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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.
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🦅 U.S. NEWS
2020 Democrats demand Kavanaugh impeachment
Top 2020 Democratic contenders Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, and Julian Castro announced on Sunday that Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh “must be impeached,” after a new, uncorroborated and disputed allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh surfaced in a weekend New York Times piece. The revitalized, longshot push to get Kavanaugh removed from the high court comes as Democrats’ apparent effort to impeach President Trump has largely stalled. Trump, for his part, suggested Sunday that Kavanaugh should sue for defamation. Here’s how the story played out on the right, left, and center. – Fox News / USA Today / New York Times
Border Patrol agents complain about national backlash
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are suffering from a crisis in morale after facing severe national backlash as the once-obscure law enforcement job moves into the spotlight of the immigration debate, according to the New York Times. Why it matters: Despite support from the White House and members of Congress and a decent middle-class wage, many agents have grown disillusioned with their jobs and the agency remains about 1,800 agents short of its hiring targets. Context: The 20,000 agents of the Border Patrol have faced criticism for being the arm of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, the revelation of a private Facebook group for agents filled with racist posts, and the deaths of 10 immigrants in the custody of the Border Patrol and its parent agency. – Axios / NYT
Why Are American Homes So Big?
U.S. houses are some of the biggest on the planet. The median size of an American single-family home is between 1,600 or 1,650 square feet, and this is a good 600 to 800 square feet bigger than those in about two dozen countries, per a recent study. What is with our obsession with huge homes? Government policies have tended to drive many Americans into detached single-family homes, per The Atlantic. And as homes became increasingly viewed as assets, this encouraged the idea of larger homes. One planning expert adds that having space is “part of American culture.” – The Atlantic
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Weekend Drone Attacks Wipe out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production
On Saturday, a strike on two major Saudi Arabian oil refineries knocked out about half of the country’s oil production. Why it matters: The production shutdown amounts to about 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil, or roughly 5 million barrels. The attack came as state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco has been plotting a massive initial public offering. Yemen’s Houthi rebel group claimed responsibility. Oil prices jumped more than 10% after the coordinated drone attack. Sunday evening, President Donald Trump said he was authorizing the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep the markets “well-supplied.” – CNBC / Business Insider
Hong Kong Protesters Battle Police Again in Busy Downtown Areas
It was just a typical weekend in Hong Kong: tear gas, water cannons, petrol bombs and few signs that protests now in their fourth month would fizzle out anytime soon. Both demonstrators and police on Sunday appeared to get more aggressive earlier on than during the previous 14 weekends of protests. Demonstrators set fire to entrances to Wan Chai subway station, while others threw petrol bombs at the central government headquarters in Admiralty. Why it matters: The tens of thousands of people on the streets chanting “Five Demands, Not One Less” showed that leader Carrie Lam’s move to withdraw a bill allowing extraditions to China hasn’t been enough to end the now-ubiquitous scenes of violence in Hong Kong. On the radar: they may only get more intense in the run-up to Oct. 1, when China celebrates 70 years of Communist Party rule. – Bloomberg
Two senior Taliban leaders killed by Afghan, US fighters
U.S. and Afghan forces launched joint airstrikes that killed two senior Taliban officials and nearly 40 members of the militant group officials reported Sunday. President Trump claimed on Twitter Saturday that the Taliban have “never been hit harder,” one week after he abruptly canceled peace talks with the Islamist organization. Context: The message came hours after the president announced that the son of Osama bin Laden, Hamza, had been killed in a recent counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region. Hamza bin Laden had been a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda, the terror group his father formerly led. – The Hill / Fox News
United Auto Workers Calls for Strike at GM’s U.S. Factories
Factory workers at General Motors Co. are preparing for a nationwide strike early this morning in what would be the United Auto Workers’ largest work stoppage in over a decade and among the biggest walkouts at a private-sector employer in years. Details: The union’s leadership called the strike after talks with GM on a new four-year labor agreement stalled. UAW leaders from across the country voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to authorize the action, instructing nearly 46,000 blue-collar workers at 31 GM plants to either walk off the job or stay home. Big picture: One of the biggest sticking points is the company’s decision in November to close four U.S. factories, a move the UAW’s leadership vowed to fight at the bargaining table. – WSJ / Financial Times
Angels’ Mike Trout to have season-ending foot surgery
Mike Trout’s season is over. The Los Angeles Angels say the eight-time All-Star will have surgery on his right foot this week because of Morton’s neuroma, a thickening of tissue around a nerve leading to the toes that causes pain. Why it matters: The 28-year-old outfielder recently signed a $426.5 million, 12-year contract, baseball’s largest deal by total and average salary. Elsewhere in the world of sports, Spain won the FIBA World Cup, Antonio Brown celebrated his first touchdown with the New England Patriots by vaulting into a first-row luxury box, and California and Arizona State moved into the AP Top 25 college football poll to give the Pac-12 six ranked teams, the most for the conference in almost four years. – AP
Google is changing its search algorithm to prioritize original news reporting
Google says it’s taking new steps to ensure that original reporting gets prioritized in its search results. In other words, articles that kick off a major news cycle should have a prominent place in search results for a longer time, rather than getting buried under more recent coverage the company is arguing. Why it matters: Tech titans, particularly Google and Facebook, have been blamed for their role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 election that may have impacted voter turnout or results. They’ve also been blamed by publishers for cutting into media ad revenues. There have been multiple reports about Facebook investing millions to pay publishers to provide quality news content for its platform and Snapchat is creating a dedicated news channel specifically for the 2020 debates. – Axios
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1620 Mayflower departs England
The Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World with 102 passengers. The ship was headed for Virginia, where the colonists–half religious dissenters and half entrepreneurs–had been authorized to settle by the British crown. However, stormy weather and navigational errors forced the Mayflower off course, and on November 21 the “Pilgrims” reached Massachusetts, where they founded the first permanent European settlement in New England in late December.
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Worth a watch: New Yorkers singing “God Bless America” on September 11
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