Skimm for January 31st

Quote of the Day: "I'm glad to see you're feeling better"-- the judge to Lindsay Lohan at her court appearance.

Stop Sharing Weapons Under the Table

THE STORY: Israel launched a rare airstrike inside Syria. Syria is not pleased.

THE WHAT: Everyone is worried about the ongoing civil war in Syria. Israel got extra panicky and launched a rare strike inside the country it's technically at war with (nothing like an over 40-year old argument to keep a neighborhood on edge) to keep a close watch on President Assad's chemical weapons. The target of the attack was a convoy of trucks carrying some fancy weapons believed to be heading from Syria towards Lebanon.

THEY'RE ASSAD'S. WHY DOES ISRAEL CARE?: The small country isn't the most popular piece of land in the region and many of its neighbors would prefer it not exist. One of Israel's big concerns is Hezbollah, a powerful militant group. The group and the country Hezbollah will not name are sworn enemies.

HELLO...WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH SYRIA? Syria is a friend of Hezbollah and has long been suspected of supplying the group with funding and arms, as well as easy access to Iran. While there is great concern that Assad could use Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons on his own people, Israel is worried that if Assad were to be forced out, Hezbollah could end up with his weapons. Score.

WHAT DID SYRIA SAY? Get out of my airspace! Syria called out Israel for its aggression and said it illegally attacked a scientific research center in Damascus and killed two people. The rebels pushing for Assad to leave said they did it.

THE WHY (DO I NEED TO SKIMM?): This is not good. The strike was a not so subtle warning by Israel to Syria and Hezbollah to keep their weapons to themselves and where we can all see them. If Syria loses control of its chemical weapons one way or another, then Israel will do what it believes it has to do--stop it. Hear that? That's Hillary Clinton breathing a sigh of relief she doesn't have to deal with this. Never a dull moment in the Mideast.

REPEAT AFTER ME...What to say on a date... Shrinkage is never good, especially when it's unexpected. The Federal Reserve said it will keep on keepin' on with its program to buy securities, after the economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. Stocks were not a fan of this. Good news: shrinkage doesn't last forever and it looks the economy will grow slowly but surely.

What people are horrified by... Gun violence. 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who just last week performed at President Obama's inaugural festivities, was killed when a gunman opened fire on a group of students blocks from a school, and about a mile from the president's Chicago home. Pendleton's death comes during a particularly bloody month in Chicago and in the same week former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) appeared at a congressional hearing to urge Congress to act (ACT!) on gun violence. As if any irony were needed on this topic, a fatal shooting at an office building in Phoenix, AZ unfolded as the Senate debated on what to do about guns. Anyone on the Hill believe in signs?

What to say when you answer the phone... Are you a man or a woman? A real person? Just come out with it. In the newest chapter of the 'Manti Te'o was dating a made up person' saga, the hoax perpetrator (who we call RT for short) says he made up the female voice of Te'o's "gf" Lennay Kekua and that the Notre Dame star linebacker had no role in what went down. Where did we get these details? Straight from the couch of Dr. Phil, but of course! In an interview with the good doctor, RT says he fell deeply in love with Te'o and, for him, it was a romantic relationship. Unrequited love is a b*tch. Unrequited love when you're competing with an imaginary friend? Confusing.

What to say when someone is mean to an older lady... Don't mess with the Grey Lady. China thought it could get past the old gal at The New York Times, but little did they know the paper has been watching them. For four months. Chinese hackers have persistently attacked the paper's computer systems and obtained sensitive passwords. It wasn't just a hacker party; the attacks coincided with a report on the family of China's prime minister that apparently the country wanted the first scoop on. In a moment that would make Harriet the Spy proud, the Times knew what was up and watched the hackers do their thing over the last few months. Maybe the hackers were just trying to get past the paywall.

SKIMM FAVOR:   Our childhood was just ruined. Make us feel better and pass theSkimm on.

BIRTHDAYS: Ashley Burnett (San Francisco, CA); Ashley Zak (Chicago, IL); Hadley Hines (Arlington, VA); Monica DeCrescenzo (Columbia, MO); Tricia Bracken (Abington, MA)

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