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.

New York Governor Declares Gun Violence a Health Emergency (Maria)

The author writes, “New York has become the first US state to declare a disaster emergency order to address rising gun violence. New York State saw 51 shootings over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said as he signed the executive order. The directive will funnel $138.7 million towards gun violence intervention and prevention programs. It comes amid reports of a rise in gun deaths countrywide, including nearly 200 over the past weekend.”

What’s Keeping Democracy Experts Up Most at Night? An Overturned Election (DonkeyHotey)

From NBC News: “Congress is just beginning a new investigation into the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, but the movement behind it remains as active as ever. Former President Donald Trump is frequently repeating false claims of victory, plotting revenge against politicians who opposed his efforts to overturn the election, attacking key Republicans who refuse to back him up now and hinting at a return to power, either through another presidential run or some other means. There’s no legal avenue for Trump to reverse the 2020 results. But a half-dozen scholars who study democracy and election laws told NBC News they are increasingly worried that 2024 could be a repeat of 2020, only with a party further remade in the former president’s image and better equipped to sow disorder during the process and even potentially overturn the results.”

Gazans Rebuild With Rubble As Reconstruction Delayed (Mili)

The author writes, “Amid Israel’s partial closing of Gaza’s only commercial crossing since May 11 and the delay in the reconstruction process, Gazans are using war rubble to rebuild the enclave following the most recent conflict between Israel and military factions in Gaza, which ended with an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire on May 21. Crushers are being used near the border with Israel to produce construction material from the rubble of houses destroyed during the recent war.”

Local Lockdowns Brought Fast Global Ozone Reductions, NASA Finds (Mili)

The author writes, “When lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic cut local nitrogen oxide emissions, the effect on ozone pollution was global and unexpectedly rapid. As the coronavirus pandemic slowed global commerce to a crawl in early 2020, emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) — which create ozone, a danger to human health and to climate — decreased 15% globally, with local reductions as high as 50%, according to a study led by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. As a result of the lower NOx emissions, by June 2020, global ozone levels had dropped to a level that policymakers thought would take at least 15 years to reach by conventional means, such as regulations.”

Fox News Really Wants You to Think Its Ratings Aren’t Down (Sean)

From the Daily Beast: “If you’ve been on Fox News’ digital news site or bouncing around the right-wing media ecosphere in recent weeks, you’ve no doubt come across an article or three about the recent collapse in viewership at CNN and MSNBC. And the tanking ratings have largely been tied to the ‘credibility’ issues the two networks supposedly have in covering President Joe Biden’s administration following Donald Trump’s exit from the White House. Lost in all this coverage, however, is one stubborn fact: Fox News has also suffered a precipitous drop in its viewership.”

Busting a Few Myths About Homeless People by Someone Who Is Homeless (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Most people call me Harp Lady. My name is Denise Martin. As a single mother who fled domestic violence and a street musician for the last seven years in Las Vegas and Portland, I have experienced homelessness, and I am deep in it all the time on the streets. I would like to bust a few myths that many people have and lay out the real facts.”

Transgender Americans Can Choose Gender on Passport, State Department Says (Nick)

The author writes, “The US state department has said transgender Americans are now able to change the gender marker on their passports, and a non-binary option will soon be offered. In an announcement on the last day of Pride Month, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said procedures would be immediately updated so applicants can self-select their gender as ‘M’ or ‘F’, and the agency will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents.”

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