Skimm'd with ideas for things to watch, eat, buy, and read

theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile



Skimm'd with ideas for things to watch, eat, buy, and read


Quote of the Day

"Boob puzzle" – A purchase Gwyneth Paltrow made in quarantine. Because at least some things are predictable in 2020.

Not Business as Usual

The Story

Hong Kong could be facing an economic divorce from the rest of the world.

Yikes. How come?

The national security law. Last week, China's imposed law on the territory went into effect, cracking down on pro-democracy protests. But in recent days, China's added a few more rules to the law without any warning. They seemingly give Hong Kong police the same powers as the mainland when it comes to surveilling and banning dissent online. Which effectively diminishes the "one country, two systems" that's been in place since it was handed over in 1997.

How so?

Under British rule, Hong Kong saw significant economic progress in the 1960s and '70s and attracted foreign investments. In the late '90s, the territory was handed back to China on the agreement that it still maintained some autonomy, like its capitalist economic system. Because of the mainland's internet censorship (aka China's Great Firewall), many tech companies have either chosen to comply with the Chinese gov's restrictions on speech or been shut out from the market. Hong Kong was different...but now things have begun to change.

Let's hear it.

Police now have the power to investigate publishing platforms and internet providers' data. They can also order them to delete any info that they believe undermines China's national security. And if they don't comply, they face up to a year in jail or serious fines. This leaves big tech companies scrambling to figure out how to do business in Hong Kong under such scrutiny.

Which companies are you talking about?

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Zoom, Microsoft...for the most part, all the Silicon Valley giants. They've all suspended Hong Kong's requests for their data while they review the new law. Even the controversial Chinese app TikTok – which the US is considering banning – is pulling out of the territory. The move reportedly has little to no effect on their revenue, and the companies' decision to halt compliance with the Hong Kong gov is seen as a show of support to the territory's 7 million citizens.


This is China's latest move to exert power over Hong Kong. And companies, citing human rights concerns, are on the fence about keeping their business in the territory. It leaves the city's future as a financial hub uncertain, as residents grapple with the political – and now economic – consequences.

And Also...This

Who got his results back…

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Yesterday, he confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19. Bolsonaro has prioritized his country's economy over public health concerns, calling the virus a "little flu" and refusing to shut down businesses on a national level. Instead, he's left it to governors to contain local outbreaks. The results of his strategy (which some have compared to President Trump's) are clear: Brazil is the world's second-hardest hit country after the US, with more than 1.6 million infections and 65,000 deaths. Still, Bolsonaro has continued to attend political rallies, often without a mask, despite a judge threatening last month to fine him. Bolsonaro says his symptoms include a fever, muscle pain, and fatigue. But that he's feeling "fine."

What's getting big news...

The WHO. Yesterday, the White House gave the official heads up that the US is leaving the World Health Organization. President Trump froze funding to the WHO back in April, criticizing its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, he accused the org of not holding China accountable for its role in the outbreak. A month later, he announced plans to leave the org entirely. Now, the WHO has one year's notice that this is happening. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized the decision to leave the international public health body as the US is still reeling from the pandemic, with more than three million cases in the country.

Novavax. Yesterday, the federal gov granted the vaccine maker $1.6 billion to help speed up its development of a coronavirus vaccine. This is part of the admin's Operation Warp Speed – a federal program meant to get Americans access to a vaccine ASAP. While Novavax isn't the first company to get such funding – drugmakers AstraZeneca and Moderna have too – it has never brought a drug to market before. This grant would fund the production and delivery of 100 million doses of the vaccine.

...Oh and speaking of the fight against COVID-19, the EPA gave Lysol its stamp of approval, confirming that two of its products kill the virus on surfaces. Emphasis on surfaces.

What's making moves on and off the court...

The WNBA. Earlier this week, the league announced it'll dedicate the 2020 season to social justice reform. Players will wear shirts during warmups that say "Black Lives Matter" on the front and "Say Her Name" on the back – a move honoring Breonna Taylor and other "victims of police brutality and racial violence."

Who's promising to push for better representation...

Halle Berry.

Skimm Reads

"The Beauty in Breaking" by Michele Harper

This week, we're partnering with Book of the Month to bring you an exclusive Skimm Read. Join Book of the Month now to get a copy for only $9.99. And then pick from five books every month to get one delivered right to your door. Find out more here.

In this memoir, African American ER physician Michele Harper tells her story: of growing up in a house with abuse, going to Harvard, and becoming a doctor. Then, she shares what she's learned from her work. By empathizing with each patient and finding that everyone is broken in some way, she was able to carve her own path forward. This one is full of big life lessons that will stay with you for a long time.


Summer is here. Check out our fave picks for the season…

1. At-home spa ideas. Inspired by retreats around the world. So you can pretend you're in Napa Valley. Or Marrakech. Or literally anywhere besides your own bathroom.

2. An '80s playlist. Featuring hits from Whitney, Cher, Prince, Madonna, and...some artists with last names. Ugh, If We Could Turn Back Time.

3. The best lower back stretches. TBT to when you could get up from the couch without groaning. Those were the days.

PS: Sign up to get more ideas for ways to spend your summer in your inbox every Monday. Like recipe ideas, movies and book recs, and more.


For when you're trying to bring happy hour to the backyard…

Make your drink to-go. This list has everything you'll need to sip outside. Like a hard seltzer kit, a beer caddy, and products to keep your bevs cold. Bottoms up.

*PS This is a sponsored post.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Getting into gear…David C (CAN). He's in the middle of a 2,000+ mile bike ride to raise money for cancer research. He's already hit more than 700 miles and his girlfriend Sarah couldn't be more proud.

Not kidding around...Jenna E (NY). She works with the For A Day Foundation, which typically throws parties in hospital playrooms for kids with cancer. But due to the COVID-19 outbreak, that's not possible. So the org is working to send kids activity kits, while social distancing rules are in place. Learn more here.

(Some) Birthdays…Whitney Bresson (FL), Cara Schmidt (MN), Asha Morrow (TX), Ashley White (KY), Brie Sherman (NY), Delores Melton (TX), Emily Farr (IA), Jacque Johnston (PA), Jenni-lynn Newell (PA), Julie Barber (TX), Katrina Swarthout (CA), Kimberly Sadid (HI), Lori Beresford (PA), Maddie Cartwright (TX), Nicole Gregory (NJ)

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