Skimm for February 12th

Skimm'd with Chelsea Does and a martini.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"We're all Africans really" — Meryl Streep saying things that make you go 'hmmm.' Yesterday, she answered a question about diversity in the movie industry. Just in time for the Oscars...

GETTING SYRIA-S

THE STORY

Remember that civil war going on in Syria? Last night, world leaders raised their hands and said 'we've got a plan.'

WAIT…BACK UP.

For five years, the Syrian civil war has been the Rubik's Cube of international relations. It's pitted Russia and Iran (who back President Assad) against the US and friends (who back moderate rebels trying to oust Assad). And bonus: while all this was going on, ISIS moved into the country in a big way. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. Millions of Syrians have fled to the EU, causing the worst migrant and refugee crisis since WWII. Peace talks have paused, then failed. So yes…problem. 

WHAT'S THE LATEST?

World leaders have been back in group therapy, trying to come up with a peace deal. Yesterday, they said 'we got it.' The details? A cease-fire in Syria within a week so that humanitarian aid can get to cities that need it. Badly. Not included? Backing off ISIS and another group called the Nusra Front.

theSKIMM

If this works, it'll be the first cease-fire since the civil war started in 2011. That's a big "if." It depends in big part on Russia convincing Assad to put down his weapons. And neither one is great at keeping promises.

REPEAT AFTER ME...

WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU KEEP ORDERING THE SAME LUNCH...

Stuck in a pattern. So are the presidential candidates. And theirs has a 'debate' theme. Last night, the Dems had one in Wisconsin. PBS brought the Solo cups. Fmr. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) took the shots. On the table? Women, and whether they should vote for Hillz because she is one (Hillz said women make their own choices. And they should vote for her because she's qualified, not because she's a woman). Immigration, and why they both think President Obama was right to go it alone and take action sans Congress. Campaign funding, and whether you can still crack down on Wall Street after taking big donations from it (Bern said "let's not insult the intelligence of the American people." Burn, Bern). Foreign policy, and who has the right expert friends on speed dial. The two candidates are 1-1 so far, after the Iowa caucuses and NH primary. Next up: South Carolina and Nevada. Viva las 2016.

WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR YOUNGER COUSIN THROWS A TEMPER TANTRUM…

You sound like the stock market. Yesterday, global markets threw a fit. Again. What's to blame? Well, China's economy (the second largest in the world) is slowing down. And the Fed may be having some doubts about the US economy since it looks like its plan to raise interest rates again is on pause. Tease. All of this has led global investors to sell, sell, sell. But the big star of the show is oil, which dipped below $27 a barrel yesterday – the lowest since 2003. Refresher: there's much more oil supply than demand in the market right now. That's in big part because of US fracking (controversial way US produces oil & gas at home), and OPEC (squad of oil-producing countries) refusing to stop pumping oil into the market. Part of yesterday's market roller coaster was due to this WSJ tweet, which hinted that OPEC might be kinda sorta considering cutting back on its oily supply. Yes, really. This matters because entire companies and economies (think: Venezuela, Russia) depend on oil prices. TBD on how it'll all play out.

WHAT TO SAY TO THAT FRIEND WHO YOU REMEMBER GOT A 5 ON THE AP TEST...

Major physics key coming your way. Yesterday, a group of scientists a lot smarter than you announced that they've detected gravitational waves. You are expected to clap. Hang in there. When really big things (think: black holes) collide in space, they give off gravitational waves. Scientists were pretty, pretty sure these existed, but had never been able to detect them. Until recently, thanks to some very expensive and shiny equipment that let them hear the waves in action. Yes, you can listen to the sound of gravitational waves crashing. And you can thank Einstein for your headache. Gravitational waves are a big part of his theory of relativity that scientists have been trying to prove literally for decades. These waves are kinda like a new tool for scientists to use to explore the universe. To infinity and beyond.

WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO'S OBSESSED WITH "NARCOS"...

Here's some new prison drama to follow. Earlier this week, 49 inmates died in a prison riot in Mexico. It started late Wednesday night as a fight between two rival drug cartel leaders. Officials haven't said exactly how all of the inmates died, but the fight spiraled into a massive riot where some inmates set fire to part of the prison. Mexican prisons have a bad rep for overcrowding, violence between drug cartels, and incompetence when it comes to securing their showers. (See: El Chapo).

SKIMM READS

"The Ramblers" by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

Think "Friends" with a little more drama and no laugh track. About three twenty-somethings (a socialite, a newly rich techie...and a birdwatcher) in NYC. Perfect for the long weekend.


