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“The spirit of the iPod lives on”

An Apple exec, on the company discontinuing the product after more than 20 years. I came, I saw, iPod.

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The Story

Gun homicides reached record levels in 2020.

Tell me.

Yesterday, a CDC report found that firearm homicides jumped nearly 35% from the year before. It's the highest rate in more than 25 years. The leading cause of gun deaths remains suicide. But the rate of homicidal gun deaths is climbing. Black Americans — who are disproportionately killed with guns — saw a 39% increase in homicide deaths. To put the disparity into context, Black men and boys ages 10-24 were more than 20 times more likely to be killed with guns than white men. 

What’s behind the spike?

The pandemic may have played a role. It brought along disruptions in services and education, mental stress, social isolation, and economic pressures. The CDC also found that counties with the highest levels of poverty had nearly five times higher homicide rates than those with the lowest poverty levels. But there are many theories to explain the uptick.

Such as...?

Some point to a spike in gun ownership during the pandemic. Criminologists, law enforcement officials, and health experts say that can happen amid heightened political tensions. Studies also show that higher rates of gun ownership bring more gun-related deaths. All of this comes as some gun control advocates are calling on President Biden — who asked Congress to pass measures to reduce gun violence — to prioritize the issue.


A growing number of Americans continue to die at the hands of guns, and Americans are demanding answers. But the country remains divided on a solution. 

And Also...This

What’s putting in overtime…

The Senate. Today, lawmakers are set to vote on a measure that would codify abortion rights into federal law. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) put the gears in motion to advance the Women's Health Protection Act. It comes a week after the leaked draft decision from the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Dems need at least 60 senators on board for it to be essentially filibuster-proof. Dems have a ‘yes’ from anti-abortion rights Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is a ‘no.’ And with a 50-50 split Senate, the measure’s not expected to pass. But Schumer says the vote will expose “where each of us stands” on the issue.   

…Oh and one thing the Senate can agree on: safety for SCOTUS’s family members. A bill expanding security to them passed unanimously after protests outside some of their homes. It now goes to the House.

PS: We spoke to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) about the leaked draft SCOTUS decision. Check out a clip here. And stay tuned for the full interview tomorrow on ”Skimm This.”


What’s an international super spy...

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Yesterday, a study found that the agency is capable of spying on the majority of people in the US — often without warrants. You read that right. A study from Georgetown found that the agency has spent billions on surveillance. And it’s apparently buying them access to private info: according to the study, ICE has driver’s license info on 3 out of 4 US adults. And has scanned one-third of all US adults’ driver’s licenses with face recognition tech. It can even track cars and find where most adults in the US live. Most of this gets around the need for warrants. And the agency even manages to go around California state law. ICE isn’t commenting.


Who's been acquitted…

Mario Batali. Yesterday, the celebrity chef was acquitted of indecent assault and battery. In 2017, four women accused Batali of sexual misconduct at the height of the #MeToo movement. Soon after, Batali's restaurant group and Food Network cut ties with the chef. Batali pleaded not guilty in a 2018 lawsuit trial centered around allegations the chef kissed and groped a woman while taking a selfie in 2017. But the judge said the accuser had “significant credibility issues” and acquitted the chef of all charges.


Who’s breaking barriers…

Lisa Cook. Yesterday, the Michigan State professor became the first Black woman on the Federal Reserve board of governors. Guess what’s top of the list to address.

PS: Here’s your reminder of how the Fed works. You’re welcome.


Which kids’ book author had some more words to share...

Percy Jackson.

Skimm Well

Together withDaily Harvest
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Daily Harvest

Foodies, it’s time to plant a real one on ya: Not all plant-based proteins are created equal. In fact, some are chock-full of processed ingredients. Aka the kind made in a lab instead of grown in…well, the ground. 

Daily Harvest’s Crumbles don’t play that game. They’re made with real, whole ingredients. Like lentils, walnuts, porcini mushrooms, and veggies you know and love. Plus each serving’s packed with 13 grams of plant-based protein. Which means you can level up any of your fave dishes (think: lettuce wraps, tacos, and grain bowls) with only the good stuff. Oh, and Skimm’rs can get up to $40 off. Plantastic.* 


Together withAthleta

Trying to stay WFH comfy on in-office days? Check out Athleta. They have all the easy-to-style pieces you need to rock polished looks with PJ feels. Aka exactly what you’ll wanna slip on for meetings, meetups, and…anything else on your cal. We’re talking…   

Skimm Picks

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

1. Cult-fave kicks that’ll have you running to buy every color. Hint: There’s more than 10 of ‘em. And that’s not the only reason the internet’s obsessed with Cariuma’s comfy canvas sneakers. They’re finallyyyy back after a 61K waitlist, btw. And Skimm’rs get a special discount.*

2. A lip balm duo for the perfect pop of color. These chubby sticks play well with summer looks. Plus they’re loaded with moisturizing ingredients to keep lips comfortably smooth. Share one with a friend or keep ‘em both for yourself. Mwah.*

3. A workout program that’s seriously supportive. This brand pairs you with a coach who’ll track your progress. And check in daily to celebrate your wins, keep you consistent, and help you push through when you need it. Here’s 50% off your first three months.*

4. How to save major cash on your car payments. Like over-$100-a-month major. This brand makes it easy to start your refinancing journey. And compare the best loan offers from different lenders. Plus you can pre-qualify before lunchtime (aka very fast). Check ‘em out.*


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.

Humanitarian healthcare from…Direct Relief (CA). They’re teaming up with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and other on-the-ground groups to provide urgently needed medical aid. Plus working with manufacturers to prep longer-term assistance for the coming weeks and months. Learn how you can support their work here

(Some) Birthdays…theSkimm's Maddie Gee (TX), Emma Golkin (NY), Mackenzie Berger, Chelsea Gray (NY), Marta Checko (NY), Keirstin McHenry (FL), Allie Segura (LA), Julie Jordan (GA), Sunwoo Oh (NY), Carrie Edwards (NJ), Mckenna Paddock (WA), Tamara AL-Yassin (CA), Mariana Hyslip (NJ)

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

Skimm More

If your Love Lanugage explains emotional needs, then your Erotic Blueprint covers the physical. We dove deeper into what the Erotic Blueprint is and how it can help inform a healthy sex life. (But the C-word — Communication — is still the best way to find sexual compatibility in a relationship.)

theSkimm Loyalty Program

Design: theSkimm

Exclusive discounts from some of our fave retailers just for members? Yep. And even more perks when you sign up for our Loyalty Program. Check it out and get access here.

Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Melanie De Lima, Kate Gilhool, Julie Shain, and Mariza Smajlaj