Emily Stewart on 2018’s record-setting voter turnout, in one chart. Black voters propelled blue wave, study finds. Big Latino turnout in midterms raises stakes for 2020. The United States is becoming a two-tiered country with separate and unequal voting laws. Low voter turnout is no accident, according to a ranking of the ease of voting in all 50 states. Voters just approved the biggest expansion of the voting franchise in half a century. Scott Mclemee reviews Votes That Count and Voters Who Don’t: How Journalists Sideline Electoral Participation by Sharon E. Jarvis and Soo-Hye Han and The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity, and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America by Bernard L. Fraga.

Zoe Cullen (Harvard) and Ricardo Perez-Truglia (UCLA): The Salary Taboo: Privacy Norms and the Diffusion of Information. John Huss (Akron): Paleontology: Outrunning Time. It’s been one year since Zimbabwe toppled Mugabe — why isn’t it a democracy yet? Here are the most outrageous incentives cities offered Amazon in their HQ2 bids. Facebook fallout ruptures Democrats’ longtime alliance with Silicon Valley. Facebook is at war and Mark Zuckerberg is its general. “Nothing on this page is real”: How lies become truth in online America. The world is about to redefine the kilogram: It involves complex science and beautifully simple philosophy. Lab-grown meat and the fight over what it can be called, explained.

Leyla Hunn (Warwick): Does One Need Evidence for Belief in God? Todd May reviews Why We Need Religion by Stephen T. Asma. Stephen T. Asma on what religion gives us (that science can’t). War between science and religion is far from inevitable. Do atheists think too much like believers? George Scialabba reviews Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray. Are the “non-religious” becoming the new religion? From Aeon, is religion a universal in human culture or an academic invention? From openDemocracy, what should we teach our children about religion? The first chapter from City of the Good: Nature, Religion, and the Ancient Search for What is Right by Michael Mayerfeld Bell.

Megan Rogers and Mary Ellen Konieczny (Notre Dame): Does Religion Always Help the Poor? Variations in Religion and Social Class in the West and Societies in the Global South. A study finds Christianity in Western Europe is as much about identity as belief.

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.