What happened this week? Lots. And our friends at theSkimm have you covered with a run-down of the top headlines. (Want them delivered daily to your inbox? Sign up at theskimm.com)
Oklahoma is trying to pick up the pieces after a more-than-mile-wide tornado decimated entire neighborhoods outside of Oklahoma City.
Authorities lowered the initial death toll estimate to 24, including nine children, but numbers could still rise. The rare storm ranked as the most powerful type of tornado by the National Weather Service. Scary. More than 100 survivors have been pulled from the rubble and over 200 were injured. Witnesses on the ground described the streets as “just all gone.” Homes, businesses, schools, and a hospital were destroyed. President Obama ordered federal aid to the state for as long as it takes.
Can I Help?
The IRS Scandal
Some people in the White House knew about the report on the IRS’s scandalous actions before it came out, but did not tell the President.
What Did the IRS Do Again?
The tax man improperly targeted some conservative groups with names like “tea party” and “patriot” for a much closer look while they were applying for tax-exempt status. Bad idea.
Didn't We Know Some of This?
Yes. We knew before that the White House Counsel and members of her staff generally knew what was going down at the IRS before the final report was released. But she told other people in the White House as well—this is new. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and other senior Obama administration officials knew. But not the President. He found out when we all did about a week and a half ago—partly because it would be inappropriate to get in the report’s way before the investigation was finished and partly because things have a way of changing before they’re released.
This update will probably not help the story go away faster. The IRS mess has brought on a lot of criticism, aimed mainly at the Obama administration, and Congressional hearings are already underway. Fun times.
Shareholders said that Jamie Dimon could keep his job as Chairman of JPMorgan Chase. Nothing quite like feeling appreciated at work.
Shareholders held a vote to decide if Dimon’s role should be split into two—Chairman and Chief Executive. This isn’t the bonus most execs look for, and many believe Dimon would have walked. Turns out, a Dimon really is forever since enough of the shareholders had his back.
The highly publicized vote came to be because the bank has had a rough year involving a Whale. No, really. A major trading loss—known as the London Whale scandal—and questions about the bank’s dealings with regulators led many to speculate what changes should be made. Now, it looks like those changes will be up to the board. No more risky business.
Repeat After Me
What to Say When You Want a Fresh Start
"Look, I made some big mistakes, and I know I let a lot of people down. But I’ve also learned some tough lessons”—like not to accidentally tweet pics of your private parts. Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former democratic Congressman, made it official—he’s running for Mayor of NYC. He announced his plan to run in a YouTube video (probably a good decision to stay away from Twitter) with his wife Huma Abedin, who has worked as a top aide to Hillary Clinton, sitting by his side.
What to Say When You Take on a New Assignment
I promise not to screw it up. Yahoo committed itself to that uplifting pep talk while formally announcing its $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr. The ’hoo’s press release emphasized that “per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business.”
Many devoted Tumblr users are worried Yahoo will ruin their social media haven in its efforts to monetize it. Yahoo wasn’t trying to hide the fact that its bought and messed up a few startups before, but it’s really not trying to repeat history with this massive purchase. Some think it wants to use Tumblr to make itself cool again. Remember those days—when you couldn’t be on the phone and the internet at the same time?
What to Say When Someone Makes a Big Decision
Wonder how long that will last until they backtrack. Guatemala had been praised for delivering the historic first guilty verdict for genocide against a former Latin American leader, Efraín Ríos Montt. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Guatemala’s top court overturned the dictator’s conviction and ordered the trial to restart from the middle of the proceedings. Rios Montt, 86 years old, had been sentenced to 80 years in prison, which was cheered on by many Guatemalans. He was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role, during the 1980s, in massacres against Mayans during the country’s bloody civil war.
The decision to overturn is a big boost for Ríos Montt and a big letdown for human rights activists, who thought his conviction was a sign that the country’s powerful would no longer be exempt from punishment.
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