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Skimm'd while signing up for our weekly recs


Quote of the Day

"Impromptu photo shoot" – Issa Rae announcing she tied the knot. She makes the rules. Get in her line-up.


The Story

The US is changing up its strategy in Iraq.

Take me back.

In 2003, then-President George W Bush declared war on Iraq. And ordered US forces to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power – under the premise that his gov had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). US forces eventually captured Hussein. He was charged with crimes against humanity, sentenced to death, and executed. WMDs were never found. And in 2011, then-President Obama announced the withdrawal of all US troops by the end of the year. But things changed in 2014 – when more troops were deployed. This time to fight against ISIS. With the US's help, Iraq declared victory against ISIS in 2017 – although an estimated 10,000 ISIS fighters are still operating in the region. Now, things may be changing again.

Go on.

Right now, there are about 2,500 US service members with boots on the ground in Iraq. But yesterday, President Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi officially shook on ending the US's combat mission by the end of the year. Meaning, the mission's shifting to an "advisory and training" one – where troops will help Iraqi forces "deal with ISIS." Al-Kadhimi has said there's "no need for any foreign combat forces" in Iraq. For a while now, he'd been facing mounting pressure from political parties to get Americans out. And attacks from Iranian-backed militias have only added pressure on the gov. The announcement comes ahead of parliamentary elections in October.

So, what now?

The agreement is largely symbolic. And Biden hasn't confirmed whether any of the troops will get to come home. But the hope is that it could ease tensions, which had flared back up last year after the US killing of Qasem Soleimani – the Iranian commander who worked with Iraqi Shiite militias and had been accused of planning attacks on US officials. Biden says the US will continue to maintain a relationship with Iraq, including their "counterterrorism cooperation." And promised to provide humanitarian aid, including 500,000 coronavirus vaccine doses and $5.2 million for the UN to oversee elections in Iraq.


Millions of Americans have only known the US to be at war with Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, nearly two decades later, the US's presence in both countries could change within a year.

And Also...This

What's saying 'we've got a jab to do'...

The Dept of Veterans Affairs. Yesterday, it became the first fed agency to require its health care workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Biden admin's left it up to companies and states to decide whether to issue a vax mandate. But with delta on the rise, and a vax rate that's going nowhere fast, the VA's not taking any chances. Especially since four unvaccinated employees recently died of COVID-19 (three of whom were infected with the delta variant). Now, the agency's saying that having health care employees roll up their sleeves is the "best way to keep Veterans safe." And about 115,000 workers will have to get jabbed within two months.

California. Yesterday, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced that all state employees and health care workers must show proof of vaccination or take weekly COVID-19 tests. The new rule will go into effect next month. About 62% of Californians are fully vaxxed, but Newsom is looking to make sure its estimated 246,000 state employees are too. CA is experiencing rising infections and hospitalizations. And roughly 80% of cases are from the delta variant. Now, Newsom – who's facing a recall election, mainly over his response to the pandemic – is taking action. And telling those who choose to say 'no' to the vaccine that their decisions are affecting Californians in a "devastating and deadly way."

...Oh and speaking of vaccines, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is requiring all city workers to get jabbed by September or get tested weekly.

What else has people talking about COVID-19…

Disability resources. Yesterday, the Biden admin said "long COVID" may qualify as a disability. COVID-19 long-haulers are people who still experience symptoms (think: fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing) months after diagnosis. Researchers estimate between 10% and 30% of patients suffer from long-lasting symptoms. Now, on the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Biden admin says those experiencing symptoms that "substantially limits one or more major life activities" can get disability protections – including protection from discrimination under federal disability laws.

  • Lingering effects: Some long-haulers are also experiencing cognitive symptoms (like memory loss). Researchers are looking into how COVID-19 is affecting the brain and whether it increases the risks of Alzheimer's disease.

What's not making knock knock jokes…

The housing market. Yesterday, the Commerce Dept said that new single-family home sales last month dropped to the lowest level since April 2020. Why? Pricey lumber and other high production costs have hindered construction workers' use of their tool belts – limiting the number of new homes with "For Sale" signs.

While some women are making waves at the Olympics...

Others are landing tricks.

Thing to Know


How many more steps dog owners take per day compared to those without a furry friend, according to a recent study. Basically making pups the best (and cuddliest) personal trainers out there. And since they help keep you healthy, it's only fair you do the same.

Our friends at Tailored Pet can help with that. If you answer a few short questions, they'll create vet-approved, personalized food juuust for your pooch. And ship it right to your door...for recyclable packaging. The best part? Skimm'rs get 80% off their first order. Su-paw.

A Disability Pride Journey

July is Disability Pride Month. And while this month of celebration is not federally recognized, many cities, states, and orgs, across the country celebrate it with parades and by raising awareness of people living with disabilities. It serves as direct challenge to systemic ableism and aims to destigmatize preconceived notions about disabilities.

We chatted with teacher and Skimm'r Madeline Jarrett about her experience in living with a disability, the challenges she faced in dealing with ableism, the US health care system, and how she found pride in herself. Read her story here.


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

1. Something to help you catch better Zzz's. Beam's Dream Powder is full of stuff to help you get much-needed quality rest. Like sleep-enhancing vitamins and nano CBD. Plus, it tastes like hot cocoa (sans added sugar). Psst…Skimm'rs get 35% off and a little gift.*

2. How to get an OOO glow without taking days off. Packed cal? Same. Enter: this tanning serum and body polish exfoliator. It can be used before or after your workday for a radiant, natural look. Get $20 off your first order with code HSN2021.*

3. How to convince dinner guests that you're practically a sommelier. This club sends you select bottles (and deets for each one) based on your taste preferences. Plus, members can switch or skip as needed. Psst...Skimm'rs get 60% off their first four-bottle box.*

4. A note about COVID vaccines. They're effective against the delta variant. And with the spread of this highly contagious variant, it's important to find a vax site if you haven't yet. Find free vaccines at*

5. Genius problem-solving items under $25. From caked makeup brushes to (very) itchy bug bites, here's what you need to press buh-bye on life's little annoyances.

6. Clever products that'll organize all your jewelry and accessories. If your rings, earrings, scarves, and hats are in a pile, take a deep breath. A little division never hurt nobody.

*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.

Aced it...Shawn D (CO). She passed her PE exam, becoming a licensed professional engineer in Colorado. It's been her dream since high school.

Working to change...Kate Y (WI). She graduated with her master's in nursing. And is working as a research nurse to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity for minority populations in Milwaukee.

(Some) Birthdays...James Towler (NY), Terence McCallen (NY), Elisabeth Bellissimo (NJ), Emillie Dodd (NC), Erin Thompson (NJ), Sabrina Abuzahra (WI), Victoria Burns (IA), Linda Mason (WV), Monika Stamberg (MA), Rachel Wilson (IL), Carol Salter (SC), Theresa Burge (CA), Ephie Aardema (NY), Skyla Doodle (FL), Ally Billingsley (AL)

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

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