Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

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.

Environmentalists Train Drone Pilots to Track Down Pollution (Maria)

The authors write, “When environmentalist Brent Walls saw a milky-white substance in a stream flowing through a rural stretch of central Pennsylvania, he suspected the nearby rock mine was violating the law. Recent rains had filled the ponds at the mine that allow sediment to settle out of the water, but Walls couldn’t easily take a look because they were surrounded by private property. To quickly investigate and avoid trespassing, Walls captured images of the area with his drone. … Fifty years after … [the Clean Water Act] was signed into law, drones are giving environmentalists a new tool to capture wrongdoing where it is hard to see or expensive to find, though their use to investigate polluters is still pretty rare, Walls said. He would like them used more often.”

Kansas City Area Health System Stops Providing Plan B in Missouri Because of Abortion Ban (DonkeyHotey)

From The Kansas City Star: “A leading health system in Kansas City is no longer providing emergency contraception in Missouri after the state banned abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. Saint Luke’s Health System confirmed the decision to The Star on Tuesday night after word of the change began circulating among advocates for sexual assault victims. Saint Luke’s has a significant presence across Kansas City, operating 16 hospitals and campuses across the region, in both Kansas and Missouri. In a statement, Saint Luke’s spokesperson Laurel Gifford said the health system continues to evaluate the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Missouri’s abortion ban, which went into effect following the decision.”

Emmett Till’s Family Finds 1955 Warrant, Calls for Arrest (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A team searching a Mississippi courthouse basement for evidence about the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till has found the unserved warrant charging a white woman in his 1955 kidnapping, and relatives of the victim want authorities to finally arrest her nearly 70 years later, the AP reports. A warrant for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham — identified as ‘Mrs. Roy Bryant’ on the document — was discovered last week by searchers inside a file folder that had been placed in a box, Leflore County Circuit Clerk Elmus Stockstill told the AP on Wednesday.”

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth (Sean)

From Politico: “Strolling amid the ornate 19th-century villas, fountains and lakes that dot this sleepy spa town, it’s easy to forget that you’re standing in Vladimir Putin’s crosshairs. Nestled on Lithuania’s southeastern border, Druskininkai opens onto a narrow notch of strategic territory known as the Suwałki Gap. Stretching about 100 kilometers along the Lithuanian-Polish frontier, between Belarus in the east and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the west, Western military planners warn the area would likely be one of the Russian president’s first targets were he ever to choose to escalate the war in Ukraine into a kinetic confrontation with NATO.”

As War in Ukraine Grinds on, G7 Vows to Reduce Russia’s Energy Leverage (Emily)

The author writes, “The leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies, meeting in the Bavarian Alps, ended their annual summit on Tuesday vowing to do everything in their power to stop Russia from using energy as a weapon to profit from its invasion of Ukraine. The G7 condemned Russia’s missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, which killed as many as 18 people, as a war crime.”

Egypt Announces Kharga as First Green City Ahead of COP27 Summit (Mili)

From Al-Monitor: “Egypt has designated Kharga in the New Valley Governate as its first eco-friendly city, Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said on June 7. ‘It was confirmed that Kharga is a green and eco-friendly city,’ Fouad said, after an ad-hoc committee studied its air and water quality, natural resources and noise levels. She added, ‘The city is an ideal urban ecotourism model.’ Egypt’s Youm7 newspaper reported on June 8 that Kharga lacks industrial pollution ‘because there are no factories there other than date canning, in addition to the large share of green area per capita.’ The report added that the city uses solar energy and natural gas, encourages agriculture, and is phasing out single-use plastic bags.”

Woman Receives 3D-Printed Ear Made From Her Own Cells (Dana)

The author writes, “Doctors successfully transplanted a 3D-printed ear made from human cells onto a woman born with a rare ear deformity, 3DBio Therapeutics, the regenerative medicine company behind the implant announced. … The transplant was part of the first clinical trial of the technology, and its success marks a major step forward for tissue engineering.”