Skimm for April 7th
"I go through my [life] every day trying to avoid having to think about it." -- Jeb Bush on whether or not he'll run in 2016. The former Florida gov. will decide by the end of this year. His to-do list is different from yours.
Afghans got out the vote to pick their new president, despite threats from the Taliban...and bad weather.
Afghanistan would like some stability. Pulling off this election was a big test for government forces as they prep to take full control after the US and friends leave at the end of this year. The Taliban, still popular in some areas and working very hard to keep people from voting, says US influence makes the election a sham. No one broke out the violins for them.
We won't know the winner for a while, but there will likely be a runoff between the top candidates. There were reports of fraud, but turnout was better than expected -- a big deal given the Taliban's threats. But don't count them out yet -- insurgents stepped up violence before the election.
Current President Karzai is the only leader Afghans have known since the Taliban was ousted after 9/11; he legally can't be president again. He has delayed signing an agreement with the US that would allow some troops to stay after 2014 to help out. Many think this is key to keeping Afghanistan stability moving in the right direction. The leading candidates have said they'll sign the agreement.
Afghanistan still has a long way to go, but this election marks the first democratic transfer of presidential power in the country.
There are other battles afoot. This week, the Madness will end and the kings and queens of college basketball will be crowned. Over the weekend, the Final Four games determined tonight's finalists. Kentucky's all-freshman starting lineup topped Wisconsin with a late three-pointer from tournament big shot Aaron Harrison. Fun fact: there are two of him. UConn kicked out top seed Florida, sending the Huskies to the finals for the second time in four years. There must be something in the water at UConn, because the women's team made it to the finals too and will face off against Notre Dame. It will be the first time two undefeated top seeds duke it out.
The death of Mickey Rooney, a short actor with a very long career. Rooney was one of MGM's biggest stars in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The show biz legend is best known for playing the boy-next-door, Andy Hardy, teaming up with Judy Garland for musicals, and starring in "National Velvet" with Elizabeth Taylor. Rooney was married eight times, first to actress Ava Gardner. A few years ago, Rooney alleged elder abuse by his step-kids and testified at a Senate committee. He was 93-years-old.
Two promising new drugs could change the lives of patients with breast cancer. A drug from Pfizer can reportedly help prevent advanced breast cancer from worsening and extend life for those suffering. Meanwhile, Lilly is developing a similar drug. Early research shows it can stop tumors from growing. We like science.
Don't enjoy this kind of deja-vu. Pro-Russian protests broke out in several major cities in eastern Ukraine on Sunday. A big group gathered in the city of Donetsk to storm a local government building, wave some Russian flags, and call for a referendum to join Russia. Crimea-style. Similar scenes are playing out in other cities along the Russian border...where a large number of Russian troops are still camping out. Ukraine says Russia is stirring up trouble to create a reason for another round of land grabbing. Russia said they couldn't hear them because they were too busy flexing.
Chili's for lunch? The restaurant chain has been getting extra spicy. April is Autism Awareness Month and the restaurant decided to support awareness by giving 10% of customer checks to an autism charity. The charity Chili's chose, the National Autism Association, is a group with some controversial opinions on the disorder. On its website, the NAA says vaccinations can cause or exacerbate autism in some children. Many say the anti-vaccination movement is dangerous and can instead lead to outbreaks of preventable diseases like measles. Insert opinions here. Chili's cancelled today's event.
Unless it's George, I don't care. The lil' prince took a plane ride and rocked a cardigan.
We told you we like to reward you. Congrats to Kristie Ballew (Grapevine, TX) for winning her dream spring shoes -- some Jimmy Choos. You have good taste, Kristie.
Skimm'bassador Hayley Grunebaum (Ann Arbor, MI); Courtney Elms (Cartagena, Colombia); Rebecca Kaden (San Francisco, CA); Andrea Maderal (Miami, FL); Robbie Matamoros (Frisco,TX); Nancy Davies (Alpharetta, GA); Caroline Brainerd (Hamilton, NY); Christy (Louisville, KY); Kelly Vaughan; Lauren Weldon (Rochester, NY); Christine Buzard (Chicago, IL); Jaime Rothman (New York, NY); Wanda DeBella (Somerset, NJ); Jessica Jackson (New York, NY); Rachelle Clark (Huntington Beach, CA); Camille Falci (Queens, NY)
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