Big tech, Microsoft, US labor, video games, CWA, first union
Photo credit: Phillip Pessar / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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

Video Game Workers Form Microsoft’s First US Labor Union (Maria)

The author writes, “A group of video game testers has formed Microsoft’s first labor union in the U.S., which will also be the largest in the video game industry. The Communications Workers of America said Tuesday that a majority of about 300 quality-assurance workers at Microsoft video game subsidiary ZeniMax Studios has voted to join the union. Microsoft already told the CWA it would accept the formation of the union at its Maryland-based video game subsidiary, fulfilling a promise it made to try to build public support for its $68.7 billion acquisition of another big game company, Activision Blizzard.”

Virgin Islands Gov. Bryan Terminates Attorney General Denise George (Sean)

From The Virgin Island Daily News: “Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has fired V.I. Attorney General Denise George, and appointed Carol Thomas-Jacobs to the role in an acting capacity, Government House Communications Director Richard Motta Jr. said Sunday. Motta did not respond to a request for comment about Bryan’s reasons for the decision, which comes days after The Daily News reported that George filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, accusing JPMorgan Chase of helping Jeffrey Epstein exploit women and girls. Bryan, in a brief statement released late Sunday night, also gave no reason for George’s termination.”

After Election Debacle in Oakland, CA, What’s Next for Ranked Choice Voting? (Reader Steve)

From The Mercury News: “The revelation this week of an unprecedented error in Alameda County’s counting of election results has upended an Oakland school board race. But more lasting damage could be done to the reputation of ranked choice voting, a novel ‘instant runoff’ format that is growing in popularity around the country. Mike Hutchinson, the third-place finisher in a race for Oakland Unified’s District 4 school board seat, was told by election officials Wednesday that he may actually have won the race due to a technical mistake in how the county’s Registrar of Voters tabulated ranked-choice results.”

Russia’s War Could Make It India’s World (Russ)

The author writes, “With its almost 1.4 billion inhabitants, soon to overtake China as the world’s most populous country, India has a need for cheap Russian oil to sustain its 7 percent annual growth and lift millions out of poverty. That need is nonnegotiable. India gobbles up all the Russian oil it requires, even some extra for export. … The Ukraine war, which has provoked moral outrage in the West over Russian atrocities, has caused a different anger elsewhere, one focused on a skewed and outdated global distribution of power. As Western sanctions against Russia have driven up energy, food and fertilizer costs, causing acute economic difficulties in poorer countries, resentment of the United States and Europe has stirred in Asia and Africa.”

Why Child Care Centers in New York City Are Shutting Their Doors (Sean)

From Bloomberg: “Nationwide, families left without care has become the new normal. Nearly 16,000 child care programs have permanently shuttered due to pandemic-induced financial devastation. More than 100,000 child care workers have fled the field for better-paying jobs in retail and other service industries. But like other New York City subsidized providers, Sheltering Arms’ troubles stem from a far more solvable issue: The city hasn’t been paying them on time. Delayed payments mean programs are struggling to pay staff and rent.”

Put the Kettle On! How Black Tea (And Other Favorites) May Help Your Health Later in Life (Mili)

The author writes, “A daily cup of tea could help you to enjoy better health late in life — however if you’re not a tea drinker, there are other things you can add to your diet. The key is flavonoids, which are naturally occurring substances found in many common foods and beverages such as black and green tea, apples, nuts, citrus fruit, berries and more. They have long been known to have many health benefits — however new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research shows they may be even better for us than previously thought. The Heart Foundation supported a study of 881 elderly women (median age of 80), which found they were far less likely to have extensive build-up of abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) if they consumed a high level of flavonoids in their diet.”

Polish Archaeologists Have Uncovered Nine Crocodile Heads Within Ancient Egyptian Tombs of Nobles (Dana)

From Arkeonews: “Polish archaeologists excavating the Theban Necropolis in Egypt discovered nine crocodile heads hidden inside two tombs belonging to high-ranking nobles. The Theban Necropolis is a region in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (Luxor). It was used for ritual burials for much of the Pharaonic period, especially during the New Kingdom. … Dr. [Patryck] Chudzik said, ‘This is a completely unusual discovery and the first of its kind in the history of research in Egypt.’”


Comments are closed.