Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

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.

Tool Offers Police ‘Mass Surveillance on a Budget’ (Maria)

The authors write, “Local law enforcement agencies from suburban Southern California to rural North Carolina have been using an obscure cellphone tracking tool, at times without search warrants, that gives them the power to follow people’s movements months back in time, according to public records and internal emails obtained by The Associated Press. Police have used ‘Fog Reveal’ to search hundreds of billions of records from 250 million mobile devices, and harnessed the data to create location analyses known among law enforcement as ‘patterns of life,’ according to thousands of pages of records about the company.”

Still Feeling the Bern: Sanders Gets the Best Marks Among Possible 2024 Contenders (Reader Jim)

From The Washington Times: “Sen. Bernard Sanders remains a beloved figure in American politics. The 80-year-old Vermont independent held the highest favorability rating, 46%, in a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll that ranked 23 possible 2024 presidential contenders. Mr. Sanders, the far-left champion who ran for president twice as a Democrat, scored high marks from 78% of Democrats, 41% of independents and 18% of Republicans in the poll, which was released Monday.”

California Lawmakers Aim to Strip Nonprofit Status From Groups That Participated in Jan. 6 Riot (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “California state lawmakers this week took aim at organizations that aided the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, passing a bill that seeks to strip them of tax-exempt status. If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the measure into law, Senate Bill 834 would let the state’s attorney general decide if a group’s tax-exempt status should be revoked for participating in treason or insurrection or advocating the overthrow of the government. It would apply to state taxes, not federal taxes.”

Their Ancestors Came to America. After Dobbs, They Want Out. (Russ)

The author writes, “On the morning of June 27, Julie Schäfer logged into her work computer and sat stunned at what she saw. The lawyer at Schlun & Elseven in Düsseldorf often helps Americans obtain dual citizenship in Germany, and that Monday morning, she scrolled and scrolled and kept scrolling. A flood of more than 300 inquiries had piled up in the firm’s inbox. The Friday before, the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned the 49-year-old precedent Roe v. Wade, which protected the right to legal abortion nationwide; in Germany, abortion is decriminalized before 12 weeks with mandatory counseling, and in other cases when a pregnancy is deemed a threat to the pregnant person’s mental or physical health. Following the ruling, which came just as the staff in Germany was clocking out for the night, frantic Americans flocked to the firm’s website, creating a tenfold spike in clicks on its questionnaire to determine eligibility for dual citizenship.”

Released During COVID, Some People Are Sent Back to Prison With Little or No Warning (Dana)

From NPR: “The Bureau of Prisons told NPR that 442 people who were released during the pandemic have now returned to prison. Only 17 people out of more than 11,000 who were released committed new crimes, mostly drug related ones, while they were out. More than half, some 230 people … got sent back for alleged alcohol or drug use. Other cases involved technical violations.”

VIDEO: The Femicide Detectives (Mili)

From Al Jazeera: “Investigating an epidemic of violence against women in Mexico.”

Bacteria’s Immune Sensors Reveal a Novel Way to Detect Viruses (Sean)

From Quanta Magazine: “‘All of the life forms on Earth have the same problem,’ said Jonathan Kagan, an immunology researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital. ‘And that is dealing with infection.’ Just as we worry about bacterial infections, bacteria are on the watch for the viruses called phages that infect them, and — like every organism across every kingdom of life — they have evolved an arsenal of molecular tools to fight infections. … But a new study published this month in Science discovered that a family of proteins in bacteria and archaea, the simple prokaryotic cells that are the oldest form of life, detect viruses in a way never seen before.”

People Produced Beer in German Stonehenge Over 4,000 Years Ago (Mili)

The author writes, “Archaeologists have discovered an ancient brewery dating back to over 4,000 years ago in the so-called German Stonehenge. The find, believed to be central Germany’s first brewery, was excavated at the Ring Sanctuary of Poemmelte located in the Salzland district in the state of Saxony-Anhalt in August 2022. Poemmelte, dubbed the German Stonehenge, is a 4,000-year-old ring sanctuary and reportedly the first central European monumental complex of primarily sacred importance.”