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Quote of the Day

"Inspired by the velvety-cheesy, iconic Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup" – Panera, on its new swimsuit. Redefining 'hot girl summer.'


The Story

There won't be fans at the Tokyo Olympics.

That doesn't sound good.

It's not. The pandemic has hit the Olympic Games hard. First, officials pushed the event back an entire year. Then, they put a cap on the number of spectators. But the Games are having trouble setting sail – just two weeks before the Olympic cauldron's lit. Yesterday, Japan declared a state of emergency because of a rise in COVID-19 cases. Olympic organizers are now banning fans from Tokyo-area stadiums and arenas. The move could cost the gov hundreds of millions of dollars.

What about vaccines, though?

Athletes, journalists, and staff aren't required to be fully vaxxed to enter the country. Still, the International Olympic Committee estimated that about 80% of those sporting or reporting have gotten pricked. But only about 15% of Japan's population can say the same. Officials have blamed the slow rollout on a shortage of doctors and nurses. And because it needs to import all of its vaccines. Now, officials worry that letting fans attend could make things worse. Especially with delta (the more contagious variant) on the rise. Already, at least two members of the Ugandan team have tested positive for the delta variant upon arriving in Japan. And things aren't much better stateside.

Tell me.

Delta is already the dominant strain in the US. And vaccination rates are lagging. With summer tourism in full swing, White House health officials are reminding Americans that vaccines offer the best protection. Of all the people who died of COVID-19 last month, 99.2% were unvaccinated. With delta in the mix, some pharma companies are taking things up a notch. Pfizer and BioNTech are starting to develop a vaccine that'll target the specific variant. And have plans to get FDA approval for a booster shot (think: a third dose). That way, your antibodies can keep the pep in their step all summer long and beyond.


The Tokyo Games have had to jump several hurdles to get to this point. Now Japan's making changes two weeks before the opening ceremony. But it's got many wondering if we're jumping the gun on a return to normalcy.

And Also...This

What'll be entering a new chapter…

The US. Yesterday, President Biden put an Aug 31 end date on the nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan, days earlier than his original September 11 deadline. The US put boots on the ground after the 9/11 attacks to end the Taliban's rule and take down al-Qaeda. But America's longest war has claimed the lives of more than 2,300 US troops and and an estimated 35,000 or more Afghan civilians. Now, Biden said the US can't sacrifice any more American lives in an unwinnable war. He's called on Afghanistan's leaders to "come together" and move their country forward. The president added that the US will continue to provide assistance (think: billions of dollars in humanitarian aid). But critics say Afghanistan could fall into a civil war without a strong US presence.

  • Warning signs: The Taliban has been gaining ground in recent weeks – seizing territory and Afghan weapons and vehicles. And forced some Afghan soldiers to either flee or surrender.

What's making edits…

The FDA. Yesterday, it signed off on a label change to a recently-approved Alzheimer's treatment (Aduhelm). It's the first Alzheimer's drug in nearly two decades – and the first approved medication to slow the illness. But health officials wanted more evidence that the drug actually worked – especially since the FDA was pretty quick to give it the okay without convincing data. Now, the FDA's in favor of clarifying some confusion about who the drug is for. And said it's only for mild- or early-stage Alzheimer's patients, but that it hasn't been tested in those with the advanced disease. The change means 1 or 2 million people could qualify for the medication, down from 6 million.

What came with more bad news…

The heat dome. Last week's extreme heat wave over western Canada is believed to have killed about 500 people and led to dozens of wildfires. And there's more: scientists say the high temps (think: over 120°F at times) likely also killed 1 billion marine animals – including mussels, starfish, and clams. They're also warning that the devastating effects to marine life could affect water quality – since shellfish do their part to keep things clean.

Who's flipping the Scripps...

Zaila Avant-garde. The 14-year-old just became the first Black American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in its 96-year history. She also happens to be a star basketball player, holding three Guinness World Records for dribbling. Can you spell 'prodigy'?

Thing to Know: Murraya. A genus of trees and the word Zaila spelled correctly to win her title. Use it in a sentence? Sure. The murr-aya learn about Zaila the murr-ay-am impressed.

While you Marvel about "Black Widow"...

Don't forget about the European Championship final.

Skimm Reads

"Falling" by T.J. Newman

High-stakes thriller alert. The plot of this super-suspenseful debut novel goes a little like this: We've got 143 passengers on board a flight to New York. And the pilot in charge finds out his family's been kidnapped soon after takeoff. To save his family, he's supposed to crash the flight. The path toward a resolution? Well, it's...turbulent. It's written by a former flight attendant who knows exactly how to make the hairs on your arm stand straight up. So buckle up — it's about to get bumpy.


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

1. A new bedroom BFF. This waterproof vibrator by Dame has five different intensity levels and pattern modes. So you can pick and choose depending on your mood. It's also on the quieter side (thinking of you, roomies). And Skimm'rs get 15% off.*

2. A post-happy hour vitamin your body will thank you for. These doctor-developed chewables help boost your alcohol metabolism, restore nutrients, and fight any headaches or fogginess. Just take two after your last drink for a lighter, brighter morning. Yes please.*

3. 20 problem-solving things you'll wanna buy if you own a pet. Morning snuggles? Lots of fun. Messy eating, constant shedding, and dirty paws? Not so much. These products will make the everyday with your furry friends way easier.

4. Gadgets you absolutely need in your kitchen. We're talking containers to keep your produce fresh, herb scissors, and a spoon designed for peanut butter jars. Dinner is served.

5. 18 essentials to help you make the most of this summer. Like an underwater camera, stuff for people who hate being hot, and more. Happy days await.

*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.

A big heart...Sara M (CO). In 2014, she founded SODA: Student Organ Donation Advocates at Washington University in St. Louis. It has since expanded to over 30 chapters and is now a nonprofit. The mission: to encourage high school and college student leaders to advocate for organ donation.

A big move...Sheila S (TN). She just moved from Zambia to Bulgaria to become the first female school principal at the Anglo-American School of Sofia. Learn more.

(Some) Birthdays...Michelle Alpert Kelrick (CA), Bea Mologousis (IL), JW Wright (NY), Douglas MacCallum, Isabel Marshall (MA), Jennifer Currier (RI), Shivani Jhaveri (CA), Alexandra Carrozza (NJ), Chantal Voss (FL), Shelby Benfield (NC), Susan Lee Anderson (IL), Julie Varhaftik (MD), Rachel Scibetta (NC), Laura Gosik (NJ), Rebecca Marien (CT)

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

Skimm More

The Olympics are just a few weeks away. Somebody give drama a medal. On this week's episode of "Skimm This," we asked The Athletic's Kavitha Davidson to help us sort through the latest controversies in the qualification process.

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

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