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.

SpaceX Launches 4 Astronauts to ISS for NASA Following Private Flight (Maria)

The author writes, “SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Wednesday, less than two days after completing a flight chartered by millionaires. It’s the first NASA crew comprised equally of men and women, including the first Black woman making a long-term spaceflight, Jessica Watkins. ‘This is one of the most diversified, I think, crews that we’ve had in a really, really long time,’ said NASA’s space operations mission chief Kathy Lueders. The astronauts arrived at the space station Wednesday night, just 16 hours after a predawn liftoff from Kennedy Space Center that thrilled spectators.”

Deutsche Bank Whistleblower Found Dead in Los Angeles (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “A self-described ‘comically terrible spy’ who is believed to have worked with federal authorities investigating the activities of Deutsche Bank and its ties with former President Donald Trump was found dead east of Lincoln Park, police said Tuesday. Valentin Broeksmit, 45, was found about 7 a.m. Monday in the 4500 block of Multnomah Street, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. An autopsy was pending to determine his cause of death.”

Florida Man Asks Schools to Ban Bible Following the State’s Efforts to Remove Books (Reader Steve)

From NPR: “A Florida activist known for his tongue-in-cheek petitions to local government agencies has asked school districts in Florida to ban the Bible. In petitions sent to public school superintendents across the state, Chaz Stevens asked the districts to ‘immediately remove the Bible from the classroom, library, and any instructional material,’ Stevens wrote in the documents, which were shared with NPR. … With Florida the latest flashpoint in the culture wars, Stevens decided it was time to take up arms. His target: The Bible. ‘My objection to the Bible being in your public schools is based on the following seven points, offered for your learned consideration,’ Stevens wrote. Stevens proceeded to question whether the Bible is age-appropriate, pointing to its ‘casual’ references to murder, adultery, sexual immorality, and fornication. ‘Do we really want to teach our youth about drunken orgies?’”

NATO’s Nordic Expansion (Sean)

From Foreign Affairs: “Before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, the question of NATO membership was barely part of the political debate in Finland and Sweden. Both countries have a long history of military nonalignment, and although they have gradually pursued closer cooperation with the United States and NATO — and politicians in both countries have long advocated membership — NATO accession was hardly seen as a pressing issue. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine changed all that. In response to Russian aggression, both countries are reassessing their security policies, and seeking NATO membership is rapidly emerging as the most realistic option.”

Iraqis Clean Up River as First Green Projects Take Root (Laura)

The author writes, “Garbage clogs the banks of Iraq’s Tigris River in Baghdad but an army of young volunteers is cleaning it, a rare environmental project in the war-battered country. With boots and gloves, they pick up soggy trash, water bottles, aluminium cans and muddy styrofoam boxes, part of a green activist campaign called the Cleanup Ambassadors.”

Warning: Objects in Driverless Car Sensors May Be Closer Than They Appear (Mili)

The author writes, “Researchers at Duke University have demonstrated the first attack strategy that can fool industry-standard autonomous vehicle sensors into believing nearby objects are closer (or further) than they appear without being detected. The research suggests that adding optical 3D capabilities or the ability to share data with nearby cars may be necessary to fully protect autonomous cars from attacks.”

Man Finds Decades-Old McDonald’s Inside Bathroom Wall During Renovations (Dana)

The author writes, “Would you like decades-old fries with that? Rob Jones of Crystal Lake, Illinois, was renovating the front half bathroom of his home on April 16 when he made a peculiar discovery inside one of the walls. Jones found what appeared to be an ancient bag of McDonald’s complete with burger wrappers and half-eaten very, very old fries.”