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.

Ice Shelf Collapses in Previously Stable East Antarctica (Maria)

The author writes, “An ice shelf the size of New York City has collapsed in East Antarctica, an area long thought to be stable and not hit much by climate change, concerned scientists said Friday. The collapse, captured by satellite images, marked the first time in human history that the frigid region had an ice shelf collapse. It happened at the beginning of a freakish warm spell last week when temperatures soared more than 70 degrees (40 Celsius) warmer than normal in some spots of East Antarctica.”

Want to Talk? FBI Trolls Russian Embassy for Disgruntled Would-Be Spies (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “The FBI is trying a novel strategy to recruit Russian-speaking individuals upset about the country’s invasion of Ukraine: aiming social media ads at cellphones located inside or just outside the Russian Embassy in Washington. The ads, which appear on Facebook, Twitter and Google, are carefully geographically targeted. … The ads are designed to capitalize on any dissatisfaction or anger within Russian diplomatic or spy services — or among Russian emigres to the United States — over the invasion of Ukraine, an event that counterintelligence experts call a huge opportunity for the U.S. intelligence community to recruit new sources.”

Satellite Images Show Russian Tent Camp for Ukrainians Near Mariupol as Claims of Forced Deportations Grow (Sean)

The author writes, “Russia has built a tented camp for Ukrainians on the country’s south-east coast, it can be revealed, amid claims tens of thousands of people are being abducted from the besieged city of Mariupol and forcibly moved across the Russian border. Satellite images [show] up to 30 blue and white tents have been erected in a camp at a former farmer’s market in the coastal village of Bezimenne, in separatist-controlled Donetsk, only 11 miles east of the outskirts of Mariupol.”

For Journalists, Ukraine Is a WhatsApp War (Dana)

From Columbia Journalism Review: “Ukraine has been called a TikTok war because of the way images from the conflict have been shared on social media. But for journalists it’s all about WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. What’s changed, says Cameron Barr, Senior Managing Editor at The Washington Post, is both the ‘scale and severity’ of the Ukraine conflict. The Post relies on a WhatsApp group with about two dozen reporters, editors, and security consultants to manage the reporting teams on the ground.”

We Have New Evidence of Saudi Involvement in 9/11, and Barely Anyone Cares (Reader Pat)

From Jacobin: “There’s a lot going on in the world right now, so it’s not surprising some news slips through the cracks. Still, it’s amazing that explosive new information about an allied government’s complicity in one of the worst attacks on US soil in history has simply come and gone with barely any notice. Last week, the FBI quietly declassified a 510-page report it produced in 2017 about the 9/11 terrorist attack twenty years ago. The disclosure is in accordance with President Joe Biden’s September 2021 executive order declassifying long-hidden government files about the attack, which many hoped would reveal what exactly US investigators knew about the Saudi Arabian government’s possible involvement. They weren’t let down.” 

Tiny ‘Glock Switches’ Have Quietly Flooded the US With Deadly Machine Guns (DonkeyHotey)

The authors write, “ An investigation by Vice News and The Trace uncovered an alarming surge in criminal cases involving ‘auto sears’ or ‘switches,’ which convert Glock pistols and other common weapons into fully automatic machine guns.”

Microplastics Found in Human Blood for First Time (Mili)

The author writes, “Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested. The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year.”

This Kitten Was Found Discarded in a Trash Can Halfway Around the World. Now She Lives Like a Queen in Boston. (Reader Steve)

From The Boston Globe: “On the face of it, this is a story about a kitten barely old enough to open its eyes or walk. A wisp of a thing with matted and dirty fur that was discarded like a candy wrapper or a bit of stale bread in a trash can on an island off the coast of Turkey. But for the local family that pulled the tiny, hungry, 2-week-old feline from the garbage, nursed it to health, and managed to bring it to the United States, the story is also about those who stepped in and helped make the kitten’s journey to Boston possible.”