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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.

Regulators Begin Final Safety Inspection Before Treated Fukushima Wastewater Is Released (Maria)

The author writes, “Japanese regulators began the final inspection Wednesday before treated radioactive wastewater is released from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. The inspection began a day after the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings had installed the last piece of equipment needed for the release. … The plan has faced fierce protests from local fishing groups concerned about safety and reputational damage.”

‘Conservative Justices? Yeah, in What Way?’ Key Senator on a Supreme Court in Thrall to Special Interests (Reader Jim)

From The Guardian: “The conservative-dominated US supreme court may be undergoing a ‘course correction’ after witnessing a public backlash to its extremist rulings and ethics scandals, Sheldon Whitehouse, chairman of the Senate judiciary subcommittee on the federal courts, has told the Guardian. A… With trust in the court collapsing, it has this month defended the Voting Rights Act by ruling in favor of Black voters in Alabama and preserved a law that aims to keep Native American children with tribal families. Both were unexpected victories for Democrats — and a sign that they might finally be awakening to public opinion.”

DeSantis Says He Would Seek to End Birthright Citizenship for Children of Undocumented Immigrants (Dana)

The authors write, “Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he would seek to eliminate the constitutional guarantee of citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States. So-called ‘birthright citizenship’ has long been considered protected under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to all individuals ‘born or naturalized in the United States.’”

Delaware Town Seeks to Give Businesses Right to Vote (Gerry)

From The Hill: “A rural Delaware town is seeking to allow local businesses the right to vote, causing concern that corporate interests could sway local elections. Seaford, Del., with a population of about 7,000 in the state’s rural west, changed its charter in April to allow each business in the town one vote in local elections. For that measure to go into effect, it would have to be approved by the state legislature.”

Russia Threatened to Harm Wagner Leader’s Families: Report (Sean)

The author writes, “Russian authorities apparently threatened the safety of families of Wagner Group leaders before the rebelling mercenaries backed down from their plans to march towards Moscow on Saturday, according to a report. … Insights shared with the Telegraph indicate Russian President Vladimir Putin will now attempt to weave the Wagner soldiers into the nation’s military and take out the group’s leaders.”

What I Learned on a Titanic Sub Expedition (Laura)

The author writes, “Last summer, for a CBS News Sunday Morning story, I joined OceanGate for a dive on its Titan submersible. I never saw the Titanic. We were only 37 feet below the waves when mission control aborted our dive. At the time, I thought the reason was pretty dumb: Two capsule-shaped black floats, poorly tied to the sub’s launching platform, had come loose. The floats weren’t part of the sub. They’d have no effect on the dive itself. Who cared about the stupid platform? Let’s GO! Now, of course, it all looks different.”

Space Travel Goes Luxe With Céleste, an Eco-Friendly Capsule With a Plush, Architect-Designed Interior and Stunning Views of Earth (Dana)

From Artnet News: “A French company plans to take passengers to the stratosphere, floating 15.5 miles above Earth’s surface for three hours in an elegant, mirrored capsule held aloft by a balloon. The capsule comes courtesy of the designer behind some of Paris’s ‘it’ restaurants. The company, Zephalto, will send the 215-square-foot Céleste capsule aloft in partnership with CNES, the French national space agency. Created by Paris-based architect and designer Joseph Dirand, the capsule promises a dramatic view from its windows, which it calls the largest on the market at 75 square feet. The project will launch in late 2024 after seven years in the making.”

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