Skimm for August 20th
""I'm going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being"" -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). He has a mug shot now.
Yesterday, ISIS posted a video that claims to show the beheading of an American journalist.
The US is still trying to confirm the authenticity of the video. The video appears to show the execution of journalist James Foley. The video, called "A Message to America," begins with footage of President Obama announcing the recent US airstrikes in Iraq; Foley is reportedly then shown on camera before he is executed. The video ends with ISIS threatening to execute another man shown on camera, believed to be another missing US journalist--Steven Sotloff.
Foley went missing in Syria in 2012. Sotloff went missing in Syria in 2013. In the video, ISIS says the first execution was in retaliation for US airstrikes and says the future of the other hostage depends on President Obama's "next decision." ISIS has been terrorizing the region and targeting religious minorities for months in an effort to create its own Islamic state starting first with Iraq and Syria. The US stepped in recently to help Iraqi forces quash the militant group that even al Qaeda is scared of.
If this video is authentic, an American journalist was just beheaded at the hands of ISIS.
Ferguson, MO. While there was some violence late last night, the protests were initially much calmer than usual. But this week's been rough. The National Guard arrived on Monday to calm things down, but that didn't do much. Since then, there's been looting, tear gas, two people have been shot, and dozens have been arrested. Then yesterday, police killed a man who they say approached them with a knife. Meanwhile, Iran, Syria, and Egypt --the usual trio the US goes to for advice -- piled on the criticism over how the unrest is being handled. Low moment.
And around we go. It looked like the conflict between Israel and Hamas was winding down. Never mind. There was a five-day cease-fire while the two tried to work out their differences in Egypt. The talks were at a crucial point, and it seemed as though there could be a more long-term peace agreement. But Hamas was apparently tired of chatting and started firing rockets into Israel again. Israeli delegates in Egypt walked out of the negotiations and Israel resumed airstrikes in Gaza. A permanent solution will be tough to come by, since Hamas wants the blockade on Gaza lifted and Israel wants Hamas to disarm. Neither side is into the other's ideas.
Uber annoyed. David Plouffe (like pluff not like this) will never be without transportation again. The guy who headed up the campaign that put Obama in the White House is now Uber's SVP of policy and strategy. You know how people say Uber's putting taxis out of business? Enter David Plouffe to get in on that. Plouffe said he will be working to fight against the monopoly that the taxi industry's had in the past, and the way they've tried to stand in the way of Uber taking over the streets. Uber's CEO recently said the company has to fight "an as*hole named Taxi." Now it's Plouffe's turn to say he meant that as a compliment as he hails them goodbye.
Pope Francis agrees. Yesterday, the pope's two great-nephews and their mother died in a car accident that also left his nephew in critical condition. The Vatican said that the Pope is "deeply pained" and asked all those grieving to unite in prayer. Also, yesterday the 77-year-old pope made comments about his own mortality, saying he has only "two or three years" left to live. That's news to everyone, especially the Conclave Planning Committee.
I'll save my talents for the shower, thanks. The NFL is trying to pick its next halftime Super Bowl act. And there are rumors that this year it's asking performers to pay for the privilege of playing. Coldplay, Katy Perry, and Rihanna are reportedly the front-runners, and the NFL allegedly asked if they would be willing to pay the League a portion of their tour money in exchange for the gig. Chris Martin sent the NFL the lyrics to "Fix You" and Rihanna said 'rude, boy.' The NFL didn't confirm or deny the reports.
AMA: "Ask Me Anything." A forum on the crowd-sourced news site, Reddit, for anyone from "I just had a conjugal visit" to President Obama to Martha Stewart to get asked, well, anything. See: Martha's thoughts on truffle oil. Hint: not a fan.
Hate to tell you, but summer's almost over. Yes, you can call us Debbie. We want you to have time to say goodbye so we're sending you to the West Coast. Airfare, hotel, budget? Check, check, and check. Just enter here.
Are you in college? We're jealous and we want you to have Skimm swag on campus. Email us to get involved at skimmbassador@theSkimm.com
Thanks to these Skimm'rs for doing their thing:
Rachel May; Yuni Alexandre; Caroline Rafferty; Forum Shah; Laura Pearson
Skimm'bassador Celeste Brown (Washington, DC); Rachel Greenfield (New York, NY); Abigail Hale (Nashville, TN); Al Roker (New York, NY); Alicia Blodgett (Palm Beach, FL); Dave Westman (San Diego, CA); Daniel Lewis (Delrary Beach, FL); Jaclyn Dennis; Janet Gary (Cleveland, OH); Kelsey Graham; Mandi Schmitt (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania); Matt Donders (Saddle Brook, NJ); Monika Wieckowski; Norah Rast (Ann Arbor, MI); Pamela Bowman
Skimm'd something we missed?