Skimm for November 25th
Skimm'd over a home cooked meal
"He was loaded when he gave me the haircut. Stoned out of his mind" -- Jennifer Aniston on the creative inspiration behind Rachel's famous haircut on "Friends." Rachel Green, indeed.
Yesterday, a grand jury passed on bringing any charges against the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in August. Ferguson, MO had been on edge for months waiting for this decision.
A grand jury decides whether someone should be charged with a crime, not whether the person is guilty. 12 people — three black, nine white — decided Wilson won't face criminal charges for Brown's death. Nine needed to vote in favor to bring charges. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is conducting its own investigation that could lead to federal charges against Wilson in the future.
On August 9, white police officer Darren Wilson stopped unarmed black teen Michael Brown and another man for walking in the middle of the street. Wilson then noticed that Brown matched the description of a man who had just robbed a convenience store. There was a confrontation, and from there, accounts differ. A lot. Some witnesses say Brown had his hands up when he was shot. Others say that Brown was advancing towards Wilson when the fatal shots were fired. Multiple autopsies later showed that Brown was shot at close range. Weeks of mostly peaceful protests followed Brown's death. But some protesters turned violent, and police were criticized for responding with excessive force.
Protests flared outside the police station in Ferguson. Some protesters threw rocks, gunshots were heard, buildings and police cars were set on fire, and businesses were vandalized and looted. Police officers in riot gear and armored vehicles deployed tear gas and smoke, and at least 29 people were arrested. There was a temporary flight restriction placed over the area. Many are wondering why authorities decided to announce this decision at night, when protests in Ferguson have turned violent in the past. Meanwhile, peaceful protests occurred in other cities across the country last night.
This isn't just about one man's fate — the shooting in Ferguson has reignited a national debate on race and police use of lethal force. And this verdict only makes that debate louder.
I can take a hint. Yesterday, President Obama announced that Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel is resigning, saying the two men decided it was an "appropriate time" for Hagel to make his exit. If you're thinking break-ups are rarely mutual, you're not alone. The White House reportedly didn't think Hagel was up to the job of managing the fight against ISIS, or communicating a clear strategy to the public. Plus, administration officials say Hagel didn't seem to be in the 'in crowd' of Obama advisors. Former Defense official Michele Flournoy is reportedly on the short list to take the top job. And if she does, she'd be the first female Sec. of Defense. Hagel was the only Republican on Obama's national security team. He's now the first cabinet member to bow out since the GOP took the midterm elections by storm, but officials say he might not be the last. Dun, dun, dun.
That was anti-climactic. Yesterday, a yearlong push to get Iran to say 'I do' to scaling back its nuclear program failed. Instead, everybody opted to extend the deadline by seven months. Iran has always sworn that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. But the international community thinks not, and has put a lot of painful economic sanctions on Iran to try to get it to scale back its nuclear ambitions. Late last year, world powers like the US, Europe, and China worked with Iran to agree on a temporary plan to lift some of these sanctions in exchange for Iran suspending key parts of its program. A permanent deal was supposed to be announced yesterday. So after months of talking, and lots of last-minute scrambling, a seven-month extension is a bit of an international womp, womp. Negotiators say they now hope to have a framework for a deal by early March. File this under 'we'll see.'
Not dreaming of a white Thanksgiving. Tomorrow's one of the busiest travel days of the year, and it looks like snow could hit from the East Coast down to Georgia. Thanksgiving travel's expected to be especially busy this year and snow could very much be along for the ride. The New York area may see up to 12 inches — meaning the only travel you might be doing is from your bed to your computer to check the weather repeatedly.
Drive safely. Yesterday, a Texas judge cleared a woman of a criminal negligent homicide charge she's had for years. In '04, Candice Anderson lost control of her car and hit a tree head-on, killing her fiance in the passenger's seat. The air bags on both sides failed to deploy. She was charged for his death, paid thousands of dollars in fines and court costs, did 260 hours of community service, and was sentenced to five years of probation. The charge was also on her criminal record, which she says hasn't helped her job prospects. Turns out, a faulty ignition switch at the center of a massive General Motors recall may be to blame for the crash. GM says that Anderson's car was one of the models that the company is recalling, because the switch can cause the engine to stall, disable power steering, and the air bags. So now, Anderson's been cleared of the charge and it looks like she'll get a settlement from GM's victims fund. Better late than never?
How much space are we talking?
Atoll: A ring-shaped coral reef or series of small islands. The US used atolls in the Pacific Ocean for military operations during WWII. Also good for vacationing.
It's our favorite week of the year. Rachael Ray could hear our stomachs growl so she made us a Thanksgiving menu. You'll want to check it out.
We made you a playlist to help you fill Thanksgiving awkward silences. It's all gravy.
Skimm'd something we missed?
Email [email protected]