Made in China
July 4, 2014

If you're celebrating Independence Day by wearing an American flag t-shirt, setting off some Roman candles, and waving the stars and stripes, there's a good chance you just indirectly handed a few factories in China a wad of cash. As The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham says:

The United States imported $4 million in U.S. flags last year, 97 percent of which came from China. And it's not just flags — like other consumer goods, the lions' share of our patriotic paraphernalia was made in China. [The Washington Post]

Watch this video by The Washington Post for more:

Nico Lauricella

11:12 a.m. ET

The 3,000-year-old archaeological site at Tjaru was already pretty intriguing — it was home to an ancient fortress and was rumored to be where criminals were exiled. But a new discovery makes Tjaru even more interesting: Archaeologists at the site have found the camp of an ancient Egyptian army, along with mass graves and the skeletal remains of lost soldiers.

Researchers believe Tjaru was a "starting point" for Egyptian military campaigns during the New Kingdom period, from 1580 B.C.E. to 1080 B.C.E., explains The Cairo Post. The camp and graves will help historians better understand the ancient Egyptians' military strategies and architecture.

In addition to the camp and grave sites, the archaeologists discovered storage sites that bore the seal of Pharoah Tuthmose III, who "created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen," according to Ancient OriginsThe artifacts found at the site will be displayed at a local museum. Meghan DeMaria

This just in
10:41 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Wednesday called on the Justice Department to conduct a full "pattern and practice" review of the city's police department to probe whether officers routinely violate citizens' civil rights.

"At the end of this process, I will hold those accountable if changes are not made," Rawlings-Blake said, adding that the department would have body cameras on officers "before the year ends."

The announcement came one day after new Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore. The DOJ was already investigating the death of Freddie Gray, the unarmed black man who died in police custody and whose death sparked widespread protests that at times turned violent. Jon Terbush

10:19 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Two surveillance planes were flown over Baltimore last weekend, and the ACLU isn't happy about it.

The Washington Post reports that the planes used infrared technology to track movement, and they were aided by the FBI, according to anonymous officials. Now, the ACLU is demanding information about the flights' legal authority, since the technology often adds "the movements of people under no suspicion of criminal activity into a government dragnet," according to the Post.

"A lot of these technologies sweep very, very broadly, and, at a minimum, the public should have a right to know what's going on," Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the ACLU, told the Post.

Officials told the Post that the ACLU will file information requests about the planes with the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the FAA on Wednesday. The FBI has not commented on the flights. Meghan DeMaria

Nobody suspects the Masonic Fraternal Police Department
10:16 a.m. ET

California police have arrested three people claiming to represent a modern incarnation of the Knights Templar, one of whom, Brandon Kiel, works alongside state Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris.

So how does one get caught impersonating a pseudo-biblical police force?

The three suspects — Kiel, David Henry, and Tonette Hayes — allegedly sent letters to police departments around southern California identifying themselves as the Masonic Fraternal Police Department. They even had a real website for the fictional group claiming jurisdiction in 33 states "including Mexico City" and differentiating the MFPD from other police departments with the simple explanation, "We were here first!"

Yet when the real police met with the fake police, the latter couldn't offer coherent information about their organization, leading the former to conclude it "was not a legitimate police agency," according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department. Subsequent raids turned up weapons, badges, and uniforms for the phony cops.

"I always see them with their uniforms, so I thought they were part of any department," a neighbor for one of the suspects told the local CBS affiliate. "I didn't know it was a fake one." Jon Terbush

2016 Watch
9:21 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Jeb Bush says the strife in Baltimore proves the war on poverty "failed" to expand opportunity in America's most disadvantaged communities. In a Chicago Tribune op-ed published Wednesday, the presumptive 2016 candidate writes that Democrats are wrongly responding to the unrest with calls to increase government spending and reform the criminal justice system.

Trouble is, from the War on Poverty to the persistence of liberal big city mayors, the same government programs have been in place for over a half-century — and they have failed. We have spent trillions of dollars in the War on Poverty, and poverty not only persists, it is as intractable as ever. This represents a broken promise. And it feeds the anger of Baltimore. [Chicago Tribune]

More effective solutions to Baltimore's underlying ills, Bush adds, should involve overhauling the education system to make it more accountable, and "acknowledg[ing] that an effective anti-poverty program is a strong family, led by two parents."

"Our goal should be to build up families," Bush writes.

Last week, Bush offered similar remarks about the potential for education reform to break "dependency" on failed big government policies. Jon Terbush

Rest in peace
9:13 a.m. ET
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In a moving Facebook post, Sheryl Sandberg pays tribute to her late husband, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, who died from head injuries after collapsing on a treadmill. 

Sandberg describes meeting Goldberg when she moved to Los Angeles. "He showed me the internet for the first time," Sandberg writes. She adds that while the couple "did not get nearly enough time together," she is incredibly grateful for the time they shared:

We had 11 truly joyful years of the deepest love, happiest marriage, and truest partnership that I could imagine... He gave me the experience of being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved — and I will carry that with me always. Most importantly, he gave me the two most amazing children in the world.

Dave was my rock. When I got upset, he stayed calm. When I was worried, he said it would be ok. When I wasn't sure what to do, he figured it out. He was completely dedicated to his children in every way — and their strength these past few days is the best sign I could have that Dave is still here with us in spirit. [Facebook]

Sandberg concludes that while the days following Goldberg's death have been "the darkest and saddest moments" of her life, "11 years of being Dave Goldberg's wife, and 10 years of being a parent with him is perhaps more luck and more happiness than I could have ever imagined."

Read Sandberg's full post over at Facebook. Meghan DeMaria

Green thumbs down
9:13 a.m. ET
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Talk about totally failing to get a vote of confidence. Garden State residents, who have voted Democratic in the last six presidential elections, would rather see Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, or Scott Walker in the White House over their own Governor Christie, according to a new poll from Monmouth University.

In fact, only 1 in 4 residents say Christie has a decent shot at winning the GOP nomination in 2016.

Why all the ill will? It's likely that New Jerseyans feel their concerns have been overshadowed by Christie's Oval-Office-shaped aspirations. And, of course, the Bridgegate scandal hasn't helped shift souring attitudes. But when it comes down to it, a majority — 67 percent — of voters say Christie just doesn't have the right temperament to lead the country.

"The message from New Jersey voters seems to be as simple as ABC — anybody but Christie," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. Lauren Hansen

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