From The Cairo Review, Karen Koning AbuZayd, Carla Del Ponte, Vitit Muntarbhorn and Paulo Pinheiro on how ISIS militants are using severe brutality and radical interpretations of sharia law to govern a large civilian population. Life under ISIS in Raqqa and Mosul: “We're living in a giant prison”. Algerian writer Kamel Daoud ponders the brutal and senseless absurdity the jihadis seek to impose. ISIS women and enforcers in Syria recount collaboration, anguish and escape. ISIL sells its oil, but who is buying it? The group hasn’t only recruited suicide bombers, it has also drawn technicians and engineers to manage the oil fields. Confessions of an ISIS Spy: For all the attention paid to ISIS, relatively little is known about its inner workings, but a man claiming to be a member of the so-called Islamic State’s security services has stepped forward to provide that inside view.

An “independent historian” documents life under the Islamic State with “Mosul Eye”, a Facebook blog in both Arabic and English. Syrian journalists risk death covering life under airstrikes and ISIS occupation: “All of us are accepting that any one of us will be killed at anytime or anywhere”, one says. David Remnick on telling the truth about ISIS and Raqqa.


Carl T. Bogus (Roger Williams): The New Road to Serfdom: The Curse of Bigness and the Failure of Antitrust. A force awakens in Spain with Podemos’s shock election surge. Calum Marsh on the repellent magnetism of Justin Trudeau: Trudeau’s charisma and popularity on social media has drawn unprecedented global interest in Canadian politics but at home, the traditionalists are unamused. From Vice, what will replace the hipster? A guide to the subcultures you will come to hate over the next few years. Cats and academia, a short history: From writing papers to urinating on other people’s work, cats have a rich history of scholarly work. Bowe Bergdahl, American scapegoat: Scott Beauchamp on how Republicans turned their war hero into a criminal. What was Gary Becker’s biggest mistake? Adam Davidson on the economy’s missing metrics. “If I burn out, I burn out”: Meet Taylor Wilson, nuclear boy genius.


From The Atlantic, Ed Young on the new gene-editing technique that reveals cancer’s weaknesses: CRISPR can finally tell us which human genes are essential — and which matter specifically to cancer cells; on the quest to make CRISPR even more precise: To fulfill its revolutionary promise, the gene-editing technique will need to be edited; and what can you actually do with your fancy gene-editing technology? Wading through the hype about CRISPR. The gene hackers: A powerful new technology enables us to manipulate our DNA more easily than ever before. Editing humanity: A new technique for manipulating genes holds great promise — but rules are needed to govern its use. Jennifer Kahn on the CRISPR quandary: A new gene-editing tool might create an ethical morass — or it might make revising nature seem natural. Jesse Kirkpatrick and Andrew Light on the great potential — and great risks — of gene editing. CRISPR is getting better — now it’s time to ask the hard ethical questions.

The biggest scientific breakthrough of the year will reshape life as we know it. Laura H. Kahn on a CRISPR future. Where in the world could the first CRISPR baby be born? Heidi Ledford on how the legal landscape suggests where human genome editing might be used in research or reproduction. Better babies: Nathaniel Comfort on the long and peculiar history of the designer human, from Plato’s citizen breeders to Nobel sperm banks and beyond. Antonio Regalado on how to (really) engineer a human baby. George Dvorsky on why we’ll eventually have to accept designer babies. Open season is seen in gene editing of animals. Scientists seek moratorium on edits to human genome that could be inherited. Encourage the innovators: Rather than emphasize risks that are not entirely new, talks about germline editing should focus more on the benefits, argues George Church.


A new issue of Quest: Issues in Contemporary Jewish History is out. Michael Tonry (Minnesota): Why Crime Rates Are Falling Throughout the Western World. Military to military: Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war. Jonathan Mahler and Nicholas Confessore go inside the billion-dollar battle for Puerto Rico’s future. On the rule of the perpetual snot-nose: Kathleen Geier on how the domination of politics by family clans is something few predicted during the midcentury heyday of the middle class. From Vanity Fair, everything you know about Martin Shkreli is wrong — or is it? Humans are slamming into driverless cars and exposing a key flaw: They obey the law all the time, as in, without exception. The best way to die: Given hypothetical, anything-goes permission to choose from a creepy, unlimited vending machine of endings, what would you select?


Jide Nzelibe (Northwestern): In Praise of Faction: How Special Interests Benefit Constitutional Order. Lea Ypi (LSE): "It is True that Some Divisions are Harmful to Republics and Some are Helpful": On Factions, Parties and the History of a Controversial Distinction; and Political Commitment and the Value of Partisanship. John Sides interviews Marc Hetherington and Thomas Rudolph, author of Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis. The introduction to When Movements Anchor Parties: Electoral Alignments in American History by Daniel Schlozman. Don’t bury political parties just yet. Daniel I. Weiner and Ian Vandewalker on strengthening the parties to strengthen democracy. Julia Azari on why parties are not the problem — they’re the solution. Jonathan Chait on politics in a country where nobody changes their mind.

“Political identity is fair game for hatred”: Ezra Klein and Alvin Chang on how Republicans and Democrats discriminate. A House Divided: Ryan Lizza on how a radical group of Republicans pushed Congress to the Right. Framing and party competition: Robert M. Entman on how Democrats enabled the GOP’s move to the uncompromising Right. Alexander Hertel-Fernandez and Theda Skocpol on how the Right trounced liberals in the states: Conservatives have mastered the art of cross-state policy advocacy, while liberal efforts have fizzled. Democrats are in denial — their party is actually in deep trouble. The Democratic Party is in a deep, deep hole — but Democrats are trying to do something about it. Ian Millhiser on how the future of the Democratic Party will be decided by the Supreme Court.

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