California fire: What started as a tiny brush fire became the state’s deadliest wildfire — here’s how. The Paradise fire is catastrophic, and the wildfire threat to California is only growing: The ingredients that fueled the deadly wildfire were brewing for years — residents only had minutes to flee. The view from the ground: A wildland firefighter on how fires have transformed since his career began 20 years ago. California’s DIY firefighters battle alone as the richest hire private teams. California’s wildfires have spawned a truly weird new conspiracy theory. Wildfires have changed California — they’ve changed journalism, too. List of missing in California fire is over 1,000 people — here is how they’re being counted.

In California, climate change has turned rainy season into fire season. Why the wildfire in Northern California was so severe: Heat, wind, and drought — and long-term climate trends — conspired to create the deadly Camp Fire. How does California’s wildlife cope with massive wildfires?


Deborah Hellman (Virginia): The Epistemic Commitments of Nondiscrimination. Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life. Massive crater under Greenland’s ice points to climate-altering impact in the time of humans. What the reported charges against Julian Assange may — and may not — mean. Stop eco-apartheid: The Left’s challenge in Bolsonaro’s Brazil. The moral and ethical rot at Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook. Facebook betrayed America. After the midterms, Robert Mueller’s got a new wingman on Capitol Hill. “Preparing for the worst”: Mueller anxiety pervades Trump world. Why did the House get bluer and the Senate get redder?


Joyman Lee (UCL): Economics and Policy in Modern China. Christopher R Rossi (Iowa): Treaty of Tordesillas Syndrome: Sovereignty ad Absurdum and the South China Sea Arbitration. Nicholas Andrew Assef (LCC Asia Pacific): China’s Polar Silk Road: Overview, Challenges and Opportunities. Jyh-An Lee (CUHK): Great Firewall. How e-commerce is transforming rural China: JD.com is expanding its consumer base with drone delivery and local recruits who can exploit villages’ tight-knit social networks to drum up business. Burying “one child” limits, China pushes women to have more babies. China once denied detaining Uighur Muslims — now an official claims it’s a good thing. The environment in China: Inside the Middle Kingdom. China rules: They didn’t like the West’s playbook — so they wrote their own. The American Dream is alive — in China.


City Planning 101: Why universities became big-time real estate developers. Welcome to an American city where the government barely exists. When New York City almost failed: Claire Potter interviews Kim Phillips-Fein, author of Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and The Rise of Austerity Politics (and more). Can cities make us better citizens? Justin McGuirk reviews Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett. Dense urbanism is great for downtowns, but what about suburbs? Urbanist Brent Toderian reflects on which suburbs can be saved and made more walkable. The road to economic revival in the Heartland runs through older industrial cities.

America is more diverse than ever — but still segregated. Parking has eaten American cities: A new study documents the huge amount of space taken up by parking, and the astronomical costs it represents, in five U.S. cities. How Manhattan became a rich ghost town: New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.


Pamela Oliver (Wisconsin): The Ethnic Dimensions in Social Movements. Amazon’s antitrust antagonist has a breakthrough idea: With a single scholarly article, Lina Khan, 29, has reframed decades of monopoly law. Ezra Klein on the case for DC and Puerto Rico statehood. The rebellion against Nancy Pelosi is absurd. Walter Dellinger and Marty Lederman on OLC’s opinion on the Whitaker designation as “acting” attorney general. Behemoth, bully, thief: No language in history has dominated the world quite like English does today — is there any point in resisting? California’s wildfires don’t have to be so deadly. California’s wildfires are hardly “natural” — humans made them worse at every step. This is just what it’s always going to be like now.


May faces cabinet mutiny as Brexit deal breaks down. The latest Brexit drama, explained. The problem isn’t Theresa May — it’s Brexit. Britain has reached a new worst-case scenario on Brexit. Britain could have no Brexit deal and a new prime minister by the time this chaos ends. It is now clear to all who look: Brexit is a humiliation of historic proportions. Will Brexit end not in tragedy but in farce? Fintan O’Toole on how Brexit broke up Britain. Britain’s Brexit solution is staring it in the face. Enter Boris: How the court jester of post-truth politics has positioned himself to become Britain’s next prime minister.

Neal Ascherson reviews What We Have Lost: The Dismantling of Great Britain by James Hamilton-Paterson and The Rise and Fall of the British Nation: A 20th-Century History by David Edgerton.


Amanda Foster (Nova Southeastern): Don’t be Distracted by the Peacock Trying to Board an Airplane: Why Emotional Support Animals are Service Animals and Should Be Regulated in the Same Manner. Animals and alternatives: Rae Langton and Richard Holton on the use of non-human animals. Scott McLemee reviews The Art of Naming by Michael Ohl. What does it mean to be human? We don’t see the problem with our self-importance because our narcissism is so complete. Farting across the animal kingdom is wonderfully diverse: Brian Resnick interviews Dani Rabaiotti, co-author of Does it Fart? A Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence.


Suzanna Sherry (Vanderbilt): The Imaginary Constitution. Himmler’s antiquity: Alison C. Traweek discusses the racist origins of classics as a discipline. Trump and CNN: Case history of an unhealthy codependency. North Korea’s secret missile bases don’t violate its promises to Trump — it never made any. The psychology of anti-Semitism: Why is prejudice against Jewish people so often expressed in sudden waves of virulent, even exterminatory attacks? Delay, deny and deflect: How Facebook’s leaders fought through crisis. James Sleeper on Republican derangement: A party I respected has gone off the cliff. Here’s why New York is resorting to paying Amazon $3 billion for what Google will do for free.


Women candidates propelled Democrats back into control of the House, and bent the arc of history back in the right direction. An unprecedented number of female military veterans ran as Democrats this year — here’s why they were unusually successful. Meet the Native American woman who beat the sponsor of North Dakota’s ID law. From Vox, Matthew Yglesias on how Democrats’ blue wave was much larger than early takes suggested; Emily Stewart on the 2018 midterm races that still aren’t over; and a look at what the 2018 results tell us about 2020. It’s time to start thinking about election security in 2020. The Democratic primary will be crowded in 2020 — good.


From the Congressional Research Service, a report on Poverty in the United States in 2017: In Brief. David Brady (UC-Riverside): Theories of the Causes of Poverty. Americans want to believe jobs are the solution to poverty — they’re not. Social Security, food stamps, and other programs kept 44 million people out of poverty last year. What are the biggest signs that a community’s children will remain poor? David Leonhardt on a one-question quiz on the poverty trap. The Poor People’s Campaign calls out “policy violence”: The campaign wants to advance a new understanding of poverty as a traumatic experience inflicted by policy-makers. Covering poverty: What to avoid and how to get it right.

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