The Chelyabinsk meteor entered Earth's atmosphere over Russia on February 15, 2013, falling at 42,900 mph. The light from the meteor was brighter than the Sun, from up to 62 miles away. About 1,500 people were injured, mainly from broken glass from windows that were blown in when the shock wave arrived. Some 7,200 buildings in six cities across the region were damaged by the explosion's shock wave. The initial mass was estimated to be about 13,000–14,000 tons, heavier than the Eiffel Tower, and measuring about 65 feet in diameter. First results of a Russian Chelyabinsk meteor study were published in 2013. About this photo: "Main mass of the Chelyabinsk fall at the Chelyabinsk State Museum of Local History shortly after recovery from Chebarkul Lake."  Photo Credit: Science / AAAS

Editors’ Picks for Feb 15

Blackwater Mercenaries in Yemen, The ‘Real’ Bernie Sanders, How the Supreme Court Became a Political Process, and More Picks

Blackwater Mercenaries in Yemen, The ‘Real’ Bernie Sanders, How the Supreme Court Became a Political Process, and More Picks

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

Bundy Land Seizure Crowd Front for Cynical Billionaires? (Russ)

Koch Brothers are funding the movement? Not really a surprise.

Blackwater Mercenaries Fighting on Behalf of Saudi Arabia (Reader CactusPat)

So claims a spokesman for the Yemeni army. Saudi Arabia is a major player in the violence plaguing Yemen.

Bernie Sanders’ Phantom Movement (Trevin)

Chris Hedges calls the campaign a reboot of Obama’s empty “change” promises of 2008, and reminds us of Sanders’ support for “bloated defense budgets,” “imperial wars,” and “wholesale surveillance”. As well as his call for Ralph Nader to drop his 2004 presidential bid.

Zika Virus Will Take US Government Inspectors Going Door to Door (Russ)

Growing panic about all government activities as “intrusive” could imperil lives.

How the Supreme Court Became a Political Football (Dan)

A look back at Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, and how their historic nomination fights should prepare us for the expected political maneuvers in the unpredictable 2016 election.

Dallas Morning News Does Not Endorse Texas Sen. Cruz (Russ)

Interestingly, it goes with the comparatively thoughtful and restrained John Kasich. Keep an eye on this fellow!

When the US Tried to Ban Immigration by “Foreign” Mormons (Gerry)

Members of the religion were thought to represent a “race” whose beliefs and practices were inimical to American values. Is there a lesson for contemporary bigots?


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