Skimm'd while making a book list and checking it twice

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DECEMBER 21, 2017


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Skimm'd while making a book list and checking it twice


"Call me when you have a dinner invite from an alien" – Neil deGrasse Tyson is not here for your UFO sightings.



The Story

Today, Catalonia is going to the polls.

Back up. What's this about?

Catalonia is the semi-autonomous region in Spain that includes Barcelona. A few months ago, it voted to break up with Spain. But Spain was all 'that's unconstitutional.' It said the vote was illegal, took control over the region, and fired the local gov. People from both sides took to the streets to protest. Today, Catalonia's voting in a new gov, and pro-independence and pro-Spain candidates are neck-and-neck.


Spain doesn't want to lose a region that makes up a huge chunk of its economy. Europe doesn't want another Brexit situation. They're both very much invested in today's outcome.


The Story

Yesterday, Poland's president moved to overhaul the judicial system. The EU is not having it.

Back up. What's this about?

Poland's right-wing gov has been making power grabs for the past few years. Like taking more control over the media and cracking down on anti-government protests. Earlier this year, it voted in new rules that would essentially let the gov take over the judiciary. Tens of thousands of protesters and the EU said 'this doesn't feel very democratic.' In response to the protests, the president vetoed the bills. Now, nvm. The EU responded by threatening to take away Poland's voting rights.


For years, Poland's government has been slowly chipping away at the idea of separation of powers. This move ups the ante.


What people are watching…

Melbourne. Today, two men were arrested in the Australian city after ramming a SUV into a crowd. Up to 19 people were injured. This happened in the city's business district, which was crowded with Christmas shoppers. Police say the arrested driver is a 32-year-old Australian citizen of Afghan descent with a history of drug use and mental health issues. They also say that although they think this was a "deliberate act," there's no evidence yet that this was linked to terrorism.

What to say when splitting the check...

Is this before taxes? Yesterday, GOP lawmakers passed the biggest overhaul to the tax code in decades. President Trump needs to sign it. Corporations are getting a big, permanent tax cut. Most Americans will see temporary cuts too. But eventually, many lower and middle-class Americans will end up owing more. Next, Congress has to pass a spending bill in order to avoid a government shutdown this weekend. It looks like any deal won't include a DACA fix. And it's unclear if they'll get money together for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers millions of kids and has been sending SOS signals ever since its funding expired earlier this year. So that's great.

What to say to your friend who watches every Olympic gymnastics event...

Bad news. Yesterday, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney sued USA Gymnastics, the group that oversees the sport. Since last year, more than 130 women have accused former team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault. More. Than. 130. Women. Including Maroney. Nassar has admitted to molesting girls and was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison on child porn charges. He's also awaiting sentencing on sexual assault charges. Maroney says she settled with USA Gymnastics last year over her claims against Nassar. And that the group made her sign a confidentiality agreement – which her lawyer says is illegal under CA law. USA Gymnastics says the terms of the settlement were Maroney's lawyer's idea.

What to say when the funcle dresses up as Santa for the little cousins...

Classic. South Korean investigators say their shady neighbor to the North may be responsible for hacking one of the country's bitcoin exchanges. Because of course. Earlier this week, the exchange shut down and filed for bankruptcy due to the hack, its second this year. Now investigators say North Korea – which is cash-strapped due to sanctions on sanctions – could be to blame for both of them. In another bit of bad news, US exchange Coinbase is looking into some of its employees over possible insider trading. Earlier this week, it added a currency called Bitcoin Cash to its exchange. But hours before it officially hit the market, the currency's price spiked. Now Coinbase's CEO is saying 'bit curious' and taking a closer look.

What to say when you hear Khloé Kardashian confirmed her pregnancy...

Called it. Yesterday, Apple also admitted something we all knew - that yes, it has been purposely slowing down your iPhone. But it promises it's not for the reason you think.



Nothing to do with fish. It's a telephone scam that uses caller ID spoofing to make it look like the call is legit. Spoiler: it's not. A recorded message will usually instruct you to call a toll-free number and provide your credit card info. Ain't nobody got time for that. Especially when you have holiday shopping to do. Want to take steps to keep an eye on your credit this holiday season? Sign up here.



For when you're wondering what's new in theSkimm App…

We're bringing you in-depth Skimm Notes on some world leaders you're always hearing about. Today's is about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – the man at the center of the madness of the Syrian civil war. Listen here.

For when you still haven't started holiday shopping…

Git 'er done. Tomorrow is the deadline to order Amazon Prime and get gifts in time for Christmas. Here are some last-minute ideas.

For when you're always cold...

You're welcome.


* indicates Skimm'bassador. Cake, cake, cake.

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