Skimm'd with gifts that will get to Mom in time

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

MAY 10, 2019



Skimm'd with gifts that will get to Mom in time


"Red Socks" – The White House misspelled the Boston Red Sox in an announcement about the team visiting. Typos sock.


The Story

The Catholic Church is seriously changing how it handles sex abuse allegations.

About time.

You said it. For decades, the Catholic Church has had a systemic problem of child sex abuse and cover-ups. Findings of widespread abuse like we saw last year from Pennsylvania have undermined the church's and Pope Francis's reputation – and opened to door to more investigations. The Vatican has been slow to respond to the crisis, and hasn't taken concrete measures to address the problem worldwide. Until now.

Go on…

Yesterday, the Pope announced a new law that requires all clergy members to report accusations of sexual abuse, possession of child pornography, and cover-ups to church officials. The new law will take effect next month. All dioceses will also have a year to put a system in place to receive complaints – and they have to protect whistleblowers.

I feel like there's a key piece missing here…

If you're thinking law enforcement, you're right. The new law doesn't require clergy members to report suspected crimes to police.

Why's that?

The church has argued that countries have different legal systems, where victims or Catholic minorities could be persecuted – so in some cases it could be best to leave authorities out of this. Some say that's not an excuse. And are frustrated that the law doesn't spell out punishments for abusers and those who enable them. But these new rules do require clergy members to cooperate with officials when asked. So...progress?


This is seen as the Catholic Church's first major step to set up a formal system that addresses the global sex abuse crisis. But it remains to be seen whether this actually helps to stop sexual abuse in the church.


Who's saying 'gotcha'...

The US to North Korea. Yesterday, the Justice Department announced it seized a North Korean ship near American Samoa that had allegedly been used to export coal, violating UN and US sanctions. Meet the Wise Honest – the name of the ship, not a racehorse (as far as we know). Indonesia detained it last year. And the US got a warrant for it back in July. Now, the US is officially saying 'look at me, I am the captain now.' Authorities say it's the first time the US seized a North Korean ship for violating international sanctions.

  • Miss(ile) me?: The announcement came hours after North Korea launched what appears to be short-range missiles for the second time in a week. And the same day the US tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. Hear that? It's the not-so-subtle sound of both countries saying 'don't mess with me' as their nuclear talks stall.

...Oh and speaking of countries the US is beefing with, China. Trade talks resume today. But since the two sides failed to come to an agreement yesterday, the US raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as promised. Expect that meeting to be awkward.

Who just got a mixed performance review…

President Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of the African National Congress in South Africa. After this week's elections, it looks like he and his party will stay in power, potentially with its smallest majority ever. The ANC has been in power since the end of apartheid in 1994. But it's been swamped with corruption allegations, especially under its previous president. The economy is struggling, and the World Bank describes South Africa as the most unequal country on Earth in terms of wealth. Ramaphosa is way more popular than his party – especially with the middle class. But voters were apathetic, with turnout relatively low. Early results show a radical left party led by Julius Malema (a former ANC member) made some headway – but seems to have won about 10% of the vote.

  • Spreading the wealth: More support for the left could push the ANC to pick up the pace on its plan to redistribute land from white to black South Africans – addressing ongoing wealth disparities as a result of apartheid. But critics say the ANC's plan to seize land from white South Africans without paying them for it isn't the way to go about it.

What state has people's attention…

Alabama. Yesterday, yelling broke out in its state Senate among Republicans over a new abortion bill – the most restrictive in the country. Last week the House passed the bill, which would make nearly all abortions a felony. Doctors who perform them would face up to 99 years in prison. There are exceptions for when a woman's health is in danger but not for victims of rape or incest. State senators proposed those exceptions, which launched a major dispute on the state Senate floor – and the vote was delayed until next week. It's still expected to pass. Add this to the list of states that have been cracking down on abortion this year.

Who's saying 'et tu, Brute?'...

Facebook. Yesterday, co-founder Chris Hughes (who left the company in 2007) published an op-ed calling on the government to break up the company from subsidiaries like Instagram and WhatsApp. And to start regulating it. He says this will allow other social media companies to compete and would encourage Facebook to behave more responsibly on things like user privacy. The company responded that accountability doesn't come from the breakup of a "successful American company," and that it's open to some form of internet regulation. Ya hear that Congress?

…Oh and speaking of Silicon Valley, Uber's set to go public today – which could be the biggest tech IPO this year.

Skimm This: Listen to our audio ep to go Uber deep on this IPO.

What's more divisive than telling people Bran's your favorite character...

The Aperol spritz.

Why we're feeling grateful…

Ahmad Rahman showed us how.

When you're in need of a pick-me-up

Skimm This. Today's episode will feature shoutouts from Skimm'rs to the mother figures in their lives. Tune in at 5pm ET. And every weekday at the same time for all the news everyone and their mother needs to know.


Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos's space company that unveiled a moon lander yesterday. The short-term goal: bring humans back to the moon by 2024. The long-term goal: colonize the moon so humanity can expand to a trillion people. Shoot for the moon, Bezos.


"Gingerbread" by Helen Oyeyemi

Once upon a time... there was an adult fairytale. This one's a reimagined version of Hansel and Gretel that follows an immigrant mother and her teenage daughter in the UK. TBD if this family finds its happy ending. Get it here.


For when you haven't thought about a Mother's Day gift yet…

We thought of one for you. "How to Skimm Your Life" is the perfect gift for the mother in your life. Best served with a glass of wine, so don't forget to pick up a bottle too. Get the book and a special card we made just for you.


This week is National Small Business Week. And we're celebrating by shouting out our community that knows there's nothing small about starting or owning a small business…

Looking for food advice from…Matt S (PA). He started as a tour guide for City Food Tours in Philadelphia in 2016. Last summer, the owners wanted to close up shop. So Matt stepped in and bought the company. Ever since, he's created new tours, revived the company's social media accounts, and implemented pay increase initiatives for other guides.

In awe of…Cyndi D (CA). She started her own marketing company nine years ago as a one-woman shop with two small clients. The company now employs six women and manages several accounts. On top of that, Cyndi also has two kids and teaches a marketing class at a local community college.

(Some) Birthdays…Trudie Perkins (NY), Julia Cereghino (NY), Emma Golkin (NY), Mackenzie Berger, Chelsea Gray (NY), Pia Marie Paulone (TX), Sarah Bippen (MO), Addie Southwick (SC), Maribel V Chavez (FL), Geoff Browning (DC), Manav Sidhu (CA), Nicholas Lombardi (MA), Jessica Paz (CA), Susan Roberts (OH)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.