Skimm for July 11th

Skimm'd over popsicles with a kick

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Umbrellas are different from bicycles" – The CEO of a Chinese startup that tried to make umbrellas the next sharing economy trend. Only to 'lose' nearly all its inventory. Please bring back that umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh.

THINGS GETTING CONFRONTATIONAL

THE MEDIA

The Story

The media industry's pushing Congress to let them get in the ring with Google and Facebook.

What are you talking about?

Google and Facebook are the kings of the Internet jungle. They've become the gatekeepers to news and control most online ad dollars. A bunch of media outlets – like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post – say this business model cuts into their profits. And makes it harder for 'real' news to be seen over 'fake' news. So they want to negotiate with Google and Facebook to push them to agree to new revenue-sharing agreements, support for subscription plans, and beef up intellectual property rights. Enter, Congress.

Why Congress?

Since currently, laws say media outlets can't sit together at the negotiating table. Because antitrust. So they're asking Congress to change the rules, so they can have leverage against the Internet giants.

theSkimm

Traditional media and social media need each other. But they're also competing for attention. And this step could bring the two sides closer to cash me outside, how bow dah.


WALL STREET

The Story

Yesterday, the feds made it easier for consumers to take banks to court.

What are you talking about?

The fine print in a lot of financial contracts – like opening a new bank account or credit card – says customers can't file class action lawsuits against banks. But not everyone has endless funds to take banks to court on their own. So after the financial crisis in '08, the Obama administration created a federal bureau to crack down on these sorts of loopholes. And the bureau's been trying to set this rule in motion ever since. It makes it so banks can no longer block customers from coming together to sue them. But critics say the only people who will win some extra cash from this rule are lawyers.

theSkimm

Right now, tens of millions of Americans are tied up in bank contracts that prevent them from being able to file class action suits. But Congress has the power to overturn it in the next few months. Stay tuned.

REPEAT AFTER ME...

What to say when you get an email from a foreign prince...

Seems shady. Yesterday, the NYT reported that President Trump's son Donald Jr. got an email last year that suggested the Russian gov was trying to help his father's campaign. Refresher: the US intelligence community says Russia interfered with the election by doing things like hacking into the DNC's emails. And did this in part to help Trump win. Now, multiple investigations are looking into whether Trump's campaign team was involved. Earlier this week, it came out that during the campaign, Donald Jr. agreed to meet with a Kremlin-connected lawyer because he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Now, we know that Donald Jr. allegedly got an email from a British friend who set up the meeting. In it, he reportedly says that the Clinton info came from Russia and was part of the country's efforts to give Trump an assist. Team Trump says Donald Jr. was just trying to find ways to help the campaign. But the Senate Intelligence Committee – which is leading an investigation into all this – is saying to Donald Jr., 'let's set up a meeting of our own.'

What people are watching…

Mississippi. Yesterday, a US military plane crashed in a field there, killing at least 16 people. The plane - which is used to transfer fuel to other planes in-flight - reportedly disintegrated in the air. But the cause wasn't clear. The FBI doesn't believe there was foul play. The crash happened in a very rural region, about 2 hours north of the state capital Jackson. Last night, there was a fiery wreckage and debris spread was for miles around the crash.

What people are talking about…

Liu Xiaobo. Yesterday, Chinese doctors said the Nobel Peace Prize winner is in critical condition. For years, Liu was one of Communist China's most famous critics, calling out the country for human rights abuses and pushing for democratic freedoms. Back in 2009, he was sentenced to more than a decade in prison for writing a pro-democracy manifesto. He got his Nobel prize while he was locked up. And the entire diplomatic community's given China the side-eye for jailing him. Then earlier this year he was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer, so China released him so he could seek treatment. Liu's asking to get his medical help abroad, but despite lots of international pressure, China's saying 'no can do.' Two Western docs checked Liu out recently and said he's well enough to travel. But China's holding firm. And Liu's condition is only getting worse.

What to say when you and your friends are fighting over where to go for a weekend getaway…

Let's bring in a mediator. This week, US Sec. of State Rex Tillerson is hopping around the Persian Gulf trying to get the neighborhood to kiss and make up with Qatar. Last month, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE all said 'you can't sit with us anymore' and cut off diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar. They say the country's guilty of supporting extremist groups and Iran – which some of them consider an arch nemesis and a major state-sponsor of terrorism. Qatar says 'erroneous, erroneous on both counts.' But its neighbors have given them a list of demands to be friends again. And Qatar's saying 'we'll pass.' Not helping? The fact that all of these countries are US allies and some of them help with military ops in the region. So the US would very much like if everyone were on speaking terms. Now Tillerson – who made lots of friends in the Gulf as CEO of Exxon Mobil – is going to try to make it happen. Good luck.

What to say to your friend who plans to watch the entire MLB All-Star game

Then you must have had time for this match.

THING TO KNOW

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The dummy text that your design co-worker uses on project docs. It looks like gibberish. But it's actually a scrambled version of an ancient Latin passage written by Cicero. It also showcases how different fonts will look. Veni vidi placeholder.


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