Skimm for April 9th
"This is going to be difficult for the average guy in the streets to understand, because it's hard to know who has done what and what is safe," -- Comforting words from a CEO at a security company that helped find a major Internet security flaw. It could lead to exposure of millions of passwords, credit card numbers, and other things that make guarding your bag on the subway irrelevant.
Russia can count its friends on one tiny hand, as its continued meddling in Ukraine prompted the US and NATO to issue stern warnings. Again.
This is not about Crimea. Showdowns between pro-Russian protestors and authorities in eastern Ukrainian cities are heating up. Ukraine did not take kindly to demonstrators seizing government buildings. In Luhansk, one of Ukraine's industrial cities, around 60 people reportedly being held hostage were allowed to leave.
The international community is sweating profusely. Ukraine said Russia's instigating all of this. US Sec. of State John Kerry said Russia's paying people to cause chaos -- and that is very illegal. NATO warned that if Russia continues to intervene, there will be major consequences. And Russia cried 'civil war' if Ukrainian forces fight back against protesters and then told everyone to relax. They're all supposed to chat again soon.
Russia is pushing Ukraine to turn into a loose federation, one with a lot of Russian influence. You can imagine how well that has been received by everyone else.
Opposition leaders are ready to officially sit down with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro to hopefully end months of violent unrest that have left 39 dead.
Since February, Venezuelans have taken to the streets to protest things like the crime rate, a shortage of basics like TP and sugar, and soaring prices. The government didn't react well to the protests and things have been a mess since.
Maduro and the opposition had a closed-door huddle yesterday to lay out the ground rules for public negotiations. They'll be supervised by friends Brazil, Columbia, and Ecuador as well as a rep. from the Vatican. The media will also be there in a big way. No pressure.
Communication between the two sides has not been a strong point in this crisis. Major trust issues remain, but this is progress.
Neither can the Iranian envoy. Earlier this week, the Senate passed a measure that would ban Iran's new UN envoy Hamid Aboutalebi from entering the US. Yesterday, the US made it very clear to Iran why Hamid was on its sh*t list. Aboutalebi was part of a student group that led the 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran. Refresher course: 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, and the crisis led to a breakdown in US-Iran relations that still holds today. Iran said their guy was "qualified." Apparently, they just didn't say for what...
Time for a 'cleanup.' Kenya agrees and is cleaning house. Over the course of four days, Kenya rounded up over 3000 people suspected to be in the country illegally. Kenya is said to be targeting Somali residents or those of Somali origin. The move comes after a wave of recent terror attacks and after last year's deadly shopping-mall attack, where over 60 people were killed by a Somali militant group. Kenya is trying hard to shift gears and show its security is A-OK, so it's claiming to detain people because of false docs or criminal ties. Human rights experts aren't so excited and the UN complained it hasn't been able to reach those seeking refugee status or check on their conditions.
Which one of you is staying home? A new study by Pew shows that after years of decline, the number of stay-at-home moms is on the rise. About three in 10 moms with kids under 18 now stay home. But not the kind leaning out on Wisteria Lane. Although there's a mix of factors, a growing number are at home because of economic reasons -- like not being able to find a job or because it costs more to have someone watch your kids.
Even pros have an off night, as did Notre Dame. The UConn Huskies beat the Irish to become the undefeated women's NCAA champion -- the perfect end to an undefeated season. The game was a clash of titans as both Notre Dame and UConn went into the title game without a loss this year.
Now that Madness is over, it's time to give out presents to people who did the best in our Skimm Madness pool. Congrats to Sheila Kelly (Bryn Mawr, PA) and Joanie Kim (Ithaca, NY) for getting some goods. To the person who named their bracket 'Selena's Magnificent Bracket,' email us at Founders@theSkimm.com so we can hook you up!
Claire Lacey (Anchorage, AK); Lloyd Heller (New York, NY); Bridget Mallaney (Philadelphia, PA); Connie Mitchell; Cleo Davis-Urman (New York, NY); Katherine Armstrong; Kathryn Lewis (Washington, DC); Lesly Huffman (Dallas, TX); Emily Tanenbaum (New York, NY); Mandy Asgeirsson (Washington, DC); Suzanne Gould (Madison, MS)
Skimm'd something we missed?