climate change, USPS fleet, lawsuits, gasoline, environmental review
Photo credit: ©Alexey Bychkov/ZUMA Wire

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

16 States That Want to Electrify USPS Fleet File Lawsuits (Maria)

The author writes, “California and 15 states that want the US Postal Service to electrify its mail delivery vehicles are suing to halt purchases of thousands of gas-powered trucks as the agency modernizes its delivery fleet. Three separate lawsuits, filed Thursday by the states and environmental groups in New York and California, ask judges to order a more thorough environmental review before the Postal Service moves forward with the next-generation delivery vehicle program.”

“Unprecedented in Modern Elections”: Trump Conspiracy Theorists Breach Voting Systems in 5 States (Jonathan)

The author writes, “Republicans made eight attempts to breach voting systems in five states in search of evidence of a debunked conspiracy theory that voting machines flipped votes from former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden, according to a Reuters investigation. Trump allies targeted voting systems in Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. At least five of the breaches are under investigation by federal or local law enforcement. Four of the breaches forced officials to decertify or replace voting equipment due to security concerns. All of the attempts involved Republican officials or party activists who have pushed false claims about Trump’s election loss. Four voting law experts told Reuters that the extent of the breaches is ‘unprecedented in modern U.S. elections.’”

Russia Cuts Off Gas to Two European Countries. Who’s Next? (Sean)

From The Economist: “Not long ago it seemed that the game of energy poker being played by Europe and Russia, though dangerous, was under control. Oil and gas was one of the few sectors Europe had not targeted with sanctions. Russia had kept supplies flowing. Yes, Europe was mulling a ban on energy imports, and Russia demanded in late March that ‘unfriendly’ countries pay for their next gas deliveries in roubles (rather than euros or dollars), or be cut off. But each side thought the other lacked the guts to go all in. After all, Europe imports 40% of its gas from Russia, which in turn makes about €400m ($422m) a day from its sales. On April 27th, however, Russia upped the ante. Gazprom, a state-owned energy giant, stopped sending gas to Bulgaria and Poland after they missed the deadlines that Russia had set for paying in roubles.”

Trained Russian Navy Dolphins Are Protecting Black Sea Naval Base, Satellite Photos Show (Reader Steve)

From USNI News: “Russia has deployed trained dolphins during its invasion of Ukraine to protect a Black Sea naval base, USNI News has learned. The Russian Navy has placed two dolphin pens at the entrance to Sevastopol harbor, sheltered just inside a sea wall. The pens were moved there in February, around the time of the invasion of Ukraine, according to a review of satellite imagery. Sevastopol is the Russian Navy’s most significant naval base in the Black Sea. The dolphins may be tasked with counter-diver operations — a traditional role both the U.S. and Russia have trained marine mammals for. This could prevent Ukrainian special operations forces from infiltrating the harbor underwater to sabotage warships.”

Why Are Nature-Based Solutions on Climate Being Overlooked? (Laura)

The author writes, “Nature-based initiatives, such as planting mangroves and revitalizing wetlands, have proven effective in making communities more resilient to climate change. But international funding has shortchanged such solutions in favor of more costly and less efficient engineering projects.”

‘It’s Like Being a Therapist’: The Highs and Lows of an Independent Bookstore (Inez)

The author writes, “In new documentary Hello, Bookstore, a small Massachusetts shop is observed over an extended period as Covid-19 threatens to close it forever.”

Why Do Creepy Dolls Keep Appearing on Texas Beaches? (Dana)

From Southern Living: “Shells, sea creatures, and assorted treasures wash up on the sandy shores of the Texas Coastal Bend every day. About 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, researchers at the Mission-Aransas Reserve find all those things. But they also find dolls. Lots and lots of dolls. Missing hair and limbs and encrusted in barnacles, the dolls have been appearing on Texas’ barrier islands for years. Jace Tunnell, the director of the Mission Aransas Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, told Southern Living that the dolls seem particularly drawn to the area between Padre Island and Matagorda Island. Researchers survey the 40-mile stretch of coast twice a week looking for sea turtles, marine mammals, and endangered bird species. Tunnell describes the creepy dolls and other debris they find along the way as a ‘perk’ of the job.”


Comments are closed.