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Skimm'd with bite-sized language lessons

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Quote of the Day

"Like two ships passing because one of us was always in a relationship" – David Schwimmer on an on-again, off-again crush on Jennifer Aniston. With them, it's never off the table.

The Crypto Keeper

The Story

Iran's cracking down on crypto.


For months now, the country's been plunged in the dark as daily power outages often lasted more than six hours. The likely culprit? Bitcoin mining. Reminder: Bitcoin's a digital currency that you can buy...or mine for. Mining is when high-powered computers crunch through really intense math problems (much harder than AP Calc) in order to get rewarded with bitcoin. And it's not great for the planet. Like Elon Musk's reminded us, mining leaves a major carbon footprint since it uses a bit-ton of energy (no really, it's as much as Sweden uses in a whole year). And Iran's taken up the side hustle – even becoming one of the top 10 mining countries in the world. Now, the gov wants it to end.

Tell me more.

Earlier this week, Tehran put a four-month ban on crypto mining, especially the illegal kind – which the gov says is nearly 85% of all mining in the country. Illegal mining ops use between six and seven times more power than licensed crypto mining facilities. Cue massive blackouts. But US sanctions against Iran are depriving the country of hard cash, driving demand for cryptocurrencies. One analysis found bitcoin mining allows the country to earn hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto-assets, which can be used to buy imported goods. So, some are seeing the opportunity to cash in with mining. Electricity in Iran is also highly subsidized and cheap, making mining all the more appealing. Now, Iran is coming down hard on illegal (and legal) miners in hopes it can help relieve its power grids from the pressure.

Will it help?

It's unclear. Legal and illegal mining reportedly uses less than 10% of the country's electricity production. And some analysts aren't too sure that bitcoin mining ops are solely at fault for the power outages. Some – including President Hassan Rouhani – have pointed to the country's recent severe drought's effect on the hydroelectric power system. Others also apparently blame ongoing gas shortages. And miners are not ready to let things go. Iranian officials were reportedly met with gunfire last week when they tried to close down an operation.


Bitcoin has earned a reputation as the hottest cryptocurrency on the market. Now, it's also getting a reputation for its energy-intensive process that can cause blackouts, harm the environment, and even make its way to the black market. Not such an itty bit-coiny problem after all.

Psst…if you're new to all things crypto, here are the answers to some of your FAQs.

And Also...This

What's trying to right wrongs...

France. Yesterday, President Emmanuel Macron recognized the country's "overwhelming responsibility" in the Rwandan genocide and asked survivors for forgiveness. In 1994, Hutu extremists carried out a 100-day genocide, killing more than 800,000 people – mainly ethnic minority Tutsis. For years Rwanda's accused France of being complicit as an ally of the Hutu-led government. Now, after a French inquiry, Macron acknowledged that France ignored warnings of the massacre...but he fell short of issuing an apology. Rwandan President Paul Kagame said Macron's statement was "more valuable than an apology" because it was "the truth." And sees it as a big step towards easing the countries' tense relationship.

Canada. Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for the country's internment of Italian Canadians during WWII. In 1940, Canada detained over 600 people of Italian descent amid allegations they were part of fascist groups. And declared about 31,000 other Italian Canadians "enemy aliens." Now, Trudeau's officially acknowledging the "pain and hardship" the gov caused and said 'sorry' to the approximately 1.6 million Italian Canadians living there. Some Italian Canadians reportedly say they wish the apology had come sooner for relatives who suffered the real hardship but are no longer alive.

Who people are talking about...

Manuel Ellis. Yesterday, the Washington state attorney general filed charges against three Tacoma police officers in the death of the 33-year-old Black man. On March 3, 2020 – weeks before George Floyd's murder – officers tried to arrest Ellis. Police claimed Ellis got into a physical altercation with them. But witnesses said the police knocked Ellis to the ground without reason. Videos captured the incident and showed Ellis repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe." The medical examiner determined Ellis's cause of death was from lack of oxygen from physical restraint and ruled his death a homicide. Five officers were put on leave pending an investigation. Now, the state AG stepped in, charging two officers with murder and a third with manslaughter. It's the first time the state AG has criminally charged police officers for unlawful use of deadly force. And while Ellis's family called the charges a "blessing," they also said there's more work that needs to be done. The Tacoma Police Union called the charges a "politically motivated witch hunt."

Who's saying 'there's been a hack'...

Microsoft. Yesterday, the company announced that Russian group Nobelium hacked an email marketing account used by at least 150 gov agencies (including some US ones), think tanks, and NGOs. Cyberattacks aren't slowing down. In April, the US sanctioned Russia for hacking into several US gov agencies. In this new attack, hackers were able to send out emails that looked legit to over 3,000 accounts that regularly connect with the US Agency for International Development. And these emails gave hackers access to the recipient's computer and data. The attack targeted at least 24 countries. USAID is now reportedly working with the FBI to "understand the extent" of the damage.

