The Confederate flag comes down. That big government data breach was even bigger than we thought. And the Women’s World Cup champs get a parade.
It’s Friday, and here are five things to know for your new day:
Final hours: For 54 years the sun has risen on the Confederate battle flag on South Carolina’s statehouse grounds. This morning marks the last sunrise that flag will see. Around mid-morning, the flag will be taken down and immediately moved to a nearby military museum, capping a decades-long battle in the state to have it moved. Yesterday Gov. Nikki Haley signed the law that made the flag’s removal possible. She used nine pens, which will be given to the families of the nine victims of last month’s massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Way bigger: Now the government says the personal information of about 21.5 million people — both inside and outside the government — was stolen last year in one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history. The hackers got not only Social Security Numbers, but also information from security clearance applications. The Office of Personnel Management — whose computer system was comprised — originally estimated only the files of four million people had been hacked.
Tit-for-tat: How did presidential candidates ever bicker before social media? Apparently they did, but not as colorfully. On Wednesday, Jeb Bush said that “people need to work longer hours.” Hillary Clinton responded with a tweet that said “anyone who believes Americans aren’t working hard enough hasn’t met enough American workers.” Boom. Oh, and she also included a chart — a chart! — showing productivity rising over the last couple of decades while hourly compensation remains mostly flat. Early yesterday Bush fired back with his own tweet, saying “anyone who discounts 6.5 million people stuck in part-time work & seeking full-time jobs hasnt listened to working Americans.” Oh snap, we got a full-fledged Twitter war on our hands.
Army cuts: They say elections have consequences; apparently sequestration does too. The unpopular automatic budget cuts are forcing the Army to cut 40,000 troops from its ranks by 2017. If more sequestration-related cuts kick in later this year, an additional 30,000 soldiers will be trimmed, potentially crippling the Army’s ability to fight. So if no one likes sequestration and it may even hurt the nation’s ability to defend itself, why won’t our elected officials get rid of it?
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
Rare honor: A ticker tape parade in New York City — for soccer? Women’s soccer? Yep. Today, along the vaunted Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan, the city of New York will honor Team USA, the champs of the Women’s World Cup. It will be the first time in New York history that a women’s sports team is lauded with a ticker tape parade. All 23 members of the team are expected to attend, and if you can’t be there, just look for all of the pictures that will flood your social media feeds, attached to hashtags like #WorldChamps, #SheBelieves or #thecelebrationcontinues.