Northern Lights near North Pole, Alaska. The lights, or aurora borealis, are created by solar radiation entering the atmosphere at the magnetic poles. Photo credit: Senior Airman Joshua Strang / U.S. Air Force / NASA

Editors’ Picks for Dec 24

Moscow’s New Iranian Nuclear Reactors, The ‘Big Brother’ Killing App, What Really Killed Sandra Bland

Moscow’s New Iranian Nuclear Reactors, The ‘Big Brother’ Killing App, What Really Killed Sandra Bland

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

Virginia No Longer Will Honor Concealed-Carry Licenses from Other States (Russ)

Under a Democratic governor who is outspoken on gun violence, this traditionally weapon-friendly state is heading in a new direction.

If Science Were a Fashion Show, String Theory Would Be a Supermodel. But Is It More Than a Pretty Face? (Gerry)

Cosmologists and philosophers are arguing about a “theory of everything” that has captured the public’s imagination. Some doubters insist that, however sexy it may be, it isn’t science.


Sandra Bland Was Killed by a Corrupt Bail Bond System (Gerry)

Keeping people in jail who haven’t been convicted of anything unless they can come up with money is anathema everywhere in the developed world — except for the US and the Philippines. Sandra Bland is only one of the many victims of this unconscionable system.

Another British Muslim is Barred from Entering the US (Ben)

A British imam whose business visa was revoked has accused the US State Department of enacting the policies of Donald Trump.

New App Aims to Diminish Power of Big Brother (Ben)

Two New York techies are developing a smartphone app so media activists in Rio de Janeiro, like Colectivo Papa Reto, can securely document police violence.

Russia will Start Constructing Two Nuclear Reactors in Iran (Ben)

A series of agreements signed between the two countries will increase the total number of reactors in Iran to nine.


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