Skimm'd while finishing our summer book list

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AUGUST 23, 2017


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Skimm'd while finishing our summer book list


"Vermont" – The state with the highest proportion of mean comments from Internet trolls. Guess there are a lot of parents with basements there.


The Story

Far fewer migrants from Libya have been knocking on Italy's door.

What are you talking about?

For years, millions of people in places like the Middle East and Africa have been leaving home to flee from things like war and poverty. Libya – which is just across the Mediterranean from Italy and Greece – is a main departure point for many of them. The number of people making the journey usually spikes in the summer. But not this year.

Why's that?

Libya is torn apart by a civil war, with several groups competing to take power. Some think the slowdown in migration is because of a new armed group there – reportedly made up of civilians, policemen, and members of the army – that's pressuring smugglers to stand down on their operations. And jailing migrants looking to make the trip. Another potential reason: NGOs, like Doctors Without Borders, have had to put rescue efforts in the Mediterranean on hold after Libyan authorities fired warning shots. The orgs – which help migrants and refugees safely make the trip – were told they're sailing too close to Libya's waters.


For years, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed into Italy. And many have died trying. But now that migrant numbers seem to be taking a dip, some are worried this isn't exactly a good thing.


What people are talking about…

Missouri. Yesterday, the state's governor said 'hold up' and paused the execution of a man convicted in a '90s murder case. In 1998, a former local journalist was stabbed to death in her home. Marcellus Williams was found guilty and has been sitting on death row ever since. Last year, his lawyers got a DNA test done using new techniques that show that Williams' DNA isn't on the murder weapon. His lawyers say this proves he's innocent and that the execution should be dropped. But state attorneys say there's enough other evidence showing that Williams is to blame. Yesterday, he was supposed to be put to death. Now, the governor's asking a special panel to look into the case. And is putting the execution on hold until it gets sorted out. This comes as the death penalty has become increasingly unpopular in recent years. Many drugmakers refuse to sell lethal injection drugs anymore, making it much harder for states to get their hands on them – part of the reason executions are on the outs.

What to say when your siblings are always fighting in your family email chain...

Still going on. Yesterday, the company that owns the Dakota Access Pipeline sued Greenpeace and other environmental groups for running a campaign of "eco-terrorism" against it. Reminder: DAPL is the now-operational pipeline that carries hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day across parts of the US. Last year before the pipeline was completed, Native American tribes and their supporters spent months protesting against it running through parts of North Dakota. They said the project would destroy sacred sites and contaminate their water supply. But the pipeline eventually got the seal of approval to be built there. Now the company is going after Greenpeace and other environmental groups for things like trying to sabotage the project and spreading false info, which it says cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars in business due to bad PR. Greenpeace says their advocacy work was legit.

What to say when your friend gets a break-up text...

Probably not as bad as this. Yesterday, India's Supreme Court said that the practice of Muslim men being able to instantly divorce their wives is unconstitutional. For pretty much forever, Muslim men in India have been able to end their marriage by repeating the Arabic word for divorce three times. This is not a joke. Supporters say this is simply part of Islam and the government shouldn't be interfering with their religion. Pretty much everyone else – including many Muslims – has been saying 'wtf?' This practice is already illegal in many Muslim countries. Now India – which has a large Muslim population – is finally joining the party. Meanwhile, earlier this week a top Chilean court said abortion is OK in certain cases. For decades, Chile's been one of the few countries with a total ban on abortion. Now it's saying 'hello 21st Century,' and will let a woman get an abortion when her life is at risk, when the fetus won't survive, or in cases of rape.

What to say to your friend of a friend who likes to post her #OOTD...

Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas are getting new threads.



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