Skimm for March 17th
"Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country." -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) explaining why he feels Western energy sanctions on Russia would be effective.
The disappearance of Flight 370 has officially turned into a criminal investigation. The focus is shifting towards the pilots or someone else on board, who may have deliberately caused it to disappear.
Plane took off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia over a week ago and headed towards Beijing with 239 people on board. Then it disappeared. No debris, no nothing. Just a lot of conflicting reports.
Someone who knew what they were doing turned off the plane's communication and tracking systems. And after one system was turned off, someone said to ground control "All right, good night." The plane was still flying at 8:11 AM -- hours after its last contact and it either went south from that point -- in the Indian Ocean -- or north. If you think going north gives more info, you are wrong. That flight path includes easy access areas like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and India. Many of those places say they did not detect the plane.
The flight is still missing. This is not an alternative ending to "Lost" but an unprecedented event that involves a lot of different countries.
Crimeans have voted to divorce Ukraine and shack up with Russia. Russian media says the vote was overwhelming, but Ukraine and the west say this vote doesn't really count. The Crimean parliament meets today to make it official.
Ukraine had a revolution. Got rid of its president, whom Russia really liked. Russia freaked out and sent troops into Crimea (a kind of independent peninsula that's part of Ukraine, but historically Russian). The West broke out into a cold sweat. Some in Crimea said this is a great time to go back to Russia. Ukraine said HAHA, no.
Everyone and their mother considered the vote's result a foregone conclusion. But now all eyes are on the West, which has warned sanctions could come as soon as today if Russia agrees to take Crimea under its fold.
Sorry I'm having an Erdogan kind of day. Turkey's PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan did nothing to calm protests around the country when he said a 15-year-old, who died after slipping into a coma following anti-government protests last summer, had links to terrorist organizations. Last June, protests erupted over lots of concerns about Ergodan becoming too authoritarian. Berkin Elvan, the teen, went out to get bread for his family when he got hit in the head by what is believed to be a police gas canister. He passed away last week. His death has reignited the anti-government protests in a major way; Erdogan's comments are not helping him make new friends with voters ahead of an upcoming election.
Only Selection Sunday brings me this kind of stress. March Madness is back, which means your co-workers are no longer your friends. You can thank the NCAA. Last night was Selection Sunday, a semi-secretive selection process which is pretty much college basketball's version of conclave. 32 of the teams made it in by winning their respective conferences; the rest were picked by their overall resumes. The Florida Gators are seeded #1 overall. There are 68 teams in total. Fill out your brackets now. You have until Thursday.
There's no way to look good here. An Army general is agreeing to a plea deal that drops sexual assault charges against him. He's willing to admit to lesser charges. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair is on trial for allegedly forcing his mistress, a female captain, into oral sex during a three-year affair. This comes as Congress debates how the military handles sexual assault cases.
Alibaba big? The Chinese e-commerce giant (that makes Amazon look small), is planning to go public. And, in a move that has many feelings hurt in Hong Kong, they're going to list with a US stock exchange. This is big news for Yahoo, which owns 24% of the company, and really big news in general since this could be one of the largest Internet IPOs in history.
We've been working on our makeover and want to give you one too. So we teamed up with some of our friends to give one lucky Skimm'r the chance to win $2000 in office products. Yes, they're color coordinated. Yes, dreams do come true. Just enter here.
We got the March Madness fever and want you to join us for Skimm Madness. Our Skimm Pool is officially up and running--you have until Thursday at 12PM ET to fill out your bracket (read: choose a winner for each game, based on knowledge, color preference, a special feeling, or these tips). Go on spread the Madness. We reward winners. Big time.
Dianna Huddleston (West Lafayette, IN); Grace Ferrara (New York, NY); Libby Lussenhop (MI); Shai Silverman (New Haven, CT); Jason Schulweis (New York, NY); Abby Cecchine (Boston, MA); Jenny Albert (Richmond, VA); Elana Cooper (New York, NY); Meghan Tkachuk (Detroit, MI); Kelly Carlin (Washington, DC); Mark Heintzleman (Harrisonburg, VA); Patti Roberts (Columbus, OH); Terin Rose (San Diego, CA); Thera Hubler (Chicago, IL)
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