US elections, voting, misinformation, race, immigration
Photo credit: Elvert Barnes / Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Disinformation Campaigns Targeted Voters of Color in 2020. Experts Expect 2024 to Be Worse. (Maria)

The author writes, “Leading up to the 2020 election, Facebook ads targeting Latino and Asian American voters described Joe Biden as a communist. A local station claimed a Black Lives Matter co-founder practiced witchcraft. … None of these claims was true, but they scorched through social media sites that advocates say have fueled election misinformation in communities of color. As the 2024 election approaches, community organizations are preparing for what they expect to be a worsening onslaught of disinformation.”  

The American Left and Right Loathe Each Other and Agree on a Lot (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “The populist era marked by Donald Trump’s ascension has been tumultuous for economic policy on both the American left and right. What was once heterodox has quickly become orthodox. It is easy to be drawn to where the new left and the new right are diametrically opposed, because partisans amplify disagreement, and because there are real differences on the role of policing, say, or whether pupils ought to be schooled in gender fluidity. What the culture wars distract from is that, on matters of economic policy, there is rather a lot of agreement.”

Nearly Two Years After Texas’s Six-Week Abortion Ban, More Infants Are Dying (Dana)

From CNN: “Texas’ abortion restrictions — some of the strictest in the country — may be fueling a sudden spike in infant mortality as women are forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term. Some 2,200 infants died in Texas in 2022 — an increase of 227 deaths, or 11.5%, over the previous year, according to preliminary infant mortality data from the Texas Department of State Health Services that CNN obtained through a public records request. Infant deaths caused by severe genetic and birth defects rose by 21.6%. That spike reversed a nearly decade-long decline. Between 2014 and 2021, infant deaths had fallen by nearly 15%.”

Dozens of Smuggled People Found Working in ‘Horrible’ Conditions at Illegal California Pot Plant (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Dozens of people who apparently were smuggled into the United States were found working and living in ‘horrible’ conditions at an illegal marijuana plant in California’s Central Valley, authorities said Thursday. Deputies served a search warrant Wednesday afternoon at a site on unincorporated land near the city of Merced and discovered the operation. Images posted online by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office showed trays, bags and boxes stuffed with what looked to be marijuana in a run-down interior space.”

Climate Connections: A Warming Planet, Pathogens, and Diseases (Laura)

From Grist: “People around the world are living longer, healthier lives than they were just half a century ago. Climate change threatens to undo that progress. Across the planet, animals — and the diseases they carry — are shifting to accommodate a globe on the fritz.” 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Is a Basketball Problem (Gerry)

The author writes, “When Bronny James collapsed, his chances of dying eclipsed 90 percent. Those are the odds for anyone whose heart stops outside a hospital. 18-year-old hearts aren’t supposed to stop. … I’m a parent of teenagers. If this happened at our house, I could see emerging from it on the warpath — digging into the research, talking to experts, and trying to make sure other families don’t have to go through the same thing. And that’s where the conversation takes a turn: You don’t have to get too far down the research rabbit hole to discover that performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are powerful contributors to young athletes dying.”

Exotic Pentaquark Particle Found at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (Sean)

From NewScientist: “A new type of particle called the strange pentaquark has been found using the Large Hadron Collider. The particle could help researchers catalog the states of exotic matter and figure out how fundamental particles stick together.”

Comments are closed.