FM. Pretty funky.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Under Pressure: Pelosi & Impeachment
The trickle of Democrats in favor of opening a full impeachment inquiry into President Trump is threatening to turn into a flood. Background: The House’s summer break was expected to lower the temperature around impeachment. Instead, the pressure is rising on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take the full House vote she has tried to avoid all year. By the numbers: The backers of an impeachment investigation now number 116 — more than halfway to the 218 votes they would need. This week alone, a dozen Democrats have announced their support for the measure. Further Reading: Nancy Pelosi Doesn’t Know Who The Democratic Party Is Anymore. – New York Times / Yahoo News
Under Pressure: The Southern Border
Federal law enforcement based on the U.S.-Mexico border is expected to encounter 1.1 million people trying to cross illegally by the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30. As of June 30, U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel had made contact with 905,926 migrants. Big picture: ICE has deported more immigrants this fiscal year than any full fiscal year of Donald Trump’s presidency, but it has yet to reachBarack Obama’s early deportation levels. By the Numbers: Under Obama, total deportations were above 385,000 each year from 2009-2011 and hit a high of 409,849 in 2012. Under Trump, deportations fell to 226,119 in 2017, then ticked up to over 250,000 in 2018, ultimately hitting a Trump administration high of 282,242 this year as of June. – Washington Examiner / Axios
Under Pressure: America’s Empty Storefronts
Big box-store closures and small businesses forced out by rising rents have created a swath of vacant storefronts in cities across the United States. What’s happening: Municipalities are stepping up with new regulations to stem the vacancies and encourage potential entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses. San Francisco passed friendlier zoning laws and is simplifying regulations to make it easier to open shop. In New York, officials are creating a dataset that will help them measure the health of local businesses and institute better policies to help them stay open. Here’s how some Americans are trying to monetize their empty storefronts. – SF Chronicle / NBC San Diego /
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Chance to arm: a nuclear treaty expires
The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which forbids America and Russia from developing land-based missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km, lasted through nine American presidents and three decades. Today it will die. President Donald Trump pulled out of the treaty in February, accusing Russia of building an illegal cruise missile. So, what’s next? America is poised to start work on two new land-based intermediate-range missiles of its own that might end up in Asia. Why it matters: these types of missiles can reach their targets in minutes, giving leaders less time to think coolly in a crisis. – The Economist
Dutch ban on burqas and niqabs takes effect
The Netherlands’ ban on face-covering clothing, including the Islamic burqa and niqab, took effect on Thursday, but authorities say they are unwilling to enforce the controversial law. Why it matters: opponents of the ban argue that it poses a “serious violation” for freedom of religion and freedom of movement and fear that people will feel like they can take the law into their own hands when they see someone wearing a niqab or burqa. Big picture: The Netherlands is the latest country to enact such a law, following in the footsteps of several European countries including France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, and Denmark. – Fox News / Al Jazeera
Saudi Arabia to Allow Women to Travel Abroad Without Permission
Saudi Arabia has approved a new law allowing women to travel abroad without a male guardian’s permission. Why it matters: this ends restrictions that had been a symbol of the kingdom’s ultraconservative rule and illustrates the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to modernize the country. Although the prince has lifted a ban on women driving and suggested that women no longer need to wear traditional neck-to-toe dresses he has also jailed women who have criticized the government’s position on women’s rights. Between the lines: the country and it’s 33-year-old leader are enigmas, and this shows that while there are still ultraconservative voices within the rank and file, there are also younger personnel who are more progressive. – WSJ (subscription)
Trump Threatens New Chinese Tariffs, Rattling Investors Across Markets
President Donald Trump said Thursday that the U.S. is putting 10% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective September 1. Trump scolded President Xi Jinping for not following through on what his administration views as prior commitments, including buying more agricultural products and helping to stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States. Immediate Impact: Wall Street was rattled by the news, with stocks falling sharply and erasing earlier gains as hopes slip for an end to the yearlong trade dispute. What’s next: now all eyes are on any retaliatory measures from Beijing. – CNBC
Ninja out: Gaming megastar leaves Twitch for Mixer
Fortnite superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has left Amazon’s Twitch and is taking his video game live streams to Microsoft’s Mixer platform. Why it matters: it’s a stunning switch that could have wide-ranging consequences for the rapidly growing industry and ends a hugely profitable partnership with Twitch. Background: Blevins has earned millions broadcasting himself playing Fortnite and other video games on Twitch and YouTube. Context: Blevins will host his first Mixer live stream today and has invited Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf — the 16-year-old who earned $3 million Sunday for winning the inaugural Fortnite World Cup — to join him. – AP
Dr. Alexa will see you now: Health care comes to your smart speaker
Amazon has big ambitions for its devices. It thinks Alexa, its virtual assistant, could help doctors diagnose mental illness, autism, concussions and Parkinson’s disease. It even hopes Alexa will detect when you’re having a heart attack. What changed: Amazon has already partnered with numerous health care companies, but a flood of new opportunities are emerging since Alexa won permission to use protected patient health records controlled under the U.S. privacy law. Why it matters: Soon, the virtual assistant will be able to send and receive individualized patient records, allowing health care companies to create services for consumers to use at home. Big picture: with its 100 million smart devices in use worldwide, it could radically change the way consumers get health information and even treatment. – Kaiser Health Network
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1776: Delegates sign the Declaration of Independence
On this day in 1776, members of Congress affix their signatures to an enlarged copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Quick Recap: independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
How much money has the opioid epidemic cost the United States?