The Atlantic Daily: China, Fukushima, Ferguson

China devalues its currency, Japan returns to nuclear power, protests continue outside of St. Louis, and more…

Andy Wong / AP

What We’re Following: China Devalues Its Currency

China devalued its currency Tuesday amid signs that the country’s economy—the world's second-largest—continues to slow down. The country’s central bank set the value of the yuan nearly 2 percent weaker against the dollar. The devaluation was the currency’s biggest depreciation since China’s modern exchange-rate system was set up in 1994.

Japan Restarts a Nuclear Reactor: Two years ago, Japan shut down all of its nuclear reactors. On Tuesday morning, one of them kicked back into gear. The country imposed a ban on nuclear-power generation in September 2013 in response to the meltdown of several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant following a devastating tsunami in 2011. The government welcomed Tuesday's move, but a majority of Japanese now oppose the use of nuclear power.

More Protests and Arrests in Ferguson: A second night of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, to commemorate the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death led to dozens of arrests and saw patrols by an armed group that calls itself the Oath Keepers. Matt Ford looks at the Supreme Court decision that allows law-enforcement officials to take DNA samples from citizens they arrest.


A cable-car system links the city center of La Paz with its neighbor El Alto, Bolivia, photographed on June 2, 2014. Currently, La Paz has three urban ropeway lines in operation, stretching over 10 kilometers, with plans to triple the size of the network. The city recently announced six new lines, which will extend the aerial system to 30 kilometers and carry up to 27,000 passengers an hour. For more images of La Paz’s mammoth cable car network visit The Atlantic Photo. (Juan Karita / AP)


  • Jeffrey Goldberg: “The deal negotiated by John Kerry and his team may very well prevent Iran from gaining possession of a nuclear weapon for a very long time—and rejection of the deal now by Congress is unlikely to lead to a good outcome—but the risks here are huge.”
  • Joe Pinsker: “In 2006, Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia’s most public-facing board member, reportedly said that undisclosed paid editing—trying to alter the content of Wikipedia without revealing a financial conflict of interest—is ‘antithetical’ to the site’s aims. The practice continued at a low hum over the rest of the decade, but a few years ago Wikimedia started hearing from its volunteer editorial corps that weeding out undisclosed paid edits was distracting from more substantive work.”
  • Megan Garber: “[David Foster] Wallace died before Facebook went mass-market, before Twitter exploded onto the scene, before the web came, fully, to saturate our habits of life and social interactions. Could the kind of transcendent celebrity he both enjoyed and resented have survived life on the Internet?

News Quiz

1. In Iran’s last presidential election,  ____________ handily defeated more ideologically conservative candidates.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

2 In the U.S., the average age of a Broadway theatergoer is ___________.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

3. Some suggest that student activism is on the rise after roughly  __________  protests occurred on U.S. college campuses in the 2014 fall semester.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

Evening Read

Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt on how American college students have gotten too thin-skinned—and why that’s disastrous for the U.S. education system:

Some recent campus actions border on the surreal. In April, at Brandeis University, the Asian American student association sought to raise awareness of microaggressions against Asians through an installation on the steps of an academic hall. The installation gave examples of microaggressions such as “Aren’t you supposed to be good at math?” and “I’m colorblind! I don’t see race.” But a backlash arose among other Asian American students, who felt that the display itself was a microaggression. The association removed the installation, and its president wrote an e-mail to the entire student body apologizing to anyone who was “triggered or hurt by the content of the microaggressions.”

This new climate is slowly being institutionalized, and is affecting what can be said in the classroom, even as a basis for discussion. During the 2014–15 school year, for instance, the deans and department chairs at the 10 University of California system schools were presented by administrators at faculty leader-training sessions with examples of microaggressions. The list of offensive statements included: “America is the land of opportunity” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”

Reader Response

After reading our new cover story on "how the new political correctness is ruining education," commenter watchwinder suggests that academia has reached a Frankenstein moment (much like Fox News and Trump):

Kudos to The Atlantic and the authors for aptly comparing the current iteration of campus political correctness with what it most resembles—an outbreak of contagious mental illness. But one big quibble. The authors state, "A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense."

"Undirected and driven largely by students?" Really? They all just got the idea to go mad, in the same way, at the same time, all on their own? No pre-existing habits of thought or theory within the academy feathered this nest of crazy? No decades of identity politics professors insisting that "the personal is political" paved the way? No administrators, or advisors or grad assistants furnished these students with targets for their rage and armed them with the vocabulary of "microagressions" and "trigger warnings" to wield as weapons?

The is the madness of the Permanent Progressive Campus Revolution, now nearly half a century old, and the examples given of nice liberal professors being demonized by their own students is just the inevitable purging of the Trotskyites. Nor is it confined to the campus; witness Sen. Bernie Sanders, as nice a socialist as one could hope to meet I hear, driven from his own stage by the Black Lives Matters movement. The Permanent Revolution eats its own.


EPA mine spill investigated, MLK recordings discovered, Perry campaign coffers run dry, U.S. F-16 crashes, and Robin Williams remembered.

Answers: Hassan Rouhani, 44, 160