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Things That Happened Far Away
The Story: The U.S. officially warned Syria’s President Assad that he better keep his chemical weapons to himself and not use them on rebel forces. P.S. The world is watching.
The Why (Do I Need to Skimm): Syria has been in the midst of a civil war for nearly two years, with President Assad’s military forces coming into brutal contract with the opposition who wants him out. Obama’s warning didn’t make it clear how the U.S. would respond if Assad refused to listen or what made the U.S. think Syria might use its chemical weapons, but if it sounds like a warning and looks like a red line, it could be Obama and Hillz talking about what “taking action” might mean.
The Story: The highest court in Egypt’s land is indefinitely staying home after it said pro-President Morsi supporters surrounded its building and blocked judges from entering. This went down on the same day judges were supposed to rule on the legitimacy of the group drawing up the nation’s constitution.
The Background: President Morsi had issued a temporary ruling giving him close to absolute power, while drafting the new constitution. He said it was so the courts, left over from the former president, could not get in the way of the revolution. This ignited protest.
The Why (Do I Need to Skimm): The judges’s strike and protests are taking Egypt’s current political crisis up a notch—to levels not seen since former prez Hosni Mubarak was ousted. The judges say they won’t come back until they feel less pressured. #occupationalhazard
The Story: Israel is not taking Palestine’s recent status change in the U.N. very well. It expanded sanctions against Palestinians and will withhold the transfer of $118 million in tax revenue it collects for the Palestinian government. It will also build many more settlement houses on land Palestine disputes as its own.
The Why (Do I Need to Skimm): Israel feels provoked by Palestine’s upgrade. Israel’s decision to withhold funds leaves the Palestinian government hard pressed for cash. And as for the settlement news, the UN responded by calling it a “fatal blow” to hopes for peace. Some countries expressed interest in even pulling their ambassadors from Israel. Both sides are literally between a rock and one another.
The Story: The Duchess of Cambridge is with child. The world is on the verge of a tabloid freak out and she is in the hospital with severe morning sickness.
The Why (Do I Need to Skimm): Kate better learn how to make cucumber sandwiches for two because a baby royal is a’comin’. Unfortunately, it’s not all jubilee, as she was hospitalized with a rare morning sickness condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, caused by an increase in the normal pregnancy hormone. On the plus side, HG is sometimes associated with women carrying twins, which would make for the cutest royal crumpets in history. Feel better, Kate.
Repeat After Me
What to Say While Negotiating
It’s time to leave “la-la land” and take a look at what I am offering. House Republicans made a counteroffer to President Obama’s debt-reduction plan. Their plan to get us off of the fiscal cliff: cutting $2.2 trillion through spending cuts and entitlement reform (ahem, Medicare and Social Security) and new tax revenue. The GOP’ers say their way is better because it contains bigger cuts without raising tax rates on the wealthy. The White House says, “next.”
What to Say When You Spill Something
Don’t cry over spilled milk, but you might want to cry over your spilled oil. The U.S. just struck oil company BP where it hurts; the EPA is suspending the British company from further contracts with the U.S. BP became a household name after causing an oil spill, which turned into the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history back in 2010, killing 11. The EPA cast doubt over BP’s business integrity but BP says it’s responsible now. That tends to happen when you lose $4.5 billion. So like a good little oil giant, BP will try to prove it really has learned its lesson on cleaning up.
What to Say While Stuck in Traffic
Sigh, this is what happens when they close the freeway and don’t open the space highway. The Voyager 1 spacecraft discovered a “magnetic highway” that leads to, well, more outer space. No one has really explored this far out towards the boundaries of the solar system, near where the sun is less and less influential, so it’s no surprise there is unknown to be found. Over the next few years, Voyager will travel on the highway to see what else is out there. It will take the Voyager a little while to commute, which George Jetson and Russians on this highway completely understand.
What to Say When You’re Newly Single
Thank goodness I’m rid of that Ding Dong and have so many new suitors to choose from. Now that Hostess is in the midst of liquidating (Wonder bread, tear), everyone’s favorite Twinkie is ready to strut its stuff, as Hostess said it has 110 potential buyers interested in its brands. That doesn’t mean much for the 18,000 workers who will lose their jobs. The icing on the CupCakes, for them? News that Hostess’s top executives will get $1.8 million in bonuses for their work in the liquidation process. Ho Hos Merry Christmas.
What to Say When Your Friend Annoys You on Facebook
I’m giving you Defriendtion until you calm down. The “Time Out” posts a detention warning slip on a friend’s Timeline until you decide you can bear them again. What’s more embarrassing than a ‘Book scolding? Going back to detention.
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