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.

Research Demonstrates the Value Weeds Can Bring to Pollinators, Biodiversity (Maria)

The author writes, “A new study demonstrates that weeds are far more valuable in supporting biodiversity than we give them credit for. Dr. Nicholas Balfour and Professor Francis Ratnieks at the [UK’s] University of Sussex compared the biodiversity value of plants classified as ‘injurious weeds’ with those stipulated by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for pollinator-targeted agri-environmental options, such as red clover and wild marjoram. Their findings, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, show that the abundance and diversity of pollinators visiting weed species are far higher than DEFRA-recommended plants.”

Dogs of War: The Shadowy Group Accused of Trying to Kill Ukraine’s President (Sean)

From The Federal: “Mercenaries have tried to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at least three times since Russia invaded his country last week, according to western reports. The plots were foiled when anti-war Russians fed intelligence to Ukraine about two separate groups that planned to launch the attacks, the London Times claimed, quoting officials. ‘I can say that we have received information from [Russia’s Federal Security Service], who do not want to take part in this bloody war,’ Ukraine’s secretary of national security and defense told local TV stations, according to the Times.”

Rural Idaho Town Part of Trend: Conservatives Seeking Escape From Liberal Politics (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Linda Navarre moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, from Cleveland in 1978, when the town consisted of people in the timber industry and hippies ‘and they all got along.’ Now she barely recognizes the small resort community near the Canadian border that is quickly growing as people disenchanted with big city life move there. Many are conservatives fed up with liberal politics in blue states. ‘The division gets wider and wider,’ Navarre said, adding many of the new arrivals are changing the civility of the community. ‘My concern is there are so many people who are not nice.’”

‘Defcon 1 Moment’: New Spanish-Language Conservative Network Fuels Fresh Dem Fears Over Disinfo, Latino Outreach (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The nation’s first Spanish-language conservative network [launched] Tuesday morning on satellite radio, opening a new front in the political information wars targeting Latinos in the United States and beyond. The network, called Americano, arrives during a crucial inflection point in U.S. politics, as more Hispanic voters show signs of drifting right and Democrats continue to sound the alarm about Spanish-language right-wing disinformation on social media and local radio, particularly in Miami, which is also Americano’s home base.”

First, the Book-Banners Came for CRT and LGBTQ. Now They’re Censoring Women’s History (Guy Montag)

From Salon: “Just in time for Women’s History Month, the Republican book banners are trying to erase women’s history. On Friday, the Republican-dominated Wyoming state Senate passed a bill barring the University of Wyoming from funding ‘any gender studies courses, academic programs, co-curricular programs, or extracurricular programs.’ Unsurprisingly, the Republican senators who supported this used hyperventilating language to justify this censorship. Sen. Charles Scott called it ‘an extremely biased, ideologically driven program that I can’t see any academic legitimacy to.’ And the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Cheri Steinmetz, claimed that the program ‘caused me to lose some sleep,’ because ‘I felt that this was one that our constituents, I know certainly mine, wouldn’t agree with.’”

Patagonia Is Rapidly Rising Up in the Largest Glacial Adjustment Ever Recorded (Mili)

The author writes, “Patagonian ice fields are among some of the fastest-melting glaciers on the planet. As these glaciers disappear, the earth that once lay beneath them is rebounding upwards at rates much faster than expected. Now, scientists have worked out a gap in tectonic plates that began forming some 18 million years ago underneath now-shrinking ice fields is likely driving the recent rapid rock uplift seen in Patagonia, encompassing remote and sparsely populated areas where few seismic studies have been conducted before.”

Australian Scientists Plan to Resurrect the Extinct Tasmanian Tiger (Dana)

The author writes, “The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, is one of Australia’s most iconic species. Even though it has been extinct since 1936, the slender, striped marsupial maintains its place in Australian mythology because of a constant string of supposed sightings that has captivated the public and the media. … Sadly, the Tasmanian tiger is gone — but with advances in biotechnology, that might not have to be the case. A group of researchers from the University of Melbourne plan to bring the Tasmanian tiger back from the dead. On March 1, they announced the creation of the Thylacine Integrated Genetic Restoration Research (TIGRR) Lab, thanks to a $3.6 million ($5 million AUD) philanthropic donation.”