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OCTOBER 16, 2017


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Skimm'd with earbuds in


"How to rob a bank" – One man's recent Google search. Guess what he did next.


The Story

Today's the deadline for Catalonia to say whether it's declaring independence from Spain.

Remind me about Catalonia.

It's the semi-autonomous, northeastern region of Spain that includes Barcelona. Earlier this month, after decades of fighting off and on for independence, Catalonia voted to break from Spain. Team Leave says Catalonia has its own language and culture, and has been unfairly responsible for propping up the country's finances. Spain says the vote was illegal, because the country's constitution bans individual regions from seceding.


Last week, Catalonia said it was ready to declare independence, but then said it wanted to hit 'pause' to talk things out with Spain. But Spain says it's not in the mood and won't be until Catalonia drops this independence idea altogether. It gave Catalonia until today to decide.

What's going to happen?

Unclear. But if Catalonia declares independence, Spain could move to take full control of the region and suspend its gov officials.

Anything else?

Yesterday, Austria hit the polls. It looks like two conservative, anti-immigrant parties are set to take over Austria's parliament – and the 31-year-old leader of one party will be the next chancellor. This is the latest European election under a microscope this year over the rise of far-right, nationalist parties (see: Germany).


Thanks to things like bailouts, recessions, immigration crises, Brexit, and terrorism, the EU has been in crisis-management mode for years. Looks like the fun is not over yet.


What people are watching...

Kirkuk. Yesterday, Iraqi forces started to try and retake the disputed Kurdish area of Kirkuk. The Kurds are an ethnic minority spread out across Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. Last month, Iraqi Kurds voted to break off from Iraq. Iraq says the vote was illegal. And is now using military force to try and take back control of areas the Kurds say are theirs. Meanwhile in Somalia over the weekend, two truck bombs exploded in the country's capital of Mogadishu, killing more than 270 people and injuring hundreds. Somalia has been fending off the al-Qaeda linked extremist group al-Shabaab for years. Attacks like this are straight out of al-Shabaab's playbook, and Somalia's gov blames the group for this latest one.

What to say when your credit card gets charged in another state...

Not comforting. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he'll continue trying diplomacy with North Korea "until the first bomb drops." And that President Trump – who's "not seeking to go to war" – is on board with this approach. This comes after weeks of tension between the president and his sec. of state. Retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said this has made it look like the prez is 'castrating' his top diplomat. Tillerson would like you to know that he's "fully intact," he checked.

What to say when your friend says she'll cover the bill...

That doesn't happen often. Today, Hurricane Ophelia is expected to make its way towards Ireland and parts of Britain. Ophelia made history over the weekend as the first major hurricane to travel that far east in the Atlantic. It's expected to weaken to a post-tropical storm before making landfall, and bring heavy winds and coastal flooding. Meanwhile, post-Maria Puerto Rico still lacks basic resources like water and electricity. The governor says he'll try to have power back for most of the island by...mid-December. California officials are also making some progress after wildfires broke out last week, killing at least 40 people. Winds are dying down and some evacuees are starting to head home.

What people are talking about...

Colin Kaepernick. Yesterday, the former San Francisco 49ers QB accused the NFL of colluding against him. Last year, Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police mistreatment of black people. Other players started joining in. And this season, President Trump weighed in saying that any player who protests the anthem is disrespecting the flag and should be fired. Meanwhile Kaepernick – who opted out of his 49ers contract earlier this year – still hasn't been signed by another team. Now he says that NFL owners are working together to keep him out of the league in retaliation for his protest. All of this comes as NFL owners are getting together in NYC tomorrow for their annual fall meeting. On the agenda: whether to change NFL rules to require players to stand for the anthem.

What to say to a mouse in your apartment...

Not welcome here. Over the weekend, the Motion Picture Academy (the one that gives out the Oscars) said 'boy bye' to Harvey Weinstein. In recent weeks, it broke that the Hollywood producer has allegedly been sexually harassing and assaulting women for decades. Dozens of women have come forward with allegations. Weinstein was fired from his company. And now the Academy is kicking him out too. This has only happened once before for a minor rule violation. The Academy says the decision was meant to "send a message" that this kind of behavior is no longer accepted in Hollywood... Oh and director Woody Allen – who has his own history of sexual abuse allegations – chimed in to say that the Weinstein fallout could lead to a "witch hunt atmosphere," where every guy who winks at a woman needs to lawyer up. Mmmk.



For when there are sour cream and onion chips in the office...

Brush it off. Three Skimm HQ'ers bought this electric toothbrush and swear by it. Now we're all doing it. It's easy to travel with and keeps things clean. Bonus: Skimm'rs get a little something off the price tag.


For when Monday sets in...

Get outta town. These cities are living their best lives in the fall.

For when you hate to pack...

Martha Stewart feels you. Here are some tips she's picked up along the way. Hint: she brings her own soap.


Gimme gimme more...

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