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theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile

AUGUST 01, 2018


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"Sure" – Alex Trebek on whether he can imagine his life without "Jeopardy!" But can we imagine a life without you, Alex?


The Story

Status update: Facebook uncovered new efforts to influence US politics.

This sounds familiar…

It should. Russia attacked the 2016 election – partially by hacking into things like the DNC and spreading divisive political messages on social media. US intel agencies are working with Facebook to prevent a repeat.

So, what's happening?

The company said it removed 32 accounts from Facebook and Instagram that were spreading messages, buying ads, and organizing real-life political events. And that this was "coordinated inauthentic behavior." The pages had almost 300,000 followers total. They were created over the past year and were linked to dozens of events – including an upcoming protest against white supremacists. Many looked like they were targeting liberals.

Is it Russia?

Unclear. But the Book said it smells vodka. And lawmakers say this mirrors Russia's playbook.

Anything else?

President Trump has a status update of his own. He asked chief of staff John Kelly to stay through the 2020 election. Because, long-term planning.


US intel officials have warned that Russia attacked the 2016 election, and plans on doing the same this November. There are less than 100 days until midterms. And it's looking like there's already reason to worry.


What to say when you get a Venmo request from a stranger…

Blocked. Yesterday, a federal judge blocked a Texas-based company from uploading its blueprints on how to make a DIY gun using a 3D printer. The blueprints were initially stopped by the gov. But were supposed to go back online today - after the co settled a lawsuit with the Trump admin. Earlier this week, a few states hit the panic button to stop it from happening. The fear: 3D-printed guns could potentially make it easier for people – including those who fail background checks – to get untraceable weapons. Yesterday, President Trump said 'let me rethink this.' And a federal judge is hitting pause for now.

What people are talking about…

The plane crash in Mexico. It crashed a little after takeoff, a few miles away from the airport in Durango, northwest of Mexico City. Dozens were injured and thankfully, no one died.

What to say at the end of your birthday dinner...

Meet, the bill. Yesterday, two Senate Democrats intro'd a bill to ask LGBTQ-related questions in future censuses. The US census is a BFD because it helps determine things like how federal money is allocated. Supporters of the bill say "no one should be invisible" – and that adding questions on things like gender identity and sexual orientation could help LGBTQ members access gov services. Skeptics reportedly worry it could lead to more discrimination, especially in states where there aren't protections for LGBTQ people. Meanwhile, the movie industry apparently keeps missing the memo. A new report shows there's been basically zero progress in on-screen diversity for the past 10 years. I never (Holly)wood've guessed.

What to say when your office manager needs help lifting boxes…

Time to pitch in. The UN is asking for an assist to help with the influx of people fleeing Nicaragua. ICYMI, there've been protests in the country for months – at first over social security and then calling on the prez to step down. Hundreds of people have been killed. And thousands have fled the country, to places like Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and the US. Yesterday, the UN says about 200 Nicaraguans are claiming asylum in Costa Rica on the daily. And the UN refugee center there is struggling to process all the claims. Now, the agency is calling on the international community to help out.

What to say to your friend who's obsessed with their own genetic makeup…

Police and pharma cos may be interested, too. Yesterday, genetic testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry signed on to new guidelines to protect your DNA info. The cos pinky promised not to share your personal info without getting your permission. ATCGee, thanks. They also say they'll release reports at least once a year about police requests for users' data.

What to say to your friend who keeps asking you to go for a run…

I'm thinking about it. LeBron James is, too.