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 picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Americans Who Relied Most on Trump for COVID-19 News Among Least Likely to be Vaccinated (Maria)

The authors write, “Americans who relied most on former President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force for COVID-19 news in the early days of the pandemic are now among those least likely to have been vaccinated against the virus, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.”

No Charges for Police Who Shot Anti-Fascist Portland Suspect (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “A Washington state prosecutor has decided not to file criminal charges against police who shot and killed an antifascist fugitive wanted in the highly publicized death last year of a right-wing demonstrator in Portland, Oregon, last year. A U.S. Marshals-led task force was trying to arrest Michael Reinoehl, 48, at an apartment complex in Lacey, near Olympia, in September 2020 when four officers fired at him as he exited his car.”

Media Fascination With the Petito Mystery Looks Like Racism to Some Native Americans (Dan)

From NPR: “The FBI has confirmed that remains found in Wyoming Sunday are the body of 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito. The mystery around the death of the photogenic young white woman with a carefree social media presence has been headline news across the country. And that’s frustrating to people who say the media ignores an epidemic of missing and murdered Native American women in the state. Since 2000, Indigenous people have made up 21% of homicides in Wyoming, even though they are only 3% of the population. That’s according to a state report released in January.”

Internal Documents Further Contradict Fauci’s ‘Gain-of-Function’ Research Denials (Sean)

The author writes, “Newly released documents appear to contradict Dr. Anthony Fauci’s repeated claims that the NIH did not fund gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The internal documents detail the work of EcoHealth Alliance, an American research non-profit which used NIH funding to research novel bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab. Among the documents, which were obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request, is a previously unpublished EcoHealth Alliance grant proposal filed with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, which is run by Fauci.”

California First to Set Quota Limits for Retailers Like Amazon (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “California on Wednesday became the first state to bar mega-retailers from firing warehouse workers for missing quotas that interfere with bathroom and rest breaks under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that grew from Amazon’s drive to speed goods to consumers more quickly. The measure also bars Amazon, the online retail giant, and similar companies from disciplining workers for following health and safety laws and allows employees to sue to suspend unsafe quotas or reverse retaliation. The bill applies to all warehouse distribution centers, though proponents were driven by Amazon’s dominance.”

Who Is the Mysterious Arcangel Pretel and Why Did He Disappear After the Assassination in Haiti? (Doug)

From Univision: “In the chaos after the assassination of Haiti’s president on July 7, the alleged hit squad of former Colombian soldiers was hoping to be rescued by the Miami security company that sent them on their fatal mission. The person they turned to was Arcangel Pretel, a fellow Colombian, based in Miami, who liked to boast of his U.S. government connections and is believed to have been an FBI informant, according to several sources. ‘The troops are on the way,’ he told them, suggesting a U.S. government rescue was in motion, according to evidence in the possession of authorities investigating the crime. As it would turn out that was far from the truth.”

The Cutthroat World of $10 Ice Cream (Dana)

The author writes, “It has never been a better time to eat ice cream or a more cutthroat time to try to sell it. Fueled by pandemic trends of ‘at-home comfort’ and ‘anytime eating,’ the $7 billion industry grew 17 percent in 2020, after roughly 2.4 percent annual growth over the previous decade, said Jennifer Mapes-Christ of the market research firm Packaged Facts. Artisan ice cream — a ‘squishy’ term, she said, that usually refers to product with less air and more fat but ‘mostly just means “fancy”’ — is growing even faster than mainstream ice cream and is considered the industry’s future.”

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