What We’re Following
Hurricane Watch: It’s no longer a Category 4 storm, but as Florence looms against the Carolina coast, to evaluate the danger it poses wholly by the 1 to 5 scale would be a mistake. Most of the Houston victims of Hurricane Harvey last summer died by drowning, as unprecedented rainfall and subsequent flooding swallowed the region. The grisly and complicated business of getting an accurate death toll exposed federal and local failures both before and after Hurricane Maria. (President Trump tried to deny the scale of the devastation, blaming “the Democrats.”)
Un-Disenfranchisement: In November, Florida voters will decide whether 1.5 million former felons living in the state should have their voting rights restored. Currently, the state is one of three that permanently strips the ability to vote from anyone who’s committed a felony. A black, formerly homeless man and a white, conservative former congressional chief of staff are two leading voices in the movement to re-enfranchise fellow “returning citizens.”
Us vs.Them: “I think that the soft power of the United States … is being reduced at the present moment,” António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, tells Uri Friedman. Is Guterres prepared for a scenario in which America withdraws from the UN? “I will do everything possible to avoid it,” he demurred. Within the U.S., us-versus-them tribal impulses are infecting the political system, the Yale Law School professor Amy Chua argues.