QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Unusual behavior" -- How the Motion Picture Association of America is explaining its "R" rating for "Fifty Shades of Grey."
JE SUIS CHARLIE
Yesterday in Paris, gunmen attacked the offices of a famous French satirical magazine, killing 12 people.
The attackers forced their way into the magazine's offices. They fired on staffers in an editorial meeting, allegedly targeting senior staffers. Among those killed were the newspaper's editor and cartoonist, Stephane "Charb" Charbonnier, his police bodyguard, and other famous cartoonists. The gunmen then clashed with police outside of the building, killing another officer, before escaping in a getaway car. Authorities named three suspects. One of the suspects surrendered last night, but the two others, who are brothers, remain at large.
WHY DO I KEEP READING ABOUT CHARLIE HEBDO?
It's the name of the satirical magazine that was attacked. It's known for parodying everything. Including, on many occasions, the Prophet Muhammad. That has not always gone over well and the magazine has faced threats, including having its offices firebombed in retaliation. In the past, the French government asked the magazine not to publish cartoons that could be seen as inflammatory. One 2012 cartoon, published just after the Benghazi terror attacks, prompted France to close embassies around the world, and resulted in Charbonnier needing to travel with a police bodyguard. When asked why he kept publishing the cartoons anyway, Charbonnier once said, "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees."
Yesterday, people across Europe gathered to condemn the attack, with people carrying signs reading "Je Suis Charlie" ("I Am Charlie"). This was one of France's deadliest days in decades, prompting it to raise its terror alert to the highest level. Today is a national day of mourning in the country.
REPEAT AFTER ME...
WHAT TO SAY WHEN THE COLD WEATHER'S GOT YOU FEELING LOW…
But is it a nine-year low? Yesterday, the euro fell to a – yup – nine-year low. Womp womp. Now it looks like the European Central Bank might start QE. QE stands for quantitative easing, which is when a central bank buys up government bonds. It's meant to keep interest rates low, so it's easier for people to borrow money, and hopefully put it back into the economy. This is the same practice the US Federal Reserve started in '08 during the financial crisis. But in recent years, the Fed's been easing up on all that. Silver lining for Europe? A cheaper euro makes buying European goods more attractive to foreign consumers. This could increase exports for the eurozone and make the economy look a little less like you did on New Year's Day.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FOOTBALL-OBSESSED FRIEND…
The drama continues, this time at FSU. Yesterday, Jameis Winston — Florida State's QB and the 2013 Heisman winner — announced that he's leaving the Sunshine State two years early to enter this year's NFL draft. On the field, Winston will be remembered as one of the best quarterbacks FSU has ever seen. Off the field, he will be remembered for things like this. And this. But mostly, for that time another student accused him of rape two years ago. The state didn't file charges against Winston, and the school cleared him in an independent hearing last month. Yesterday, the accuser filed a lawsuit against FSU. She's claiming that the university failed to comply with Title IX rules when she reported the rape. Title IX requires universities to investigate sexual assault allegations within roughly 60 days. FSU allegedly failed to investigate her claim until almost a year after she first reported it.
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU ENACT THE FIVE-SECOND RULE…
Dirt don't hurt. Science is actually on your side with that theory. Yesterday, we found out that scientists may have discovered a new antibiotic grown in dirt that could fight drug resistant bacteria. In recent years, there's been a rise in people getting sick from these. This is in part because people have been using antibiotics too often (think: that friend who turns to a Z-Pak when she sneezes), and bacteria have found a way to say 'F you' to the drugs. For years, scientists have been trying to find a new antibiotic to solve the problem. But don't get too excited yet. As one doctor said,"It's at the test-tube and the mouse level, and mice are not men or women." So true.
Happy New Year! Skimm HQ is resolving to know more about everything else people talk about. Up next…
The Playa: A dried-up lakebed in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Serves as the main meeting point for the annual gathering of furry boots and feathers otherwise known as Burning Man. Things get weird. Grover Norquist gets into it. Vamos a la playa.
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