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.

Earth Scientists Simulate the Future to Model Forest Restoration Impact (Maria)

The author writes, “Replanting previously forested landscapes in the tropics is a nature-based solution that can play a role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but whether those new forests will withstand the impacts of future climate change was a big uncertainty. There is reason to be hopeful that tropical forests restored today will survive until the end of the century, earth scientists from the Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Hong Kong concluded in a new study published in Nature Climate Change.”

NAACP Calls for Officers in Viral NJ Mall Fight Video to Be Disciplined (Sean)

The author writes, “New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and the NAACP are weighing on the actions of two Bridgewater police officers who sparked controversy while breaking up a fight between two teenagers — one Black and one white — at a mall. Video of the incident shows both teens involved in the fight inside the Bridgewater Commons Mall, but when the officers arrive, the Black teen is pinned on the ground with a knee in his back and handcuffed, while the white teen sits on a couch.”

San Francisco Police Used Rape Victims’ DNA to Try to ‘Incriminate’ Them, D.A. Says (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “San Francisco’s district attorney said police used a database with DNA collected from victims of rape and sexual assault to connect some of them to crimes. Dist. Atty. Chesa Boudin said Monday that the San Francisco Police Department crime lab had been using the database to ‘attempt to subsequently incriminate’ victims of rape and sexual assault in connection with unrelated cases, a practice he called ‘legally and ethically wrong.’ The district attorney called for an immediate end to the alleged practice, committed to working with police to address the allegations and urged changes to local and state laws, his office said in a statement.”

The Military’s $20 Billion Air Conditioning Bill: By the Numbers (Sean)

From The Week: “It’s no secret that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become quite expensive for U.S. taxpayers. But a former chief of military logistics in Iraq says the cost of air conditioning alone costs the federal government billions every year. ‘In essence, what we’re doing is we’re air conditioning the desert over there in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places,’ retired brigadier general Steven Anderson, a former chief logistician for Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq, says, as quoted by Britain’s Telegraph. Why is it so expensive? To air condition remote bases in Afghanistan, raw fuel is shipped into Pakistan, and then transported over hundreds of miles of ‘improved goat trails’ for up to two weeks. That’s not cheap. Here, a look at the cost of keeping the troops cool, by the numbers.”

A Hacker Group Has Been Framing People for Crimes They Didn’t Commit (Mili)

From Gizmodo: “For at least a decade, a shadowy hacker group has been targeting people throughout India, sometimes using its digital powers to plant fabricated evidence of criminal activity on their devices. That phony evidence has, in turn, often provided a pretext for the victims’ arrest. A report published [last] week by cybersecurity firm Sentinel One reveals additional details about the group, illuminating the way in which its digital dirty tricks have been used to surveil and target ‘human rights activists, human rights defenders, academics, and lawyers’ throughout India. The group, which researchers have dubbed ‘ModifiedElephant,’ is largely preoccupied with spying, but sometimes it intervenes to apparently frame its targets for crimes.”

‘It Gives Me Joy’: The LGBT Colombians Embracing Visibility in Town With a Legacy of Abuse (Dan)

The authors write, “In El Carmen de Bolívar, LGBTQ+ people want the history of their brutal persecution by police and paramilitaries to be told, but the sense of safety is fragile and many still face prejudice.”

Meet Skippy the ‘Oldest Dog in Ireland’ Who Is 130-Years-Old in Dog Years (Dana)

From the Irish Mirror: “Standing by his owner’s side in the yard in County Mayo, Skippy the Border Collie has been a loyal companion to Pat since he was just a pup. At 26 years old, Skippy is believed to be the oldest dog in Ireland and perhaps even one of the oldest dogs in the world.”