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
What a day this was in 1969: Take a look in the history section below as to why, but in the meantime, be sure to read this: The Most Famous National Anthem Rendition That Almost Never Happened…
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Jeffrey Epstein: Autopsy and Accuser
Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy determined the convicted pedophile suffered multiple broken neck bones, according to a report. Why it matters: One of Epstein’s breaks was to the hyoid bone, an injury that experts told the Washington Post is more common in strangulation murders than suicidal hangings. Additionally: a woman who alleges Jeffrey Epstein raped her when she was 15 is now suing Epstein’s estate. Jennifer Araoz, who is now 32, says the rape took place at Epstein’s townhouse in 2002. Why it matters: some analysts say this may only be the first of many civil suits. The Spectrum: Here’s how the story is playing out on the left, right, and center. Elsewhere: the former Colombian president said Epstein traveled to Cuba at Castro’s invitation. An unidentified ‘associate’ claimed Jeffrey Epstein’s body from the New York City medical examiner’s office. Lastly, the Daily Mail is alleging that Epstein had a bizarre painting of a former president inside his Manhattan home. – Bloomberg / New York Times Op-Ed / Newsmax / NY Post / Miami Herald / NBC News / Daily Mail
Americans now have more mortgage debt than ever
Low mortgage rates have helped push U.S. mortgage debt to the highest level ever. In the second quarter of 2019, Americans’ mortgage balances totaled $9.4 trillion, $162 billion more than the previous quarter, according to data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Why this matters: this surpassed the previous peak of $9.3 trillion in mortgage debt recorded back in the third quarter of 2008. Overall, Americans sought to take advantage of low rates, particularly through refinancing. This marked the highest quarterly loan volume since the third quarter of 2017. – Market Watch
Is your resume Instagram-ready?
Long gone are the days of paper resumes with addresses and a date of birth; with Gen Z entering the workforce, employers say they’re receiving more and more digital resumes that resemble “Instagram-friendly palettes of mint green and pastel pink,” according to The Wall Street Journal. With job seekers hoping “to make their résumés stand out from the pile,” some digital CVs come decorated with bitmojis, while others are often “overlaid with personal details,” or headshots — which some recruiters say should stay on social media and not a job application. – WSJ / LI
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Trump, in praising Xi, links Hong Kong protests to trade war
President Donald Trump made what seemed to be an overture to the Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a series of tweets on Wednesday night that linked the protests in Hong Kong to the continuing trade conflict between the U.S. and China. Why it matters: suggesting a link between the trade dispute and the Hong Kong unrest will feed suspicions in Beijing that the U.S. is seeking to leverage China’s domestic crisis as part of broader strategy to check its rise. China has in recent weeks attempted to paint the U.S. as a “black hand” behind the protests, with a front-page commentary in the Communist Party’s People Daily newspaper saying Thursday that the goal of such forces was fomenting a “color revolution.” – Bloomberg
The United Kingdom: Good Friday Agreement & Gender Stereotypes
On Wednesday Nancy Pelosi said there would be “no chance” of a British-American trade deal passing through Congress if a no-deal Brexit harmed the Good Friday Agreement that ended the Troubles in Northern Ireland. With a no-deal Brexit on October 31st, a hard border could reappear between the north and the Irish republic. Elsewhere in the UK: two advertisements in Britain have become the first to be banned under a law forbidding gender stereotypes in advertising. In one, for Philadelphia cream cheese, two dads, distracted by food, leave their babies on a conveyor belt. In the other, for a Volkswagen car, men are shown doing various adventurous things before the car races past a bored-looking woman with a baby carriage. – The Economist / The Telegraph
Kashmir: Imran Khan says Pakistan will ‘teach India a lesson’
Tensions have heightened over Kashmir after Pakistan’s PM, Imran Khan, threatened to “teach India a lesson” over its revocation of the disputed region’s special status. Big picture: Millions of people in Indian-administered Kashmir remain without landlines, mobile phones, or internet access. A short while ago this morning the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, gave an independence day speech hailing the abolition of Kashmir’s special status as a major national achievement. – The Guardian
WeWork reveals IPO filing
WeWork, now known as The We Company, released its IPO prospectus Wednesday morning months after filing confidentially to go public. The company indicated plans to raise $1 billion in what is likely a placeholder amount. Backed by billions from SoftBank and its mammoth Vision Fund, the highly anticipated float is expected as soon as next month. Its IPO is poised to become the second-largest offering of the year behind only Uber, which was valued at $82.4 billion following its May IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Here’s the thing: Just like Uber the business recently disclosed 2018 net losses of $1.9 billion on revenue of $1.8 billion. To convince Wall Street it’s a business worthy of their investment will be a challenge, to say the least. In public markets: The Dow fell as much as 800 points as the bond market sent a warning signal when yields on the 10-year Treasury fell below two-year yields for the first time since 2007. The drops erased optimism of a day earlier when the Trump administration suspended plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods. – WSJ / Tech Crunch
Ohio State Seeks Trademark On The Word ‘The’
Ohio State University submitted an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in efforts to trademark the word “The.” They want to use the university’s name on items with the phrase “The Ohio State University” which can be used to market items for sale, which includes “clothing, namely, t-shirts, baseball caps and hats.” Flashback: Two years ago, Ohio State was in a fight with Oklahoma State University for the use of the acronym OSU on clothing and apparel. The schools agreed that they will both use the acronym. The school has already trademarked the names of former coaches Woody Hayes and Urban Meyer. – Sports Illustrated
Amazon adds fear detection and age ranges to its facial-recognition tech as the Border Patrol looks to award a $950 million contract
Amazon Web Services has added several new features to its facial-recognition technology, Rekognition. Details: This includes expanded age-recognition capabilities and the new ability to recognize fear. Why it matters: Rekognition is a controversial technology and has been the subject of much criticism and protests — from both inside and outside Amazon. Big picture: US Customs and Border Patrol is looking for quotes on a sweeping new border protection system that includes more facial-recognition tech and could be worth $950 million over its lifespan. – Business Insider
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1969: Woodstock festival opens in Bethel, New York
On August 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music Festival opens on a patch of farmland in White Lake, a hamlet in the upstate New York town of Bethel.
Did you know: Jimi Hendrix’s contract for Woodstock stipulated that no act could play after him. The scheduled performance times went so far off that he didn’t take the stage until 9am Monday morning. Most people had already left, and only about 10,000 people actually saw him play, including his legendary rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.