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"Actually sex toys in the form of hand grenades" – German authorities, after they responded to a report of a grenade in the woods. And the plot thickens.

The Whole World Is Watching

The Story

Human rights experts are urgently warning about police killings of Black Americans.


Last year, families of Black Americans urged the UN to investigate the police killings of their loved ones. The request came amid racial justice protests following George Floyd's murder. But the UN had a rocky relationship with the Trump admin, and was pushed away from investigating the topic. So, a coalition of human rights lawyers and human rights experts from 11 countries carried out an independent probe into America's policing. Earlier this year, it held public hearings on 43 cases of Black Americans who died at the hands of police, as well as one case in which a person was left paralyzed. And last month, the coalition released its 188-page report.

What does it say?

That the deadly police killings of Black Americans could amount to crimes against humanity. And that police's "severe deprivation of physical liberty" and use of chokeholds amount to torture – a human rights violation under international law. They also called out other practices, including traffic stops targeting Black Americans, racially motivated stop-and-frisk, and disproportionate use of deadly force against Black people (both from guns and Tasers). Experts claim that America operates on two different justice systems: one for white people and one for Black people. But that's not all.

Go on.

The report revealed the emotional toll this has had on Black families, as experts reviewed the cases of Floyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, and dozens of others killed at the hands of police. It's a toll only made worse by the rarity of police convictions. Investigators found that only 35 police officers have been convicted in the roughly 15,000 deaths by law enforcement since 2005. They blame the US's "culture of impunity" – where police officers don't fear accountability for their actions. And the ones who get caught are waved away by police unions, lawmakers, and the general public as just "a few bad apples."

What happens now?

Human rights experts are urging the UN's International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate America's policing and prosecute any human rights violations. And want the US gov to support demilitarizing and reforming the police by passing a few measures. That includes: the BREATHE Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and others that require independent investigations. They're also calling for an end to qualified immunity, as well as a ban on no-knock warrants and chokeholds. The US and the ICC have yet to respond. But the US isn't a member of the court so it may not recognize a ruling. Much of the report's recs would also require Congress's action.


The treatment of Black Americans by police is no longer a domestic issue. Human rights experts are making it clear that the whole world is watching – and it is horrified by what it sees.

And Also...This

Why imminent change is needed…

Andrew Brown Jr. The FBI has opened a federal civil rights investigation into the 42-year-old Black man's death. Last week, sheriff's deputies shot and killed Brown in Elizabeth City, NC, as they tried to serve a search warrant at his home. An independent autopsy found Brown was shot four times in the arm and once in the back of the head as he tried to drive away from police before he crashed into a tree. Earlier this week, Brown's family saw 20 seconds of one deputy's body cam video. But authorities have yet to share more details on what led up to the shooting or release body cam footage publicly. Now, the FBI is looking into whether what happened violates federal law. Meanwhile, the city is under a state of emergency and curfew as protests there continued for the seventh day.

What's making changes...

The US. Yesterday, the CDC eased masking recommendations for fully vaccinated people outdoors. Now, health officials say that those Americans no longer need to wear a mask outside except in crowded areas. And they don't need to cover up when dining with friends at outdoor restaurants. Reminder: a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting their one dose of Johnson & Johnson or their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. More questions? We've got you.

...Oh and speaking of changes, DHS said it won't enforce the Real ID requirement for air travelers because the pandemic has made it harder for people to get to the DMV.

PS: If you're feeling anxious about the world returning to 'normal,' you're not alone.

What the Biden admin's has on the agenda…

Minimum wage. Yesterday, President Biden signed an EO raising the min wage for federal contract workers to $15 an hour. The hike's set to take effect in March, which could mean bigger paychecks for thousands of fed workers (who are currently at $10.95/hour). Admin officials believe the change will address income inequality and boost productivity and morale among contractors. But Republicans and some moderate Dems think the raise will lead to job cuts.

What new parents should pay attention to...

