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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.

Nearly Half of US Honeybee Colonies Died Last Year. Struggling Beekeepers Stabilize Population. (Maria)

The author writes, “America’s honeybee hives just staggered through the second highest death rate on record, with beekeepers losing nearly half of their managed colonies, an annual bee survey found. But using costly and Herculean measures to create new colonies, beekeepers are somehow keeping afloat. Thursday’s University of Maryland and Auburn University survey found that even though 48% of colonies were lost in the year that ended April 1, the number of United States honeybee colonies ‘remained relatively stable.’”

Why White Supremacist Groups Attract Latinos to Their Ranks (Dana)

From the Brennan Center for Justice: “The idea seems counterintuitive: Latinos, often targets themselves of racist hatred, supporting an extremist far-right movement with white supremacy beliefs. But recent events have exposed their involvement as both members and leaders. … Former FBI agent Michael German infiltrated white supremacist groups in the early 1990s. He talks … about multiracial extremist far-right groups and the government’s response to domestic terrorism.” 

After GOP Walkout, Oregon Passes Amended Bills on Abortion, Trans Care, and Guns (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Oregon lawmakers on Wednesday officially passed amended versions of the two bills — relating to guns, and abortion and gender-affirming care, respectively — that were at the center of a six-week Republican walkout. Their final passage — coming the week after Republicans stopped their boycott and just days before the end of the legislative session on June 25 — highlighted the partisan hurdles that were overcome to bring the GOP walkout to an end.”

Moms for Liberty Indiana Chapter Apologizes for Quoting Hitler in Newsletter (DonkeyHotey)

From the Indianapolis Star: “The Hamilton County chapter of Moms for Liberty, a national organization recently listed as an ‘extremist group’ by a civil rights watchdog, apologized Thursday morning after it launched a newsletter called ‘The Parent Brigade’ Wednesday that featured a quote from Adolf Hitler on its front cover.”

Russia Thermonuclear Bomb Scientist Dies, Putin Boosts Nuke Force (Sean)

The author writes, “Russian nuclear physicist Grigory Klinishov, one of the creators of the Soviet Union’s first two-stage thermonuclear bombs, has been found dead in Moscow apparently by suicide, Russia’s state news agencies have reported. Klinishov, who was in his early 90s, was reported to have died on June 17. A suicide note was found next to his body at an apartment residence in central Moscow, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Wednesday.”

Bringing Oats Back to American Farms (Laura)

From Civil Eats: “Adding oats to a farm’s rotation can improve soil health and reduce fossil fuels, but the crop has all but disappeared in the U.S. Now, a nascent movement fueled by oat milk’s popularity may help reverse the trend.”

How the Brain Protects Itself From Blood-Borne Threats (Sean)

From Quanta Magazine: “To buffer the brain against menaces in the blood, a dynamic, multi-tiered system of protection is built into the brain’s blood vessels.”

MARTA Rail Cars to Become Artificial Reefs off the Coast of Georgia (Dana)

The author writes, “Atlanta-based transport company MARTA is going to retire eight train cars and place them in the Atlantic Ocean. The cars will be submerged off the coast of Georgia near Savannah as part of a recently approved project. The hope is to provide a new underwater habitat for marine life.”

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