SKIMM WINE

Skimm'ologist says: Do like Chelsea Does and try this dirty vodka martini to go with your read.


SKIMM BIRTHDAYS

* indicates Skimm'bassador. Cake cake cake cake.

Ben Carpenter (Greenwich, CT); *Marra Sherruier (Blacksburg, VA); *Garrett Gottesman (Charlottesville, VA); *Lisa Rogoff (Charlottesville, VA); *Aislinn Kane (Boston, MA); *Alexandra Ricca (Atlanta, GA); *Anne McLaughlin (Cheshire, CT); *Elizabeth Stapleton (Big Stone Gap, VA); *Emily Krewson (Charlotte, NC); *Jamie Schanz (West Lafayette, IN); *Moira Gallagher (New York, NY); *Andie Habert (Toronto, ON);  *Ashley Sipe (Richmond, VA); *Donna Wilson (Naples, FL); *Angela Sun (New York, NY); *Brooke Schwartz (Chicago, IL); *Casey Nay (Telluride, CO); *Chelsea Bell (Savannah, GA); *Christie Steele (North Bergen, NJ); *Elisa Wise (Baltimore, MD); *Jenn Smith (Colorado Springs, CO); *Mollie Markey (Eugene, OR); *Shelley Mantei (Toronto, Canada); *Joanna Stevens (Newport, RI); *Christie Steele (North Bergen, NJ); *Katrina Leshan (Rochester, NY); *Kelsey Hamilton (Washington, DC); *Jessica Boulos (Jersey City, NJ); *Kayla McCoy (Houston, TX); *Katherine Van Winkle (Los Angeles, CA); *Shelly Murphy (Chicago, IL); *Lulu Carter (Concord, NH); *Lauren Hagler (Houston, TX); *Mallory Loudenback (Mission, KS); *Sarah Funderburk (Atlanta, GA); Allyson Clark (Houston, TX); Britt Carnegie (Greenwich, CT); Anastasia Bowden (Chapel Hill, NC); Brian Stanton (Chicago, IL); Britney Lewis (Arlington, VA); Cheryl Giesa (Northville, MI); Clare Fallon (Glenview, IL); Connie Montgomery (Brooklyn, OH); Emily Georgakopoulos (Boston, MA); Evann Gonzales (Long Beach, CA); Jerry Romano (Salt Lake City, UT); Jessica Kochan (New York, NY); Kay Doegg (Rome, GA); Elizabeth Goodman (New York, NY); Liza McLain (Athens, GA); Lora Mollo (Asheville, NC); Mary Kirby Harding (Shoreham, NY); Nancy Evans (Frederick, MD); Riley O'Neill (Toms River, NJ); Allison Staulcup (Chicago, IL); Carl Shapiro (Palm Beach, FL); Rubi Ancajas  (San Francisco, CA); Sally Miller (Washington, DC); Lizzie McLain (Atlanta, GA); Tom Harding (Shoreham, NY); Jen Zinman (Glencoe IL); Wendy Carrigan (Morristown, NJ); Elliot Schaffer (San Francisco, CA); Mike Tomsky (New Canaan, CT); Allison Cooper (Jackson, MI); Jessi Carver (Urbandale, IA); Raphael Sorcio (New York, NY); Sharon Fults (Houston, TX); Alex Case (Grand Rapids, MI); Bekah Bolton (Boston, MA); Chris Denison (Ottawa, ON); Claire Haslam (Saxapahaw, NC); Alexandra Rabbani (New York, NY); Didi Emmons (Milton, MA); Doreen Schaefer (North Arlington, NJ); Elaine Wernsdorfer (Jacobus, PA); Elizabeth Cincotta (Assonet, MA); Jane Vick (New York, NY); Kristin Neff (Irvine, CA); Jody Gallo (New York, NY); Jordan Intebi (Dallas, TX); Megan Malone (Charleston, SC); Laura Betancourt (Friendswood, TX); Margot Harris (Boston, MA); Meagan Rudowski (Centreville, VA); Phyllis Mma Welsh (St. Paul, MN); Raphael Sorcio (New York, NY); Robin Shane (Tucson, AZ); Ron Boose (Mill Valley, CA); Selena Rivera (Rio Grande City, TX); Suzanne Bartlett (Boston, MA); Sydney Ragon (Little Rock, AR); Taylor Clark (Larchmont, NY); Rebecca Ferguson (Lincoln, NE); Hayley O'Brien (Wilmington, NC); Emma Tress (Chagrin Falls, OH); Joe White (Kilgore, TX); Victoria Gonzalez (New York, NY)

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