Skimm'd with JonnyPops

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AUGUST 16, 2018


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Skimm'd with JonnyPops


"Georgia police investigating $98,000 ramen noodles heist" – A real headline. Two words: college students?


The Story

A series of attacks in Afghanistan have killed hundreds of people in the past week.

Back up.

The Afghan army has been fighting a nearly 17-year-long war with the Taliban, the Islamic extremist group that basically ruled Afghanistan back in the '90s, but got kicked out after 9/11. It's been carrying out attacks against soldiers and civilians ever since. Meanwhile, ISIS has also set up shop in the area.

What's the latest?

Last week, the Taliban launched an assault on a strategic city that connects the capital to anti-gov areas in the south. The attack lasted for days and up to 150 civilians were estimated to have been killed. Then yesterday, it led another attack in the country's north and killed nearly 40 police officers and soldiers. Then there was an attack on students.

What happened?

Yesterday, a suicide bomber walked into a classroom full of teens, killing 34 people and injuring dozens more. The center was in a Shiite area of the city – often a target for Sunni terror groups. The Taliban has denied being responsible, and people think this one might've been ISIS. Meanwhile, the uptick in violence has dashed hopes of a peace deal anytime soon.

Tell me about that.

The Trump admin has been looking for a peace deal with the Taliban that could finally bring an end to this war. There was a ceasefire earlier this year. And last month, Taliban officials met up with US reps for a chat. There's reportedly another meeting on the books for next month. But this recent round of violence makes peace with the Taliban – or even another ceasefire – seem less and less likely right now.


This has been a particularly deadly week in Afghanistan. Some think the Taliban might be trying to use this as a show of force during peace negotiations. Either way, it shines a spotlight on a country that's been wracked by war for well over a decade, with no signs of stopping.


What to say when your maid of honor is slacking on her responsibilities…

Title revoked. That's what President Trump is saying after taking away former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance. The admin says it's because of his "lying and recent conduct." Some think it's because Brennan's been a vocal critic of the prez. But Trump apparently hinted that it might have to do with Brennan's involvement in the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation. Brennan said the gov didn't tell him directly. And that this move is something "foreign tyrants and despots" do. Trump is considering taking clearances away from other former gov officials next. The admin says it doesn't make sense for former officials to have access to the country's "most sensitive secrets." But it's raised Qs about whether Trump is specifically targeting people who aren't his biggest fans (see: James Comey, Peter Strzok, Sally Yates).

What to say after someone steals your lunch out of the fridge…

Need to investigate. The SEC is looking into Tesla. This is about Tesla CEO Elon Musk going rogue and tweeting that he might take the co private. And that he has the funding (aka tens of billions of dollars) to do it. Tesla's been hitting some road bumps recently – and this tweet made the co's stock skyrocket. But it also seems to have raised SEC eyebrows about whether Musk was just being transparent or whether he was trying to manipulate stock prices. Now the SEC is getting up in Tesla's business and subpoenaing the co – the first step in a formal investigation. Outlook: not so good.

PS: Our app has audio episodes (aka Skimm Notes) that go deep on topics you need to know about. Including Elon Musk. Get it here.

What to say when you get along with your new co-workers…

We make a good team. The DEA is teaming up with the Mexican gov to crack down on drug cartels. Their move: hit 'em where it hurts (aka go after the money). In other news about things under pressure, North Korea. The Trump admin's putting sanctions on companies accused of helping North Korea get around int'l sanctions in countries like China, Singapore, and Russia. Another sign that the US-North Korea summit didn't really pan out so well...

What to say when you're the only one in your friend group not invited to a party…

Clearly I'm not wanted. Yesterday, New Zealand passed a law banning most foreigners from buying some residential property there. Some – including the country's PM – think that foreigners are to blame for the hot housing market that's led to prices going up, up, and away. Now the gov's taking matters into its own hands and putting up a 'closed for business' sign.

What to say when you're still trying to find your person…

Pro-tip: opposites attract.