Summary: “Skimm This” is a weekly news program that breaks down important stories from the past week and adds context and clarity to answer the questions on your mind. Every Thursday evening.
California lawmakers are making moves to reform how businesses treat their gig economy workers. Election season is underway, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing a tough reelection campaign. Lucky for Canada, election season is only six weeks long. Also on today’s show: 18 years after the 9/11 attacks, teachers continue to wrestle with how to teach students about a pivotal event that happened before they were born. PS – We’re hosting an event at Skimm HQ on Friday featuring New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. They won a Pulitzer for reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein. If you’re in town, join us by RSVPing here. If you can’t make it, call and leave us a voicemail with a question to ask Kantor and Twohey at 646-461-6370.
White House National Security Advisor John Bolton is turning on his ‘out of office’ – for good. President Trump tweeted that he fired Bolton, while Bolton says that he quit. We’ll break down the foreign policy drama that’s led up to today’s news. Meanwhile, voters in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district are experiencing major déjà vu today. They went back to the polls after election officials called for a 'do-over' of the 2018 congressional race. Also on today’s show: Apple’s latest effort to separate you from $1,450. If you have a few extra minutes, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Please take our survey.
Congress is back to work after summer vacation. One big issue lawmakers could tackle? Gun control. It’s been a couple of decades since the last meaningful gun reform was passed, but some lawmakers think it’s time to dive back into the issue after a series of mass shootings last month. Meanwhile: state attorneys general in 48 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico, are launching investigations into Google’s advertising practices. Also on today’s show: Bahamians evacuating after Hurricane Dorian face issues getting to the US, and ‘covfefe’ gets the Wall Street treatment. PS - GV (formerly Google Ventures) is a minority investor in theSkimm.
The Trump Administration wants to spin off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as private companies. We’ve got the A to Z on Fannie and Freddie and what these proposed changes could mean for you, especially if you’re house shopping or hope to be one day. Meanwhile: Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the US today, after wreaking havoc in the Bahamas. If you want to help relief efforts, you can make a donation to one of these organizations. Also on today’s show: Republican officials in four states may cancel their presidential primaries, and can Facebook be trusted to keep your ‘secret crush’ secret?
It’s almost the end of the week, and deadlines are looming – in Iran. They’re giving major players in Europe until tomorrow to help them out financially before they stop complying with more parts of the 2015 Nuclear Deal. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential hopefuls spent seven straight hours yesterday talking about climate change. We’ll break down where candidates actually differed. Also on today’s show: fantasy football water cooler conversations are about to start back up again, and artificial intelligence is going wild.
‘Blimey’ isn’t the only British phrase being thrown around in the UK today. All kinds of parliamentary phrases have been flying as the debate over how-to-Brexit heats up. Today, members of Parliament voted to avoid a no-deal Brexit, and against holding snap elections. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s leader is hoping to cool down protests. She formally withdrew controversial legislation today, but some protesters still aren’t happy. Also on today’s show: a potential new member of Congress, and a new record for a tennis legend.
US and Taliban negotiators are reportedly closing in on a deal that lead to a drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan. The deal could be a way to help the US end the longest war in its history, but some worry it could put Afghanistan on a path back to Taliban control. We’ll break down what we know about the deal so far. Meanwhile, the latest round of US tariffs have just kicked in against Chinese products – and these tariffs could hit your wallet. Also on today’s show: another app wants your face, and a new cruise is testing just how much time you want to spend with your friends.
Automation and artificial intelligence are supposed to make jobs easier, but sometimes they can take away jobs altogether. This Labor Day weekend, we’re taking a look at the current and future impact of AI on American jobs. Then: the Hong Kong government has arrested protest leaders ahead of a large demonstration planned for this weekend. We’ll explain how the government is changing its tactics. Also on today’s show: Florida is bracing for impact as Hurricane Dorian approaches, and 250 pigs on the run in Vermont.
Today President Trump announced the lift-off of a new part of the military: the United States Space Command. We’ll explain what it might look like, and what its role could be. Then: this summer, 22 states have reported cases of people suffering from respiratory illnesses after vaping. We’ll look into what doctors are saying, and why the e-cigarette industry is under pressure. Also on today’s show: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro takes steps to prevent more fires in the Amazon, and NASA’s chief thinks Pluto should be considered a planet again.
Today UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the Queen to suspend parliament, and she said she would. We’ll explain why this is a controversial move, and what this has to do with Brexit. Then: Hurricane Dorian is threatening Puerto Rico, and could continue to Florida this weekend. We’ll look at how Puerto Rico and the federal government are preparing. Also on today’s show: the Democrats might actually be able to fit all their presidential debate candidates on one stage, and Greta Thunberg sails into New York.
Johnson & Johnson was hit with a $572 million penalty for its role in fueling the opioid crisis in Oklahoma. The drug company says it will appeal. We’ll discuss how the judgment was reached, and how it could affect similar cases throughout the country. Then: Jeffrey Epstein’s victims were given a day in court in Manhattan, as prosecutors asked the judge to formally drop the charges against him following his suicide. Also on the show: women’s rights advocates scored a victory in Bangladesh, and scientists make a last ditch effort to save the northern white rhino from extinction.
G7 leaders are heading home after their latest summit in France. We’ll take a look at three of the big issues they tried to tackle, and what to expect next. Then: former US Rep. Joe Walsh is challenging President Trump in the 2020 Republican primary. We’ll Skimm his résumé for you. Also on today’s show: the 19th Amendment turns 99, and tennis legend Althea Gibson is honored with a statue at the US Open.
As fires continue to burn across the Amazon, Brazilan President Jair Bolsonaro has blamed NGOs for starting the fires and is picking fights with other countries for telling him how to do his job. We’ll give you the latest on the fires and how the international community is responding. Then: G7 leaders are holding their annual meeting this weekend in Biarritz. But the outlook at this beachside meeting isn’t sunny. Also on today’s show: Taylor Swift dropped her new album ‘Lover’ – and said she’s fighting for her music rights. Note: We mistakenly said on this episode that São Paulo is the capital of Brazil. Brazil's capital is actually Brasilia. Skimm This regrets the error.
Today, South Korea said it will stop sharing military intelligence with Japan. We’ll look at the reasons why, and examine the possible fallout for the U.S. Then: Planned Parenthood pulled out of the Title X federal funding program, losing access to millions of dollars. We’ll discuss why it’s no longer getting the funding, and what it means for patients. Also on today’s show: cattle ranchers are burning huge swathes of the Amazon to make way for animals, and why our brains find round numbers so satisfying.
The UK’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson flew to Berlin this afternoon for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In a quick press conference, they listed a bunch of topics they wanted to cover, but the one everyone is obsessing over: is Brexit. Then: the Trump administration has announced a replacement rule for the Flores Settlement Agreement - which sets standards for how migrant children should be treated in detention. We’ll cover the reasons for the change, as well as critics’ concerns. Also on today’s show: why a bunch of 2020 hopefuls are heading to San Francisco, and why YouTube’s got issues with robot fighting.