The Police Have Been Spying on Black Reporters For Years ; Coronavirus News Is Giving Us All Whiplash ; and More Picks 6/11

The Police Have Been Spying on Black Reporters For Years (Reader Steve)

From ProPublica: “Wendi C. Thomas is a black journalist who has covered police in Memphis. One officer admitted to spying on her. She’s on a long list.” 

Oakland School Board and Superintendent Back Elimination of District Police (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Oakland’s superintendent and a majority of the school board have backed a proposal to get rid of the district’s police department and redirect the $2.8 million now spent on armed officers to students despite opposition from more than two dozen principals. The measure, the George Floyd Resolution to Eliminate the Oakland Schools Police Department, aligns with efforts in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Denver and Portland to terminate contracts or other agreements with law enforcement to police schools.”

New Study Reveals Cracks Beneath Giant, Methane-Gushing Craters (Mili) 

The author writes, “250-million-year-old cracks in the seafloor feed greenhouse gas methane into giant craters in the Barents Sea. More than 100 craters, presently expelling enormous amounts of the greenhouse gas into the ocean, are found in the area.”

US-Style Factory Farming Could Cause Viral or Bacterial Pandemics (Mili)

From Vox: “Sonia Shah, author of the 2017 book Pandemic, [said] ‘When I was writing my book, I asked my sources what keeps them awake at night. They usually had two answers: virulent avian influenza and highly drug-resistant forms of bacterial pathogens … Both those things are driven by the crowding in factory farms. These are ticking time bombs.’”

Hospital Housekeeper Urged Patient Not to Lose His Hope (Russ)

The author writes, “As the coronavirus pandemic has forced hospitals to impose strict restrictions on visitors and clergy, the work of [hospital housekeepers] has become even more important, say health care experts. They don’t just keep the rooms clean of harmful germs. Many also try to lighten the mood with smiles or jokes, provide encouragement when patients lose hope and offer an attentive ear when patients need to process their emotions.”

Coronavirus News Is Giving Us All Whiplash (Chris C.)

The author writes, “Dramatic reversals in guidance and wisdom have become something of a running theme throughout this pandemic, frustrating civilians as well as the public-health experts who’ve become spokespeople (and in some cases, quasi-celebrities) to the masses.”

Protest Periphrasis: How the Words Used to Describe the Actions of Police Hide Their Violence (Chris C.)

The author writes, “In news coverage of the nationwide protests against police brutality, breezy, anodyne words like deploy, disperse, and engage have served as a gloss on state-licensed aggression, papering over municipal forces’ and National Guardsmen’s frequently appalling crowd-control tactics. Conversely, protesters — or ‘rioters’ — are said to have hurled or thrown or fired objects at police: bottles of water, rocks, whatever is close at hand. When the authorities retaliate, making happy use of the heavier tools they brought to play with (rubber bullets, explosive paint canisters, tear gas), they are treated to extenuating phrasing, merely returning fire or defending themselves, even though it has not always been the case that they had anything to defend against or were retaliating at all.”

Salvador Dali Nearly Created a Confederate Monument in Virginia (Dan)

From Artnews: “It is unclear, based on local coverage from the time, how much Dalí knew about [Sally] Tompkins’s history, or how much he cared.”

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