Skimm'd with leftover holiday candy
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I ain't a killer but don't push me" – Lyrics from Tupac's "Hail Mary" found in the program for a Sri Lankan Christmas service. Classic mixup.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has some words for President Obama. This is about the US abstaining from last week's UN resolution.
For decades, Israel has been building settlements along the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. This has always caused tension with Palestinians because millions of them live in these areas, and they want to make them a part of their future state. The UN considers the settlements illegal under international law. So last week, the UN Security Council voted that Israel needs to stop building, saying that it makes a peaceful two-state solution (where both Israel and Palestine would be states on a map) much harder to reach. The US – which usually has Israel's back by vetoing these kinds of resolutions – did nothing and let the vote happen for the first time in decades.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Depends who you ask. Some – including the head of the UN – see this as a step in the right direction for the Middle East peace process. Others – including Netanyahu – see this as a diplomatic slap in the face. Israel is the US's closest ally in the Middle East. But the relationship has been pretty frosty in recent years. Obama and Netanyahu haven't been on the same page about key things like Palestinian peace talks and the Iran nuclear deal. Over the weekend, Netanyahu blamed the White House for letting the "shameful" resolution pass, and said that he's looking forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump – who didn't support the vote.
This could be Obama's final word on the Middle East peace process. Trump has hinted that his first word on foreign policy would be more aggressive – see: reported talk of an arms race – especially when it comes to defending Israel.
REPEAT AFTER ME...
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO LOVES "ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT"...
RIP to the original George Michael. The 53-year-old British pop star was found dead at his home in England on Christmas Day. He died of heart failure. Michael was one half of Wham! – the 80s duo that you know for "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Last Christmas." In the late 80s, Michael went solo. He sold more than 100 million albums over his career. Later on, he came out as gay at a time when there weren't many openly gay men in the industry. He went on to become a major gay rights and AIDS activist. He had been arrested several times in recent years for drug and alcohol-related crimes. In other '2016 is the worst' news, over the weekend, 60-year-old actress Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia) had a heart attack on a flight. Her mom says she's in "stable condition."
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR TEAM CLOSES THE LAST DEAL OF THE YEAR...
Ending on a good note. Today, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Hawaii with President Obama to visit Pearl Harbor. Abe is the first sitting Japanese PM to visit the site with a US president since Japan attacked the US Navy base in 1941. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the attack, which killed thousands of Americans and led the US to join WWII. A few Japanese PMs have reportedly dropped by the site in the past, but never for an official visit. Abe's trip comes after Obama visited the Japanese city of Hiroshima earlier this year. He was the first US president to go to the city, where the US dropped one of two atomic bombs in 1945 at the end of WWII. Full circle.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO'S STILL IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT...
Here's something else to celebrate. Researchers say they've come up with a vaccine that could be 100% effective against Ebola. Ebola: the deadly virus that starts out like the flu but can lead to internal and external bleeding and hemorrhaging. A few years ago, the worst Ebola epidemic ever hit parts of West Africa, killing more than 10,000 people. There has been no vaccine or specific cure. Until now. Scientists tested this vaccine in Guinea last year on thousands of people who'd been in contact with an infected person. None of them got Ebola. So now the World Health Organization's saying this vaccine can be used next time there's an outbreak. Bravo.
THING TO KNOW
eBay Valet: Not for your car. It's a service that pairs you with a selling expert who does all the work for you. That tablet your dad got you for Christmas that's exactly the same as the one you already have needs to find a new home. Rely on eBay Valet or sell it yourself on eBay so you can make some money in the process. Valet joy rides around the block not included.
Skimm HQ has New Year's resolutions. Like, packing up all of the boxes of books that we want to give away. Finally getting a handyman to replace all of the lightbulbs in our ceiling lights. And actually sticking to a weekly cleaning schedule. Enter: TaskRabbit. They'll take care of your to-do list. Psst…theSkimm got you a little discount.
* indicates Skimm'bassador. Party time.
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