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
🦅 U.S. NEWS
No sex please, we’re millennials
The portion of Americans aged 18 to 29 who claim to have had no sex for 12 months has more than doubled in a decade—to 23% last year. Why this trend is strange: there are less impediments to sex. Young Americans are less religious and more relaxed about sexual orientation than they have ever been. One possibility: The biggest reasons for the “sex recession” are probably straightforward. Married couples have more sex than singletons and Americans are marrying later. Economic duress is another dampener: it is no coincidence that the slowdown in young Americans’ sex lives began during the great recession. Why it matters: for most of recent history, the world has worried about the curse of overpopulation. But in many countries, the problem may soon be too few people, and of those, too many old ones. This is true with the United States, Germany, and especially Japan. – The Economist / Forbes
Why the NRA is struggling
The National Rifle Association, the country’s largest and most powerful gun rights organization with an estimated 5 million members and considerable political clout, is facing a real and genuine crisis that could put its future at risk. Right now the NRA is currently down a president, in the midst of a complex legal battle against its own advertising firm, and facing an investigation into its finances by the New York state attorney general. Why this matters: the financial mismanagement could cost the NRA its tax-exempt status. – Vox / Texas Standard
Wanted: Remote Workers
A Tulsa billionaire’s offer to give $10,000 and a co-work space to remote workers who would relocate to Oklahoma’s second largest cityfor at least a year received thousands of applicants from all over the country, CBS reports. Some of the first 100 remote workers accepted to the program are already making the move. Smaller cities across the country have been seeking innovative ways to attract talented workers who have flocked almost exclusively to the country’s major metropolitan areas. – CBS
🌎 WORLD NEWS
Africa: Ramaphosa seeking big mandate
South Africa goes to the polls today in the first election since the legendarily corrupt Jacob Zuma was forced out of office in February 2018. Why it matters: Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Zuma both as president and as leader of the African National Congress (ANC) party, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. His supporters say he needs a big mandate to make a break from the Zuma era. One of the most polarizing issues Ramaphosa faces is land reform, which he has vowed to “accelerate.” The Long Read: Who Owns South Africa? – Axios / The New Yorker
Heading to Court: Huawei CFO
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is due today before a Canadian judge for the start of what’s expected to be a tense extradition process related to US fraud charges. Background: Canada arrested Meng on December 1 at the request of the United States, kicking off a diplomatic dispute with China. Following her arrest, China arrested two Canadians on national security grounds. – Reuters
Mexico Declares Victory Over Fuel Thieves. But Is It Lasting?
Soon after taking office in December, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared war on fuel theft, an enduring scourge that had been costing the nation billions of dollars a year. Fast forward to today and Mr. López Obrador said his administration had reduced fuel theft by 95 percent, declaring victory: “We managed to defeat the fuel thieves.” Be smart: many suspect the sharp and sudden decrease in fuel theft is temporary, and that the thieves are just biding their time until the government’s attention has shifted elsewhere. Big picture: thieves were stealing more than 3.4 million gallons a day last year which seems to correlate directly to a sharp increase in violence, much of it related to the battle between criminal organizations for control of the stolen-fuel trade. – NYT
A $2 Million Drug Is About to Hit the Market
A new treatment for an infant muscle-wasting disease is about to go on sale at a potential cost of $2 million, a record price tag. Details: Novartis has yet to set a price for the gene therapy called Zolgensma, but executives say the drug’s potential to cure spinal muscular atrophy, an inherited disease that typically kills babies before they turn two, justifies a seven-figure price. Luxturna, the only gene therapy on sale in the U.S. so far to treat a form of inherited sight loss, costs $850,000 a patient. Why it matters: this will only fuel the continuing scrutiny of how companies price their drugs and how insurers pay for them. – WSJ (subscription)
It Might Be Time to Move the NBA’s 3-Point Line
As the second round of the NBA playoffs kicks into high gear, the most star-studded series features two unprecedented MVPs in James Harden and Stephen Curry. Both players leveraged the power of the 3-point shot more than any superstars in league history. Factoids: Prior to 2015-16, no NBA player had ever made 300 3-pointers in a single season. That season, Curry sank 402. At age 29, Harden is already the all-time leader in unassisted 3-point makes. Big picture: teams and players are taking and making more 3-point shots than ever before and some like, Gregg Popovic, say it’s not basketball anymore. Ideas being thrown around range from extending the line to letting teams decide for themselves like the outfield walls of baseball stadiums. This would all be in an effort to make the game more interesting. – ESPN
As Uber gears up for an IPO, one of its smaller rivals has raised some money as it prepares to take its own turn on the public market. Gett — the ride-hailing startup that focuses primarily on the business market, currently in Israel, the UK, Russia, and New York — has picked up $200 million in a mix of debt and equity at a post-money valuation of $1.5 billion. Why it matters: Gett is targeting higher-end customers and as a result is projected to be operationally profitable by the end of the year. In comparison, Uber has racked up $1 billion in losses in just the previous quarter alone. Could this be a better model for the public markets? Who knows. With Uber expected to make its debut on the public market by Friday on-demand ride-hailing drivers are planning to strike today. – Tech Crunch
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📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrateVictory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag was from Chicago…
Related Trivia: Why is Chicago Called the “Windy City”?