Skimm'd while nomming on this (spiked) chocolate pudding
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Thrill seekers" – A Ford exec on who the company had in mind when it decided to bring back the Ford Bronco. Viral car chase not included.
URINE OR OUT
Yesterday, unverified reports about Russia and President-elect Donald Trump hit the Interwebs.
WHAT WAS IN THE REPORTS?
Last week, intelligence officials apparently told President Obama and Trump that they're investigating unverified reports that Russia has been "cultivating, supporting and assisting" Trump for years. These reports also claim Russia has some pretty sensitive personal and financial info on Trump. Last night, at least one news outlet chose to publish what it says are the same – again, unverified – docs that Obama and Trump were briefed on. And this is why you saw the words 'golden showers' all over your news feed.
HOW'D THIS COME OUT?
A former British intelligence officer was doing some digging into Trump for his GOP rivals during the campaign, and later for Democrats. Intelligence officials say this officer has been reliable in the past. Apparently these reports have been circulating around DC for months. Some say it's the same info that, months ago, led then-Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to push the FBI to disclose what it may have known about Trump's ties to Russia. Yesterday, Trump responded by calling the reports "fake news" and "a total political witch hunt." Today, the Russian gov said the allegations are a complete "fabrication."
We may never know whether these allegations are true or not. Today, Trump's expected to give his first news conference since he was elected. Wonder what kinds of questions he'll get.
Last night, President Obama officially dropped the mic. He went back to Chicago to give his last speech as president.
WHAT DID HE SAY?
That he loves Michelle, Joe, and his daughters. That he's done a lot. And that he's hopeful that US citizens are ready to take on whatever comes next.
Obama tackled racial tensions, saying white Americans need to acknowledge that "the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't suddenly vanish in the '60s." And that if every economic issue is seen as a struggle between white and minority workers, everybody loses (except the wealthy). He also said that it's not OK to reject immigrants just because they might not look the same. And he added that fighting terrorism shouldn't also mean discriminating against Muslim Americans.
Obama's speech aimed to bring back some of the hopey changey magic that got him elected eight years ago – just as a very different successor is getting ready to take the reins.
REPEAT AFTER ME...
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO JUST GOT A NEW JOB...
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is up for one too. Yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for attorney general went to Capitol Hill to be interrogated...er...interviewed by lawmakers. The Senate has to give him the green light before he takes over as the country's top law enforcement officer. And he had a lot of talking points to get through. He said that accusations that he's made racist comments in the past are "false." And that even though he doesn't agree with abortion and same-sex marriage, he'll defend US laws that protect those rights. Also, he doesn't support using waterboarding or a ban on Muslim immigrants – two things Trump's said he's in favor of in the past. And he wouldn't get involved in any future attempts to investigate Hillary Clinton, since he's said not-so-nice things about her in the past and wouldn't be the most impartial investigator. Now he's hoping for an official 'you're hired' email.
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU RUN INTO TRAFFIC AT RUSH HOUR...
Not surprised. Yesterday, a federal jury sentenced Dylann Roof to death. He's the white supremacist who shot and killed nine black churchgoers at a Charleston, SC church in 2015. After the shooting, he confessed. He was charged with federal hate crimes, and found guilty. During his sentencing hearing he said that he's "not sorry" for what he did. Now, he's getting the death penalty. Despite that, he's still due to go to trial again for murder charges in the same case.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE WATCHING…
Myanmar. Earlier this week, reports came out that tens of thousands of people have been fleeing the country in recent days. They belong to a small Muslim minority group called the Rohingya (row-hing-ah) that lives in the mainly Buddhist country. Myanmar's gov has discriminated against this group for decades. But recently it's gotten much more violent, with the military doing things like randomly shooting, raping, and killing Rohingya people. Last year, the UN accused Myanmar of "ethnic cleansing." Now, more and more Rohingya have been escaping to nearby Bangladesh, where they're living in camps.
THING TO KNOW
Clare Hollingworth: Before Woodward and Bernstein, there was Hollingworth. She was the reporter who first broke the news about the start of WWII, when she happened to spot German tanks lining up along the Polish border. NBD. Yesterday, she died at age 105.
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