Skimm'd under piles of blankets

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JANUARY 10, 2019


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Skimm'd under piles of blankets


"We will only remember the good moments" – Paris's first nudist restaurant is closing because who wants to eat in a restaurant full of naked people. Answer: apparently no one.


The Story

Yesterday, the Democratic Republic of Congo found out who will probably be the country's next president.

You don't sound confident.

Eh, here's some background: President Joseph Kabila has been in power for almost two decades. In '16, Kabila's time in office officially expired. He called new elections under pressure, but stuck around for another two years. There had been deadly clashes leading up to last week's election. The country has been waiting for results since.

So...who won?

Earlier today, the country's electoral commission said opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi won the presidency with more than 7 million votes. Trailing behind him, another opposition candidate – businessman Martin Fayulu. And behind him, a candidate hand-picked by the prez that some saw as his attempt to stay in power.

So that's that. The opposition leader won?

That's what it looks like. But it gets tricky. Pre-election polls showed the other opposition candidate Fayulu in the lead. And there were fears that the current prez was going to try to rig the vote in favor of his candidate. Or work out a deal with Tshisekedi to somehow share power. So now that Tshisekedi won, there's questions over how legit this all is. And things had been so tense leading up to the results, that riot police had been ready to go. The Roman Catholic Church (which has a lot of sway there) has been monitoring the election and trying to ensure a peaceful power transition. But the church reportedly found that Fayulu is actually the one who won the election.


The DRC has dealt with multiple shady elections in the past. But this was supposed to be the first democratic transfer of power since the country's independence almost 60 years ago. Tshisekedi shouldn't pop the champagne yet: the losing candidates are legally entitled to appeal the results. And Fayulu could take the whole thing to court.


What to say when your co-worker's being stubborn...

Someone's gotta budge. Yesterday, President Trump and Democrats met up to discuss a deal to re-open parts of the gov. Neither side budged on their demands over funding for the US-Mexico border wall. Trump walked out of the meeting he called "a total waste of time." Speaking of time, today's day 20 of the partial shutdown. Meanwhile, it turns out the border isn't the only thing Trump's getting tough on. Yesterday, the president threatened to stop sending federal aid to California unless state officials "get their act together." Last year, CA wildfires killed at least 89 people and left thousands homeless. Trump has blamed state officials for mismanaging the forests, though CA's forests are generally managed by federal agencies. Since then, more than 6,600 people have applied for aid to get temporary housing. More than $48 million in aid has been approved. Now, Trump says he told FEMA to cut off the money.

What to say when you hand in your two-weeks' notice…

Let's talk transition. Yesterday it came out that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to leave his job once President Trump's AG pick is confirmed. Rosenstein and Trump haven't always been on the best terms. Rosenstein oversees the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation right now, but the new AG – which is expected to be nominee William Barr – would take it over. Barr has been critical of the special counsel's investigation in the past. But apparently now says 'he's got nothing but respect' for special counsel Mueller. His confirmation hearings are scheduled for next week. In other names you keep hearing about, Michael White. Yesterday, Iran confirmed that it detained the US Navy vet...but didn't say why. White is the latest of several Americans Iran has kept behind bars. Tensions between the US and Iran aren't anything new. But this latest arrest comes during an especially strained time between the two, ever since the US dropped out of the Iran nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions.

Who people are talking about…

R. Kelly. The singer's name has been everywhere since the docu-series "Surviving R. Kelly" aired last week – which highlighted women who accuse him of abuse and pedophilia, among other things. It's led to renewed calls to #MuteRKelly, a campaign you saw last year to get music venues, streaming platforms, and artists to cut ties with him. This docu-series has put the spotlight right back on the issue. And since it came out, there've been reports that prosecutors in Georgia and Illinois could be investigating the singer. Yesterday, it came out that an arrest warrant was reportedly issued for Kelly's manager last summer for allegedly threatening to kill a man who claims Kelly has manipulated and isolated his daughter. Kelly has denied accusations against him. His manager isn't commenting.

What to say when you hear a lot of millennials are feeling pessimistic about their debt

Here's one attempt to fix it.

What to say when you hear Jeff Bezos might need to take a personal day...

Issa could use one too.


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Spotlight on…Jackie N (NC), a nurse getting her PhD who's been researching the opioid crisis. Specifically, how nurses can help combat it. She was named a national Future of Nursing Scholar by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for this.

Cheers to…Emily B (NC). She's only 26 and made it her mission to pay off her loans last year. After working a bunch of jobs, she made her final loan payment before the year ended. She's proud to have accomplished her goal of entering 2019 debt free.

Birthdays…Michael Jankowski (NJ), Kate Lancaster (DC), Ellen Antworth (GA), Kelsey Kroger (IL), David Bates (FL), Molly Belkin (NY), Caroline Black (MO), Richard Bothe (TX), Cristina Dorta Venezuela, Senita Feagin (OH), Yasmin Sikavi (WA), Allison Fehrenkamp (TX), Buddy Gault (SC), Marie Hayes (MA), Shuchita Madan (IN), Omar Mojaddedi (CA)

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