Skimm'd while hearing what Howard Schultz has to say about 2020

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JANUARY 30, 2019


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Skimm'd while hearing what Howard Schultz has to say about 2020


"John, Paul, George, Ringo ... and uh Macklemore" – A Twitter user responding to the challenge of naming all the members of Maroon 5. Uh, there's Adam Levine and…


The Story

Yesterday, top US intelligence officials contradicted President Trump on a number of issues in front of Congress.

Like what?

ISIS...Since debuting as the so-called Islamic State in 2014, the terror group has lost most of its territory in Iraq and Syria. Last month, Trump said ISIS has been defeated and that it's time to start pulling troops out of Syria. Yesterday, intelligence officials said 'ehhh that's not really true.' They said that ISIS has suffered ground losses, but that it "still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria." And still has thousands of supporters around the world.

Iran…Back in 2015, the US and several other countries shook on a deal to get Iran's nuclear program in check in exchange for lifting sanctions. Last year, Trump took the US out of the deal, saying it wouldn't stop Iran from going nuclear. Yesterday, intelligence officials said 'ehhh Iran's a threat but there's no evidence it broke the deal.' And warned that Iran may break the deal if it doesn't get the economic benefits it was expecting.

North Korea...The only country to have tested nuclear weapons this century. Last year, Trump had a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un where the two leaders agreed to work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." Trump also said that North Korea is "no longer a nuclear threat." Yesterday, intelligence officials said 'ehhh that's a stretch.' And that the country is "unlikely to give up" all of its nuclear stockpiles.

Why'd they come out with this publicly?

Because they give a presentation of global threats to the Senate every year.

Is it normal for the intel community to disagree with Trump?

Well, it's not the first time it's happened. (See: Russia's interference in the 2016 election). It's also worth mentioning that their assessment didn't mention the security crisis at the US-Mexico border – an issue Trump has considered declaring a national emergency over in order to build a physical barrier. And the issue at the center of the longest government shutdown in history.

What's Trump have to say about all this?

Nothing yet.


The country's top intelligence officials are contradicting the president on some of the facts behind today's biggest security issues. The thing to watch now is whether it has any effect on US foreign policy, or if the president continues to march to the beat of his own drum.


What to say when you run out of paper towels…

What a mess. Speaking of, Brexit. Yesterday, UK lawmakers voted to send PM Theresa May back to the EU to renegotiate her deal. Specifically: the backstop. That's the plan that keeps the UK tied to the EU's trade laws to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. Lawmakers want May and the EU to find another solution. The problem: there isn't one. Either the UK sets up a border, which could threaten a peace deal that ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland. Or it stays close to EU trade laws. No one has offered up a plan C. Now, May's trying to go back to the EU to work out a new deal. But the EU isn't having it.

Skimm More: Read our answers to FAQs on the never-ending Brexit saga.

Who people are talking about...

Stacey Abrams. Yesterday, Democrats announced that Abrams – who was on the ballot for Georgia governor last year – will deliver the response to President Trump's State of the Union address next week. She'll be the second person to deliver the rebuttal while not serving in public office.

Skimm More: Speaking of public office, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is in the headlines for saying he might run as an independent. We talked to him about the potential of having three (repeat: three) billionaires in the 2020 race.

What to say when that date you went on was short and underwhelming…

Just like El Chapo's defense. Yesterday, his lawyers – defending the drug lord from a range of charges including murder conspiracy and drug trafficking – presented a 30-minute defense and called just one witness before resting their case. Compare that to the prosecution's almost 11-week case featuring 56 witnesses. Bold move. In other news of people saying 'wasn't me,' Roger Stone. Last week, President Trump's longtime adviser and friend was arrested and charged with crimes including witness tampering and lying to Congress. Yesterday, he pleaded not guilty. He's out on bail and is not allowed to contact witnesses in his case.

Who people want updates on…

Jussie Smollett. Yesterday, the "Empire" actor was hospitalized after being attacked in Chicago. Police say two men approached him on the street, yelled "racial and homophobic slurs" at him, beat him, poured "an unknown chemical substance" on him and wrapped a rope around his neck. Authorities say he's in good condition. They are investigating this a potential hate crime.

What to say when you see Apple's meh earnings report

Add that to its list of problems. Yesterday, the company temporarily disabled FaceTime's group chat feature after reports that you could call people and listen in on them, even if they didn't pick up the phone. You know, kind of a major security flaw. Speaking of news about your phone ringing...a new report says there were an estimated 26.3 billion robo calls to US phones last year, up 46% from the year before. The result? People are apparently not answering calls as much. Because real friends text.


1 in 2

The approximate number of U.S. adults who've had an immediate family member incarcerated for at least one night in jail or prison, according to new research from and Cornell University. There's a lot to learn about high incarceration rates in the U.S.– especially what it means for families. A lot of people want to change the statistics. Learn more here.


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Spotlight on...Corie G (MA), who got a job researching the sensory capabilities of squid, octopuses (again, not octupi), and other squishy animals. We're sensing this could get messy.

Saluti to...Alexandria W (TX), who got a scholarship to study abroad in Italy. And to Megan D (NJ), who's moving to teach at the International School of Bangkok.

(Some) Birthdays...Charlie Stern (NY), Rachel Brooks (NY), Sara Berger, Sarvis Bernstein(FL), Jenna Boscardin (RI), Chloe Choe (WA), Maya Cotton (IN), Sara Flanagan (BC), Roberta Benoit (TX), Jaye Brooks (NC), Caleb Faille (IL), Lisa Foltz (KY), Moni Graf (KS), Lauren Mathias (UK), Shawn Morrison (VA), Anna Perez (China), Alexandra Perry (GA)

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