Who's saying 'let's make a deal'...

GOP lawmakers. Yesterday, they released their counteroffer to President Biden's infrastructure plan. At first, Biden wanted more than $2 trillion. But the two sides have been negotiating over the price tag, with GOP lawmakers wanting America's renovation on the cheap. Now, GOP lawmakers are saying 'the price is right' to $928 billion. They want infrastructure spending to cover roads, airports, and pipes, but not some of the other things on Biden's wish list, like social programs and educational funding. Democrats had set an end-of-May deadline to decide whether a bipartisan deal could be reached. Or they'd try to pass a bill on their own. Now, the White House is saying 'let's keep talking' and may extend talks a few more days to see if it's possible to...wait for it...bridge the gap.

Who's drawing boundaries…

Naomi Osaka. Earlier this week, the tennis star said she won't be speaking at the mandatory press conferences during the French Open because of the effects it has on her mental health – something she claims the media has "no regard" for.

Who's trying to land the number one spot...

DMX and "Cruella."


We're wrapping up Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month by sharing some money advice from AAPI elders – courtesy of Skimm'rs and Skimm HQ'rs. Because their cultural backgrounds and unique experiences in the US can offer a perspective that's rarely shared outside of family conversations. From betting on yourself to re-using everything you can, read all the tips we loved here.

PS: Want more money advice? Sign up to get the Skimm Money newsletter in your inbox every Friday.

Skimm Reads

"The Plot" by Jean Hanff Korelitz

"The Undoing" hive, assemble. Because the author of "You Should Have Known" — the book it was based on — just dropped her newest thriller. The gripping mystery centers on a washed-up MFA teacher at Ripley College who hasn't written anything worthy in years. ("The Talented Mr. Ripley" vibes, anyone?) When one of his students tells him about the incredible plot of their future book and then turns up dead, however, he decides to steal the idea. But wait…someone knows what he did. And wants the truth out there. Dun dun dun.


Here are today's recs to help you live a smarter life...

1. Home security you can order online. Then set up yourself in under an hour. SimpliSafe makes it easy to protect your home. And they're offering 30% off any new system 'til Tuesday. Go, go, go.*

2. Steals on summer upgrades. You're gonna wanna make time for Wayfair this weekend. Because they're offering up to 70% off rugs, 60% off outdoor furniture, and 35% off fireplaces and grills. Enter BBQ season in style – and on budget.*

3. How to learn new language basics in three weeks. Like, words you'll actually use. 73% of people with this app said they were ready for short, simple convos after just five hours. Bonus: Skimm'rs get up to 60% off. Say what you wanna say.*

4. A bracelet designed with safety in mind. This female-founded company's tech-enabled bracelet can (discreetly) trigger incoming calls, share your location or dial 911. Their mission? To build a world where these bracelets aren't needed. Buy one get one 50% off this weekend with code MDAY50.*

5. Our fave Memorial Day sales to shop this weekend. You don't have to wait until tomorrow to take advantage of major discounts. Tons of sales are already live, so grab your wallet. It's time to save, big.

PS: Like what you see here? Make sure you're signed up to get more picks like these in your inbox every Thursday. We've got exclusive shopping recs, streaming ideas, life hacks, and more.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.

Programming Note

Skimm HQ will be observing Memorial Day. See you back in your inbox on Tuesday.


We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.

Thriving duo…Cooper K and Lauren F (CA). They launched The Thrive Initiative, an organization, website, and podcast dedicated to holding meaningful discussions surrounding teenage mental health and well-being. Their work has reached teens in over 30 countries. Plug in here.

Read up...Swapnil P (NC). He recently self-published "Epi, You're My Best Friend," a kids' book on the importance of EpiPens. It includes Epi, a fun, playful character that helps kids with life-threatening food allergies (like his daughter). Take a peek.

(Some) Birthdays...theSkimm's Elizabeth Wong (NY), theSkimm's Les Chao (NY), Melissa Maisel (NY), Rob Greebel (NY), Jana Schottenstein (NY), Jodi Greebel (NY), Hannah Chung (GA), Alex Willkie (NY), Elana Gorenstein (NY), Christina Manice (NY), Rachael Clevinger (WA), Debra Warner (AZ), Karina Belousova (AZ), Pat Reichenbach (TX), Janet Boyer (NY)

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

Skimm More

If this allergy season feels especially brutal, you're not alone. We spoke to researcher and leading pollen expert Fiona Lo on this week's ep of "Skimm This" about tips for how to cope. Plus, how pollen forecasting could lead to some much-needed relief.

And if you're looking for other smart ways to spend your time…

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Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain