Skimm'd at home with family, pjs, and coffee that tastes like a cinnamon roll. What's your flavor?
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We have footage of you boarding the aircraft" – An airline, calling out a YouTube star who claimed he smuggled himself onto a flight inside a suitcase. Smuggle...sitting in a cramped window seat...same difference.
Today, the Electoral College is having a brown bag lunch to officially vote to make Donald Trump the next president of the US.
REMIND ME HOW THIS WORKS AGAIN?
The Electoral College is the kinda controversial way that 'Murica decides who gets to be the next president. When voters go to the polls on Election Day, they're actually voting for 'electors' who'll represent their state at an official vote a few weeks later. Then in January, Congress counts the votes, and the VP crowns the winner. The number of electors from each state equals the number of lawmakers that state has in Congress – 538 in total. Electors are political VIPs tapped by state parties (think: party leaders, elected officials, Bill Clinton). The candidate who gets more than half of the electoral votes wins. The vote is usually a drama-free process. Not this year.
For months, there have been questions about how and why Russia carried out a series of cyberattacks to influence the US election. In recent weeks, the CIA and the FBI concluded zee Russians did this to help Trump win. The White House said 'we agree' – and that Russian President Putin himself was probably involved. That – plus the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than two million votes – is why electors' inboxes have been flooded with tens of thousands of messages urging them not to vote Trump.
COULD THAT ACTUALLY HAPPEN?
No. Probably not. It's hard for electors to go against their state's results and change their vote. Some states make it illegal, and others fine electors for flipping (Cc: Kate McKinnon). Only one Trump elector has said that he's switching his vote. Either way, Trump's set to get 306 electoral votes to Clinton's 232.
Chances are slim to none that anyone other than Trump will be moving into the White House next year.
REPEAT AFTER ME...
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR CO-WORKER 'FORGETS TO RETURN' YOUR LAPTOP CHARGER…
I'll have that back now, thanks. That's what the US gov is saying too. Over the weekend, China said it'll return an American underwater drone that it seized from the South China Sea last week. The South China Sea: an area of the Pacific Ocean with major shipping routes and a lot of underwater oil reserves. Everyone in the neighborhood (think: China, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines) claims parts of these seas belong to them. But in the last few years, China's been saying 'it's mine, it's all mine' and building man-made islands there. This has freaked out the neighbors -- many of whom are US allies. Fast forward to last week, and China seized a US drone that the US claims was doing some 'scientific research.' Unclear why China took the drone, but it might have to do with the fact that China doesn't appreciate America creeping. Or that President-elect Donald Trump recently took a phone call from the president of Taiwan (a country that's technically been at war with China for decades). Over the weekend, Trump told China it could keep the drone. Until then the US gov said, 'no, no it can't. Plz return.' International relations, meet choppy waters.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO'S ALWAYS ON DAILYMAIL...
RIP Zsa Zsa Gabor. Yesterday, the actress and socialite died of heart failure. She was 99. She was the star of "Moulin Rouge" and "Touch of Evil" in the 50s. But Zsa Zsa was also one of the first celebs to be famous for being famous. She called everyone "dahling," and was married nine times. Including to Paris Hilton's great-grandfather. Also over the weekend, Dr. Henry Heimlich died of a heart attack at age 96. He was – yup – the man who invented the life-saving Heimlich maneuver. Paging Mrs. Doubtfire. Dr. Heimlich introduced the move back in the 70s, and since then it's saved tens of thousands of people from choking. Including earlier this year, when the doc himself used it to save the life of a woman choking at his retirement home. Bravo.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE WATCHING…
Aleppo. Over the weekend, plans to evacuate civilians from the Syrian city stalled (again) after buses that were supposed to help them leave were set on fire. Aleppo – once Syria's largest city and a major rebel stronghold – has been the focus of the country's years-long civil war. For most of the war, President Assad's forces (backed by Russia and Iran) have been trying to take the city back from rebel groups (some backed by the US). The fighting has been especially brutal in recent weeks, with reports of civilians being executed in the streets. Last week, the rebels finally agreed to a ceasefire to let civilians leave safely. That deal fell apart. Then it was back on. Fast forward to now, and it's hit yet another roadblock. A group of rebels that isn't on board with giving the city up set the buses on fire. Meanwhile, thousands of civilians are still waiting to get out. Now, it looks like the UN might be able to step in and send their own people to Aleppo to make sure the evacuations go more smoothly.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO KEEPS UP WITH ALL THE KARDASHIANS…
THING TO KNOW
Doxing: Not a new workout class. It describes when hackers post stolen material online. Usually personal stuff. As in the kind of stuff that keeps WikiLeaks alive.
* indicates Skimm'bassador. Pour it up, pour it up.
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