Their baby's bedding. In a study released this month, researchers said that between 2011 and 2017, 75% of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDS or SIDS) were because of soft bedding. Safe-sleep guidelines recommend not using pillows, blankets, and other items that could increase the risk of "entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation."

What Ross Geller can appreciate…

A new dinosaur species.


You might think of your metabolism as a single organ. But it's actually a series of chemical processes happening in every cell of your body 24/7 – whether you're exercising, eating, relaxing or...anything else.

Adding Sakara Life to your routine can keep those processes going as smoothly as possible. The Metabolism Super Powder helps fire up digestion, reduce bloat, and break sugar habits. Pro tip: mix a scoop into your morning coffee or smoothie. The Metabolism Super Bars boost energy and shift the body from 'storage' to 'burn' mode. They're great pre- or post-workout. Together, this duo can help your metabolism act AYAP (as young as possible). Btw, Skimm'rs get 20% off. Talk about super.

Skimm'd from the Couch

Cindy McCain's life has been in the American political spotlight for four decades. Her late husband, Sen. John McCain, served six terms in the Senate and ran for president twice. But before all that, Cindy was a 20-something from Arizona who had to find her strength as a newbie in DC. And in 2018, she had to tap into her strength again in the face of personal tragedy.

This week on "Skimm'd from the Couch," she shares how she's gained confidence and handled criticism. And she's got tips for long-distance relationships.


Here are today's recs to help you live a smarter life…

1. A travel club that could help you save 90% on your next trip. Think: roundtrip flights to Croatia from $299 or Iceland from $196 on airlines with flexible change policies. Join for just $1 for the next 48 hours. Where to?*

2. Furniture, décor, and more up to 80% off. Today marks the start of Way Day, when Wayfair offers their lowest prices of the year on thousands of products. Like bedding, cookware, lights, appliances, pet get it. You've got 48 hours. Ready...go.*

3. Mom jeans that aren't like regular mom jeans. You know the rest. These straight leg jeans have a v flattering high rise and taper ever so slightly at the knee. The best part? They're as comfy as leggings. Talk about cool.*

4. A few Mother's Day gifts she's sure to love. Check out some must-haves for the mom in your life by our friends at New Stand. We're eyeing the sourdough bread kit and ceramic diffuser. Psst...use code SKIMM for free shipping.

5. How to show your laundry (and the planet) some love. The Laundress's Laundry Essentials kit will keep your clothes looking new and smelling luxurious. So you can keep 'em in heavy rotation...and out of landfills. Hi, win-win situation. Another win? Skimm'rs get 25% off.*

PS: Like what you see here? Make sure you're signed up to get more picks like these in your inbox every Thursday. We've got exclusive shopping recs, streaming ideas, life hacks, and more.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.

Caring for kids...Lynne K (MD). She's the founder and executive director of Baltimore Hunger Project, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating weekend childhood hunger. Learn more.

Mom's best friend...Camilla H (CA). She's the co-founder and CEO of Oath, which offers medical support for people during their pregnancies and postpartum. Check it out.

(Some) Birthdays...Steve Tannenbaum (LA), Peter Wiener (NY), Jessica Hammer (WI), Stephanie Chilcott (CA), Alexander Schaefer (NY), Samantha Baker (IL), Stevie Ondra (NY), Brittany Elias (NY), Shelley Stamm (MD), Chris Dolce Castillo (CA), Kristen Burke (CT), Bob Quackenbush (SC), Jasmine Kyles (TX), Ally Mangia (IL), Ally Shapiro (NY), Lauren Bolen (TX)

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

Skimm More

Each week in our "Skimm Your Life" newsletter, we ask awesome women to share how they spend their downtime. We spoke to makeup legend and author Bobbi Brown about her self-care habits, the products she buys over and over again, and what's keeping her entertained.

And if you're looking for other smart ways to spend your time…

  • Listen to our news podcast "Skimm This" for clarity on the biggest stories of the week.

  • Tune in to our career podcast "Skimm'd from the Couch" for tips to build your resume.

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Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain