Skimm'd while writing resolutions for our next 365
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Just a club for people to...have a good time" -- President-elect Donald Trump describing the UN. Yes, the United Nations.
Israel is putting the US in its Burn Book because of a recent UN resolution.
REMIND ME AGAIN.
Last week, the UN told Israel to pump the brakes on building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel has been building these settlements for decades. And Palestinians have been mad for decades, because millions of them call those same areas home and want the land to be a part of a future Palestinian state. The UN calls the settlements illegal and a real problem for a peaceful two-state solution in the region. The US has always taken ally Israel's side on the issue. But last week, the US decided not to block the UN vote for the first time in decades.
Israel is pointing its finger at the US, saying it has solid evidence that the Obama administration helped come up with the resolution and that the plan was always to let it pass. The White House says 'wasn't me.' Israel's also saying it'll temporarily quit working with the embassies of at least 10 countries that voted 'aye' for the resolution. This all comes as diplomats are gearing up for a Middle East peace conference in Paris next month. Israel RSVP'd 'no,' because it would rather negotiate directly with Palestinians. But now Israel is worried that the conference might lead to a peace deal that it doesn't like.
Welcome to a diplomatic hot mess. Israel is one of the US's most important allies in the Middle East, and their relationship status just changed from 'stable' to 'it's v complicated.' Today, US Sec of State John Kerry is outlining the US's plan for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. TBD on whether that makes the relationship even more complicated.
REPEAT AFTER ME...
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO OWNS A WOOKIE COSTUME…
Goodbye, Carrie Fisher. Yesterday, the 60-year-old Star Wars actress died after suffering a heart attack last week. Fisher, who played Princess Leia, had the Hollywood force with her from a young age. She was born to famous parents — actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher — and started acting as a teenager. You know her for wearing giant side buns in a galaxy far, far away, but she was also in "When Harry Met Sally" and "The Blues Brothers." Fisher was bipolar and struggled with drug and alcohol use, all of which she often talked about publicly. She's been credited with helping lift the stigma of mental illness. Fisher was back in space last year in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and will be in the 2017 Star Wars movie too. Yesterday, Harrison Ford aka Han Solo said "We will all miss her." Meanwhile, she had her own ideas for how her obit should be written.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHOSE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION IS TO LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE...
That's dope. So are Russian athletes. Yesterday, a report came out that says Russian officials admitted to helping athletes cheat drug tests for years. Reminder: in the last year, the World Anti-Doping Agency has accused Russia of doing things like helping athletes cover up positive drug tests and bribing anti-doping officials. That includes when Russia hosted the Winter Olympics back in 2014…and won more medals than any other country. Russia's always said 'nyet true' to the allegations. Still, this year, more than 100 Russian athletes were banned from the summer games in Rio. And the International Olympic Committee's been looking into it all. Now Russian officials are reportedly saying 'actually, yup we orchestrated this whole thing.' Unclear why they're spilling the beans now, but it might have something to do with officials requiring Russia to admit to doping if the country ever wants to host the Olympics again. So now it looks like the country's confessing to being very, very Vlad.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR COWORKER WHO ALWAYS USES THE CORPORATE CARD FOR HAPPY HOUR...
Don't think you're supposed to do that. That's what US prosecutors are telling three Chinese citizens. Yesterday, prosecutors said these men hacked into multiple US law firms and used the information to make illegal trades. The three men were charged with things like insider trading and fraud. It all started in 2014, when the men allegedly hacked into the email accounts of lawyers helping companies with major business deals, including one involving Intel Corporation. Then they traded based on the info and ended up making more than $4 million. All of which is, nope, not so legal. This comes at a time when the US and China already have a lot of cybersecurity trust issues (see: hacks of several federal agencies in recent years). Officials say law firms especially should watch their backs for similar incidents, because their servers are big and full of (valuable) secrets.
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU HEAR THAT REX RYAN WAS FIRED BY THE BUFFALO BILLS…
Not a good look. The former president of Argentina knows the feeling. Yesterday, she was charged in a corruption case. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who left office last year, and several former aides are accused of misusing public money that was supposed to go toward public building projects. They allegedly favored a certain construction company and overpaid on the contracts. Fernandez reportedly denies the charges. This is only the latest corruption scandal she's been wrapped up in. She was previously accused of covering up Iran's alleged role in the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires in the 90s. The prosecutor in that case was found dead days after accusing Fernandez. Dun dun dun. In the past, Fernandez has said that allegations against her are just a sign that the new prez is out to get her. Paging Olivia Pope.
Holidaze: That feeling when you come back from break to an inbox full of unread emails and unfinished to-dos. Deep breaths. Make your next 365 start off a little easier. Microsoft Word has some new features that'll make getting back to your work life a lot easier.
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