news·3 min read

Daily Skimm: Citigroup, Mariupol, and 'WeCrashed'

A 'Citi' sign is displayed outside Citigroup Center near Citibank headquarters in Manhattan
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Mar 18, 2022

Banking on Women’s Rights

The Story

Citigroup is taking a stance on abortion bans.

Talk to me.

Earlier this week, the US's fourth-largest bank announced it’s covering travel expenses for employees going out of state to seek abortions. It comes as Texas has made headlines for its restrictive abortion law, incentivizing private citizens to enforce it. Since then, Idaho has passed a similar bill. And Missouri is looking to take things a step further and block residents from getting abortion care outside the state. Enter: Citigroup.

I’m listening. 

Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser — the first female CEO of a major Wall Street bank — has said she wants to make the company a “bank with a soul.” Now, the decision could affect thousands of employees. That's because Citi has offices across the country. And a reported 8,500 employees in Texas alone. But while Citigroup is one of the largest companies to stand up to restrictive laws, it’s not the first.

Who else?

Lyft and Uber pledged to pay their drivers' legal fees, should they be sued under Texas's law. Salesforce offered to help employees relocate from the state. And Texas-based companies Match Group and Bumble also created relief funds for their employees. But considering abortion is a divisive topic, Citigroup’s decision wasn’t well received by some.

Explain.

One Texas Republican leader called the policy "appalling" and urged others to boycott the bank. Jeb Bush’s son — running to become the state’s next AG — called it a “PR stunt by a ‘woke’ company.” On the flip side, almost 60% of Americans think abortions should be legal in all or most cases.

theSkimm

Last year, states introduced hundreds of laws restricting abortion rights. And while the future of Roe v. Wade lies with SCOTUS, some companies are taking matters into their own hands.

PS: Want more info on the legal battles around abortion in the US? We Skimm'd it for you here.

And Also...This

Where people are watching…

Mariupol. Yesterday, rescuers worked to find survivors after Russian forces attacked a theater where hundreds of people were sheltering — including children. The southern port city — which links Crimea with Russian-backed enclaves — has been under heavy Russian shelling for over a week. Thousands of citizens have been without power, heating, and have resorted to boiling snow for water. Attempts to evacuate civilians have failed. And if Russian forces take Mariupol, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hold on Ukraine’s southern coast would strengthen. Now, there are reports some survivors have been rescued. But it's still unknown how many.

PS: We spoke to war correspondent Jane Ferguson, who's inside Ukraine, on this week's Skimm This. Listen here

Who’s paying up…

The BBC. Yesterday, the UK broadcaster said it will pay Princess Diana’s former private secretary Patrick Jephson a “substantial” sum. Last year, a judge found that BBC journalist Martin Bashir used “deceitful behavior” to lure Princess Diana into the explosive 1995 interview — the one in which she “there were three of us” in her marriage to Prince Charles. The investigation found that Bashir used fake bank statements in an attempt to show that Princess Diana’s inner circle was being paid to spy on her. Bashir has since apologized but reportedly says he doesn’t believe the interview had any effect on Princess Diana. Now, the BBC is saying sorry and paying up. Jephson said he will be donating the money to a children's hospice in Princess Diana's honor.

What's keeping some Americans home...

Alcohol use disorder. Yesterday, a new study found heavy alcohol use led to more than 230 million missed workdays in the US between 2015 and 2019. That was before the pandemic. Since then, Americans have reported higher alcohol use to cope with the stress.

PS: Here's how to know if you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

Who’s taking home the title…

Lia Thomas. Yesterday, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title. 

When we’re done WeWorking for the weekend…

WeCrashed.”

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