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.

Enlist the Oceans to Combat Climate Change, Experts and Advocates Urge (Maria)

The author writes, “Climate scientists and marine advocates are calling on governments worldwide to look beyond green policymaking when it comes to climate change. They say a critical shade is missing in the fight against global warming: blue. Countries must recognize the important role that oceans have in limiting climate change and enact policies to protect marine ecosystems, the UK-based Environmental Justice Foundation said yesterday in a report endorsed by environmental experts and advocates.”

Police Are Telling ShotSpotter to Alter Evidence From Gunshot-Detecting AI (Sean)

The author writes, “On May 31 last year, 25-year-old Safarain Herring was shot in the head and dropped off at St. Bernard Hospital in Chicago by a man named Michael Williams. He died two days later. Chicago police eventually arrested the 64-year-old Williams and charged him with murder (Williams maintains that Herring was hit in a drive-by shooting). A key piece of evidence in the case is video surveillance footage showing Williams’ car stopped on the 6300 block of South Stony Island Avenue at 11:46 p.m. — the time and location where police say they know Herring was shot. How did they know that’s where the shooting happened? Police said ShotSpotter, a surveillance system that uses hidden microphone sensors to detect the sound and location of gunshots, generated an alert for that time and place. Except that’s not entirely true, according to recent court filings.” 

Colombia’s Strategy to Quell Protesters? Shoot at Their Eyes. (Dan)

From The Nation: “Dilan Yesid Suárez dreamed of forming a gridiron football team in Usme, a community on the outskirts of Bogotá, Colombia. Suárez spent three years playing the sport in Chile before returning to Colombia in 2019, where he hoped to spread his passion for the US pastime. That dream ended last month. On June 9, Suárez, a slim, soft-spoken 21-year-old, was on his way home from working at a construction job when he encountered marchers protesting near his neighborhood, one of many working-class districts that surround Bogotá. Police were firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd, he remembers. When Suárez tried to cross the street, he made eye contact with an officer from ESMAD. ‘I was about six meters away when he trained his gun on me and fired. He was aiming for my face,’ Suárez recalled. ‘There was a lot of blood.’”

After the Tajik President’s Sister Died Of COVID, Her Sons Beat Up the Country’s Top Health Officials (Russ)

The author writes, “After the president of Tajikstan’s sister died in the hospital reportedly of covid-19, her three sons attacked and beat up the country’s health minister and a senior doctor, according to local media. The reports, widespread in Tajik media, cast a rare spotlight on the sudden surge of covid-19 cases in this Central Asian country that for a time denied it had any infections. In a change, the latest surge seems to be hitting right at the top levels of the nation’s leadership. The incident came just weeks after the death of President Emomali Rahmon’s mother-in-law, also reportedly of covid-19. The government has faced criticism over its denials and inaction after covid-19 spread in the country last year, and its failure to stem a disastrous new wave of infections.”

Wildfire Smoke Blowing Across the US Is More Toxic Than We Thought (Mili)

The author writes, “Currently, nearly 300 wildfires are burning in British Columbia and about 80 are blazing through states in the U.S. West. The fires are exacerbated by heat waves and prolonged drought in the west, two weather patterns made more extreme by climate change. The largest fire now is Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, which as of Friday had burned more than 400,000 acres — an area nine times the size of Washington, D.C., where air quality alerts were also issued. Hazy skies reached from Boston to North Carolina. The far-flung impacts highlight that this is no longer just a problem for states like California, where wildfires have been more common. Research published last January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that, during a large fire event, wildfire smoke can account for 25 percent of dangerous air pollution in the U.S.”

The Difficulty in Talking About What Just Happened to Simone Biles in Real Time (Dana)

From Paste: “On Tuesday morning, in the women’s gymnastics team final, Simone Biles executed a poor vault and then dropped out of the event for mental reasons. Without her, the U.S. went from heavy gold medal favorites to underdogs, and her team couldn’t compete with the Russian Olympic Committee, who took gold and broke America’s stranglehold on the sport. As far as silver medals go, it’s a tough one to stomach, and though it feels strange to call finishing second in the world a profound disappointment, in this particular situation it’s also the truth. … Considering everything that she’s been through, from the Nasser situation to the sheer amount of pressure on her shoulders as the world’s greatest gymnast and the top draw, by far, of these Olympic games, it would be particularly unsympathetic to be mad at her, or to imply that she owed anybody anything.” 

Rosie the Riveter Phyllis Gould Dies at 99 (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “More than 75 years ago, Phyllis Gould welded warships in Richmond, one of the millions of Rosie the Riveters who helped win World War II. When the fighting ended, the Rosies were largely forgotten — but Gould made it her life’s mission to fix that, lobbying every political leader from the White House on down to get more recognition for these iconic women. She was relentless, writing letters and making phone calls, becoming a driving force for the declaration of an annual national Rosie the Riveter Day on March 21. When time finally ran out for her last week, she was helping design the Congressional Gold Medal to be issued in 2022 to honor the Rosies.”

The Louvre and Uffizi Are Threatening to Sue Pornhub for Turning Works by Titian and Courbet Into Hardcore Pornography (Dan)

The author writes, “The Louvre in Paris and the Uffizi in Florence are threatening to sue the online pornography site Pornhub for ‘unauthorized’ use of masterworks in the museums’ collections, including works by Titian, Botticelli, Cézanne, and Rembrandt, in a new interactive website and app. The app, which launched just days ago, includes a high-camp introductory video recorded by Ilona ‘Cicciolina’ Staller, the former porn star and ex-wife of Jeff Koons who starred alongside the artist in his pornographic ‘Made in Heaven’ series.”

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