Skimm'd with tax pros on call

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

JANUARY 23, 2020


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Skimm'd with tax pros on call


"I'm shell shocked" – A fan's reaction to the death of Mr. Peanut in a preview Super Bowl commercial. We canut believe it.


The Story

Saudi Arabia allegedly hacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Allegedly hacked?

That's according to two UN experts. Yesterday, they revealed that a WhatsApp account belonging to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) may have been used to hack Bezos's iPhone. And that it was apparently an effort to "influence, if not silence" The Washington Post's reporting on the kingdom. Reminder: Bezos has owned the Post since 2013.

Wait so Bezos and MBS had each other's numbers?

Yep. The two exchanged phone numbers at a dinner party in 2018. The UN believes MBS's account sent an encrypted video message via WhatsApp that contained digital spyware. That allegedly enabled surveillance of Bezos's cellphone starting in May of that year. He then started receiving messages from the same account hinting the sender knew private details about his personal life (think: affair, divorce). Bezos called for an investigation into the alleged hacking.

What does this have to do with reporting?

Well, UN officials think the timing of it is sketchy. At the time of the hacking, the Post was releasing articles critical of the kingdom and had been working with Jamal Khashoggi (a Saudi dissident and journalist) to report on it. Khashoggi was dismembered that year by Saudi agents in Istanbul. The report said that the timing of the hacking further supports that MBS "ordered, incited, or, at a minimum, was aware of planning" the mission that targeted Khashoggi.


Indeed. The Saudi embassy said the allegations of hacking are "absurd." But the UN claims that the allegations reinforce other evidence of the kingdom cracking down on dissidents. The UN also called for immediate backup from the US to further investigate the Bezos case.


The alleged hacking of the world's richest man is raising serious security questions. And could further complicate relations between Saudi Arabia and the US over Khashoggi's death, an issue that President Trump has been reluctant to point fingers on.

Skimm More: Our guide goes deep on Saudi Arabia's global influence.


What's issued a major ruling...

The International Court of Justice. Today, the UN's highest court ordered Myanmar to take measures to prevent genocide against Rohingya Muslims. The ruling comes after public hearings last month, when Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi defended her country against the allegations that it carried out a genocide. Gambia brought the case to the court on behalf of an organization of Muslim nations. In 2017, Myanmar's military carried out attacks on the Rohingya, burning villages, raping women and children, and killing thousands of people. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh. Today's ruling relies on the UN for enforcement.

What's on the international radar…

The new coronavirus. The pneumonia-like virus has now killed at least 17 people and infected over 500. It's also spread to at least six other countries, including the US. The virus, which can be passed human to human, seems to have officials working overtime to stop it from spreading further. In Wuhan, China (where the virus originated), officials have issued an order to quarantine the city. At least three cities in China, including Wuhan, have stopped public transportation (think: buses, trains, planes).

Skimm This: Our latest podcast ep goes into what the coronavirus is and how officials are handling it.

Who's receiving 'best wishes' and not footballs…

Eli Manning. Tomorrow, the QB is expected to announce his retirement, ending his 16-year career with the New York Giants. It's a big deal since he's only one of only five players in NFL history to hold at least two Super Bowl MVPs. And has apparently held almost every passing record in team history.

Who's taking matters into her own hands...

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). Yesterday, she sued Hillary Clinton for defamation, after Clinton alleged she was a "Russian asset." Gabbard claims this smeared her "political and personal reputation." Clinton's spokesperson called the claim "ridiculous."

What's saying 'look what you made me do'…

"Miss Americana."

Impeachment Trial

Day 3

The impeachment trial is happening. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

  • Recap: Yesterday, on day 2, we started to hear opening arguments from the impeachment managers in their case against President Trump. They accused him of pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival (aka former VP Joe Biden).

  • And we're back in three, two...: The trial resumes today at 1pm ET. Impeachment managers are expected to continue presenting their case, with a focus on the first of two charges against Trump: abuse of power.

  • Fun fact: cellphones and other electronics are banned from the trial. So is talking. And those found violating the rules face the "pain of imprisonment."


The best part of working out? Wearing leggings. The worst part? Working out. Followed closely by the price tag. We Skimm'd some tips to help you on that last one. Because endorphins make you happy. But so does saving money.


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Rock on for…Emily B (LA). She passed her Practice of Geology Exam in October and is now a licensed Professional Geoscientist in Louisiana. PS this means she gets a raise. We're diggin' it.

A home run for...Alyssa N (CA). She's the first full-time female assistant coach in the history of Major League Baseball.

(Some) Birthdays...Marjie Katz (PA), Debbie Forrey (NJ), Emma Dwyer (OH), Krystal Chittenden (TX), Prunella Fiddian-Green (MA), Linda Rodgers (NJ), Mary Grace Henley (FL), Laura Madden (KS), Becky Velazquez (FL), Kristy Griffith (KY), Terrin Seaver (NM), Cindy Hess (TX), Kelsey Kodanko (ID), Katie Olivo (MA), Emily Goldenberg (CA)

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