Skimm'd while cheering on athletes...and their mental health
August 3, 2021
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Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

“An estimated 5,000” – The number of times two actors got married in a play before getting hitched in real life. They’re going off script.

Something Stings Rotten 

The Story

The FBI has explaining to do over its treatment of female employees.

Explain.

Yesterday, a report by the Justice Dept’s inspector general – the agency’s internal watchdog – was released and said multiple FBI agents used “provocative” photos of young female support staff. They used them as bait to find online sexual predators in undercover sex trafficking stings. But the agents went outside of the chain of command, and did not get permission from their supervisors. And asked female colleagues to “not tell anyone.” The report also says the women were not certified to be undercover or covert. But that’s not all the IG found.

Go on. 

The FBI potentially endangered these women. It’s unclear how many female staffers could be affected. But it doesn’t help that an FBI special agent didn’t keep track of where he posted the photos. Instead, the agent allegedly said he posted the pics to an unknown number of social media sites to ‘fish’ for sexual predators. While the employees were clothed and their faces blurred, their pics could still be floating around online. And available to be copied, downloaded, and shared. The IG said this puts the staffers at risk of “becoming the victims of criminal offenses.”

How was this allowed to happen?

The FBI has reportedly used fake photos, filters, and undercover agents to provide pics of ‘children’ to catch criminals. But the agency doesn’t have a specific policy on whether it can use non-undercover staffers’ photos. Now, the IG’s saying ‘make one.’ And requesting it outline the specifics, including what sites the agents use and the dates and times the photos are posted. The FBI has accepted the recs and says it’ll spend the coming weeks creating a policy and then train employees.

theSkimm

This is not the first time the FBI’s actions have raised alarms. In this case, those who could be affected are fellow FBI staff members. And it’s raising concerns about the potential long-term effects of the agency’s actions.

And Also...This

What's opening some doors…

The US. Yesterday, the State Dept said its expanding eligibility for Afghans seeking US refugee status. The new pathway creates an opportunity for thousands of Afghans who worked with the US during its nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan. Participants who are or were employed for US gov-funded programs or projects (think NGOs or contractors) can apply with their immediate family members if they are ineligible for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) under the Biden admin. An estimated 18,000 applicants and 53,000 family members are reportedly waiting for the special visa.

  • Thing to remember: It's expanded not expedited. The application process can take between 12-14 months to complete. And the program's participants must (on their own) relocate to another country before it even begins.

  • Why now?: The US's move comes after US-based media companies, lawmakers, and others urged the Biden admin to protect Afghan allies. And as the Taliban gains territory amid a wave of new attacks – which the Afghan president blames on the US troop withdrawal.

Who people are talking about…

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya. Yesterday, the Olympic sprinter was granted a humanitarian visa from Poland. The athlete – who was scheduled to represent Belarus in the 200-meter race – approached Japanese police for protection. She said team officials tried to force her on a plane home to Belarus after she criticized her coaches for entering her to compete in a 4x400-meter relay – a race she said she did not train for. The sprinter said the head coach told her the order for her removal came from "above." Meanwhile, The Belarusian Olympic Committee says Tsimanouskaya was pulled because of her "emotional and psychological state." But the international community is lining up behind the athlete.

  • Background: The Belarusian Olympic Committee is run by President Alexander Lukashenko's son. And Lukashenko – who has ruled the European country with an iron fist for decades – doesn't seem to tolerate negative feedback...from anyone. (Remember the plane that was diverted to arrest a dissident? Or when his gov violently cracked down on demonstrators?)

  • Case in point: Earlier this year, tens of thousands of protesters tried to oust Lukashenko over what they called a rigged election. Some of those protesters included athletes who were jailed or reportedly cut from national teams.

What's got people looking at the stats...

Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Black women earn, on average, 63 cents for every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white males. Today marks how long it takes Black women to make as much money as white men in 2020. Yes, it's an additional eight months.

While DaBaby is apologizing for his words...

Matt Damon hasn't.

What’s doing its own bend and snap...

Hello Sunshine.

Mortgage Matchmaker

The homebuying process can be a lot. But you can always tap an expert to lend (sorry not sorry) you a hand. Like a mortgage broker. They'll act as an intermediary between the buyer (that's you) and lenders (the ones who can give you a loan) to help you score the best interest rate, lowest monthly payment, and most favorable terms. Think of these Qs as your guide to speed dating with potential mortgage matchmakers:

  • What kinda loans could I qualify for? 

  • Is there anything in my application that might make me less desirable? 

  • How long will this whole process take? 

Head to FindAMortgageBroker.com to find options in your area. And meet your match. Ooh la la.

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

1. A luxurious duo that'll help you say 'byeee' to dandruff. And 'hellooo' to a soothed scalp and silky locks. First Aid Beauty's nourishing shampoo and leave-in serum use FDA-approved ingredients (sans sulfates) to relieve dandruff symptoms. Without weighing your hair down. Cue (flake-free) hair flip.*

2. Delicious, nutritious eats to help you savor summer flavors. Everything on this list is built on real produce and ready in minutes. So you can live your healthiest life while keeping your tastebuds happy and your free time...well, free. Check it out.*

3. Thoughtful wedding gifts under $100. Like customized heartfelt items, products for their kitchen, activity-based options they can enjoy together, and more. Cheers to the newlyweds.

4. An easy (and sustainable) way to celebrate happy hour this summer. We partnered with our friends at W&P to bring you the tastiest bundle ever. Use the margarita syrup to whip up cocktails and the reusable travel glasses to take 'em anywhere. It's 5 o'clock wherever you are.

5. Essential food storage containers your kitchen needs. No leaks, no mess, no problem. We've got ways to store dry goods, liquids, and leftovers. Chef's kiss.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.

Skimm'rs

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.

With the assist...Katy T (CO). She’s the executive director for the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA). It opened its new dormitory in Nairobi, Kenya. The school provides a free holistic secondary education to 130 girls every year. And a safe and stable learning environment for students from vulnerable homes. Learn more.

Taking root...Shanice D (NY). Her company, Witted Roots, is a mental health and emotional wellness platform for millennial women of color. They’re launching RESET – an exclusive, private membership community where members can gain access to experts during weekly live sessions, biweekly holistic sessions, and more. Learn more.

(Some) Birthdays...Karlie Kloss (NY), Mo Alhale (NY), Vince Alagna (IL), Maegan Lovell (WA ), Ashley Sandy (VT), Alicia Rios (CA), Sally O'Callaghan (MS), Annika Puth (DC), Christine Ferrucci (CT), Lindsey Walaski (PA), Claudia Jaramillo (TX), Susan Kline (MA), Ellen Ciompi (NC), Dee Dee Lombardi (AZ), Paige Cockriel (MO)

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

Looking for other smart ways to spend your time? 

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

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