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.

Move Faster to Cut Emissions, Developing World Tells Rich Nations (Maria)

The author writes, “Rich countries must move faster to cut greenhouse gas emissions and provide financial assistance to their less wealthy counterparts to cope with the climate crisis, governments from the developing world say. Poor nations have been frustrated with the slow progress at the recent G7 leaders’ summit and meetings of the G20 group of major economies. More than 100 developing country governments have joined together in Thursday’s demand for clear action from the rich world before Cop26, the vital UN climate talks to be held in Glasgow in November.”

With Trump Appointees, 9th Circuit Suffers Another Year of Reversals at Supreme Court (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The Supreme Court’s favorite target again this year was the California-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which saw 15 of its 16 rulings overturned on review. For decades, the high court’s conservatives have trained a skeptical eye on the historically liberal appeals court and regularly reversed its rulings, particularly on criminal law and the death penalty. But by some estimates, this year saw the most Supreme Court reversals of 9th Circuit decisions since 1985. And the range of issues was broad, including immigration, religion, voting rights, property rights and class-action lawsuits.”

China Fires Back at Biden with Conspiracy Theories About Maryland Lab (Russ)

From Foreign Policy: “When the Biden administration announced it would reexamine the theory that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab, Beijing’s response was deny and deflect. Asked at a May 27 press conference about the U.S. investigation into a possible virus leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian quickly changed the subject. ‘What secrets are hidden in the suspicion-shrouded Fort Detrick and the over 200 U.S. biolabs all over the world?’ he asked in response. Since then, Chinese diplomats and government officials, in concert with China’s vast propaganda apparatus and covert networks of online agitators and influencers, have worked diligently to focus suspicion on Fort Detrick, a U.S. Army biological research facility in Frederick, Maryland, about 50 miles from Washington.” 

Shadow Figment Technology Foils Cyberattacks (Mili)

The author writes, “Scientists have created a cybersecurity technology called Shadow Figment that is designed to lure hackers into an artificial world, then stop them from doing damage by feeding them illusory tidbits of success. The aim is to sequester bad actors by captivating them with an attractive — but imaginary — world. The technology is aimed at protecting physical targets — infrastructure such as buildings, the electric grid, water and sewage systems, and pipelines.”

The Lie of ‘Expired’ Food (Dana)

The author writes, “Maybe you know the routine. Every so often, I go through my refrigerator, check labels on the items, and throw out anything that’s a month, or a week, or maybe a few days past the date on the label. … Because what can you do, right? When the date says it’s done, it’s done, right? Apparently, very wrong. Researchers have found that ‘expiration’ dates — which rarely correspond to food actually expiring or spoiling — are mostly well-intentioned, but haphazard and confusing. Put another way, they’re not expiration dates at all.”

VIDEO: The Mystery of Siberia’s Exploding Craters (Mili)

From the BBC: “On a remote peninsular in the Arctic circle, enormous wounds are appearing in the permafrost and have started to worry scientists. Research teams from Russia and the United States are racing to find out what this means for Siberia, and potentially the rest of the world.” 

Hey Hunter Biden, Here’s a Radically Simple Solution for All Your Art Woes: Don’t Sell Your Work (Dan)

From Artnet News: “I don’t know what to say about Hunter Biden’s art. And by that, I mean I really don’t know. I haven’t seen it. Not very many people have, despite the epic viral-news explosion of interest in it recently. All one has to go on are a few images from a New York Times profile from February last year and a few more released by a gallery when it was revealed that Biden would be having a show there in October. The former are the definition of meh; the latter evince a lot more development than I would expect. They’re not the worst thing a rich and powerful person’s son has ever put to paper and called art, put it that way.”

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