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.

Déjà Redo: Amazon, Union Face Off in a Rematch Election in NYC (Maria)

The author writes, “Amazon and the nascent group that successfully organized the company’s first-ever US union are headed for a rematch Monday, when a federal labor board will tally votes cast by warehouse workers in yet another election on Staten Island. A second labor win could give workers in other Amazon facilities — and at other companies — the motivation they need to launch similar efforts. It could also cement the power and influence of the Amazon Labor Union, the grassroots group of former and current workers that secured last month’s historic victory. But a union loss could mute some of the labor celebration and raise questions about whether the first victory was just a fluke.”

The Catch-22 Facing Black Voters at the Ballot Box (Reader Steve)

From FiveThirtyEight: “Black voters face a catch-22 — a long-running catch-22, sure, but no less of a problem because of that. The 2022 midterms are approaching and Black voters must choose between the Republican Party, which has actively worked against their interests for decades, and the Democratic Party, which has long struggled to meaningfully address race and racism, as well as issues important to Black voters — such as police reform and federal voting rights legislation. The sad thing, at least for most Black voters, is it’s an easy choice. In the last 60 years or so, the Democratic Party, despite its many failures, has done far more for Black voters than the GOP. That’s why the vast majority of Black voters cast ballots for Democrats even if they aren’t necessarily liberal themselves. And therein lies the problem: Because Democratic leaders know that most Republican candidates aren’t a truly viable option for Black voters, the Democratic Party doesn’t have much incentive to court members of its most loyal constituency.”

Here Are All the Russian Oligarchs Who’ve Died Under Strange Circumstances This Year (Sean)

From Fortune: “It’s not the first time there have been reports about Russian officials dying suspiciously, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has long been known to take extreme measures to silence his opponents. In 2017, USA Today published an investigative report detailing at least 38 oligarchs who died or went missing over a three-year span. In the early months of 2022, at least six prominent members of Russia’s upper class have been found dead under strange conditions. Here’s a list of every Russian oligarch we know about that has died this year.”

Russia’s Cyber Warfare Against Ukraine More Nuanced Than Expected (Sean)

From The Hill: “Russia’s approach to cyber warfare against Ukraine has proved more subtle so far than many expected. [Last] week’s Microsoft report on the operations reveals that Moscow-backed hackers have launched more than 200 cyberattacks against Ukraine, including nearly 40 destructive ones that targeted the country’s government organizations and critical sectors. Cyber experts say the analysis suggests hidden depths to Russia’s cyber operations in Ukraine because although it has the capability to launch more damaging cyberattacks, it has chosen to inflict less harmful ones for the moment.” 

As a Science Journalist I’m Reconsidering Having Kids. I’m Not the Only One (Laura)

The author writes, “As a woman, you get to a certain age and babies — hypothetical, expected, realized — suddenly seem ubiquitous: in friendship circles, on social media, in targeted advertising for pregnancy tests and public health messages. But for women of my generation, the decision whether to have children feels more existentially fraught and morally complex than ever before.”

‘One of the Worst Invasive Species on Earth’ Found in Western Washington (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “An invasive species is consuming and competing with native species in western Washington, including salmon. Scientists have spotted African clawed frogs in Issaquah, Lacey and Bothell, KING5 reported. The frogs were initially brought into the United States to be used in pregnancy tests and later became pets, said state wildlife scientist Max Lambert. Although Washington made it illegal to own them, some still do. Some who have decided not to keep the frogs, and released them into ponds and streams. As officials began looking into the issue, they discovered hundreds of frogs.”

Mother’s Day 2022: KFC Offering Fried Chicken Floral Arrangements for Limited Time (Dana)

The author writes, “KFC (YUM), known for its wacky marketing campaigns ranging from a fried chicken-scented fire log to a 3-foot-long chicken sandwich pillow, is celebrating mothers everywhere with a new collaboration alongside flower delivery brand Proflowers, appropriately dubbed the ‘Kentucky Fried Buckquet.’ The new offering is a DIY fried chicken floral arrangement that’s meant to accompany a KFC sides lovers meal. Customers who pre-order a sides lovers meal online or on the KFC mobile app between May 1 and May 3 will receive a promo code to redeem a free ‘buckquet’ kit from Proflowers. The kit includes 12 roses, a glass vase, a KFC vase applique, eight skewers (for the chicken) and a card, although the fried chicken must be purchased separately as it is not included in the kit, the company noted.”