Skimm'd with a couple of these holiday cocktails
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Life" – What President-elect Donald Trump said he spoke with Kanye West about in a meeting at Trump Tower yesterday. K.
Yesterday, Syrian President Assad's forces officially took control of Aleppo.
Syria is in year five of a brutal civil war. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed. Millions have fled for places like the EU, leading to the worst refugee crisis on the continent since WWII. Aleppo is Syria's largest city. It's been ground zero of the war for years, ever since rebel groups (some backed by the US) took control. Assad's forces (backed by Russia and Iran) have been gaining ground for months. Yesterday, the rebels agreed to a ceasefire deal that basically meant they'd surrendered.
IS THIS WHY MY CO-WORKER WAS CRYING AT HER DESK YESTERDAY?
Yes. In the last few days, there have been reports of Assad's forces executing civilians in the streets and attacking buildings with children stuck inside. People trapped there have posted to social media to say goodbye or ask the international community to step in. The international community didn't pick up. Under this new ceasefire deal, the people still in Aleppo will allegedly be allowed to evacuate. But this morning, the evacuation was delayed and fighting was back on. So much for that ceasefire.
World leaders have been trying – and failing badly – to end the war in Syria for years. Now, instead, Assad will take back Aleppo. Or what's left of it anyway. Even though this could be the end of the battle and not the war, this marks a turning point in his favor.
THE *: Here's how you can help civilians in Syria.
REPEAT AFTER ME...
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR LITTLE COUSIN WHO'S STILL PLAYING POKEMON GO...
Pikachu, I choose you. Yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump nominated former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) for Energy Secretary. You might remember that time Perry ran for prez and blanked on the name of the third gov agency he'd get rid of if elected. It was the Energy Department. Oops. Under President Obama, the Energy Dept has focused on moving the US away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. Trump is not on the same page. He's said he wants to put the focus back on fossil fuels. Perry still has to go through a confirmation hearing. Things he'll probably get asked about: the Dakota Access Pipeline, fracking, and whether or not he believes in climate change (spoiler: he's not sold on it). Speaking of, Trump's transition team has apparently asked the Energy Dept for the names of people who have worked on climate change policy in the past. And didn't give a lot of context as to why. Yesterday, the Energy Dept. said 'not gonna happen.' This all comes as Trump is set to meet leaders in the tech industry today to talk jobs. Donald, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates walk into a bar…
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SADDENED BY…
Alan Thicke. Yesterday, the actor died at the age of 69 after a heart attack. You remember him as the dad from "Growing Pains." The Canada native also had his own Canadian talk show and recently appeared on "This Is Us" and "Fuller House." Thicke leaves behind his wife and three sons, one of which is the singer Robin Thicke.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO GOT DRUG TESTED FOR HIS NEW JOB…
Your pee might be public info now. Earlier this week, Quest Diagnostics said it's investigating a recent hack that exposed the personal info of about 34,000 people. Quest is the NJ-based healthcare company that a lot of employers use to make sure their prospective employees aren't hot-boxing their cars before the morning meeting. Quest said third party hackers gained access last month to things like names, lab results, and even some customer phone numbers. What wasn't stolen? Social security numbers and insurance info. Quest said it's looking into the who, where, and why of the hack, but the company has contacted affected customers. Good idea.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND SAYS SHE'S GLUTEN-FREE AND THEN ORDERS THE PASTA SPECIAL...
I'm confused. Yesterday, Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) voted 'nope' to a measure that would have banned abortions after the heartbeat of a fetus is detected. That usually happens at around six weeks, when many women still haven't realized they're pregnant yet. The so-called "heartbeat bill" would have been one of the strictest abortion laws in the country. Kasich says he vetoed the measure because he assumed it would go through a long legal challenge, and he doesn't think taxpayers should have to pay for it. But he's still very much against abortion. Yesterday, he also signed a bill that makes abortion illegal in Ohio after 20 weeks, which is similar to laws in dozen of other states. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is also talking ovaries. Back in 2014, OK passed a law that would have required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Opponents said 'ummm, this is just another obstacle to make it harder to get an abortion.' Yesterday, the state's Supreme Court agreed, and permanently blocked the law.
THING TO KNOW
The Adulting School: Like home ec but for 20-somethings. It's a school that teaches you about things like renter's insurance and why you should get it. Even though you probably won't.
SKIMM'R OF THE WEEK
Skimm'r JJ Ramberg and Goodshop Give (New York, NY): It's the holiday home stretch. We think you should give back while you gift wrap. Enter: JJ Ramberg. She founded Goodshop Give, a site that helps you shop guilt-free. As in, doing your holiday shopping on Goodshop means some of the cash money from your purchases gets donated to a cause of your choice. Two birds, one charitable stone.
* indicates Skimm'bassador. Pop bottles.
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