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Big Tech. Twitter, X, news stories, headlines stripped
Photo credit: Pxhere

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.

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Newsflash: Twitter/X Strips Headlines Out of News Links (Maria)

The author writes, “Elon Musk doesn’t want any news headlines on the social network formerly named Twitter. A change that started rolling out yesterday strips headlines out of news links, which Musk claims will make links look better on the social network that he renamed X. ‘This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics,’ Musk wrote in a twitter.com post on August 22. … Previously, posting a news link on X/Twitter would create a box with the article’s lead image, headline, and the domain of the news site. Now, a news link on X is just the article image with the site domain (e.g., arstechnica.com) superimposed on the bottom left.”

Allie Phillips, Woman at Center of Abortion Fight, Running for State House (Dana)

From the Nashville Post: “Allie Phillips, a Clarksville woman whose story of pregnancy loss under Tennessee’s abortion ban drew national attention, is running for the Tennessee House of Representatives. Phillips on Monday announced her candidacy as a Democrat for House District 75, represented by Republican freshman Rep. Jeff Burkhart. Early this year, Phillips learned during a routine anatomy scan that the daughter she had already named Miley Rose would not survive outside the womb. Phillips and her husband Bryan, after discussions with their doctor, determined that termination was the best way to avoid further risk for the mother. Due to the newly enacted ban in Tennessee, Phillips flew to New York City, where doctors informed her that the baby’s heart had already stopped beating and an emergency abortion was necessary.”

$19,000 Lectern for Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Sparks Call for Audit (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders rose to national prominence in part during her time at the lectern as White House press secretary, but the purchase of a $19,000 lectern for the Arkansas governor is undergoing scrutiny and prompting claims that records about it have been altered. A legislative panel next week will take up a lawmaker’s request for an audit to review the purchase of the lectern, which was bought in June for $19,029.25 with a state credit card. The Arkansas Republican Party reimbursed the state last month for the wood-paneled and blue lectern, which the state received in August.”

Elon Musk’s Machine for Fascism: A Tale of Three Elections (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Since the spring (when I first started writing this post), I’ve been trying to express what I think Elon Musk intended to do with his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, to turn it into a Machine for Fascism.”

America’s Epidemic of Chronic Illness Is Killing Us Too Soon (Gerry)

From The Washington Post: “The United States is failing at a fundamental mission — keeping people alive. After decades of progress, life expectancy — long regarded as a singular benchmark of a nation’s success — peaked in 2014 at 78.9 years, then drifted downward even before the coronavirus pandemic. Among wealthy nations, the United States in recent decades went from the middle of the pack to being an outlier. And it continues to fall further and further behind. A year-long Washington Post examination reveals that this erosion in life spans is deeper and broader than widely recognized, afflicting a far-reaching swath of the United States.”

How the Land Back Movement Is Unraveling Manifest Destiny (Laura)

From Sierra: “Across Indian Country, tribal nations are buying back their land one parcel at a time.”

500,000-Year-Old Pieces of Wood Discovered in Zambia Have ‘No Known Parallels’ in the World, Archeologists Say (Sean)

The author writes, “A group of scientists discovered the earliest evidence of wooden structures and published their findings in the Nature journal [last month]. The scientists’ finds consist of wooden structures and tools — such as digging sticks — found at the Kalambo Falls in Zambia. They date back to more than 476,000 years ago. These structures — which might have been built by early humans as raised platforms to stay above the wet ground — have ‘no known parallels,’ the scientists wrote in the article. The discovery reshapes our understanding of what early humans were capable of, they added.”

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