Editor's note

Today, voters in Alabama go to the polls to choose a new senator in a race that’s too close to call. Turnout among black voters could be decisive for Democrat Doug Jones. But scholar David Elcott expects the evangelical vote to go to Republican Roy Moore – despite allegations of child molestation raised against him. Elcott explains how Christians can believe that Moore is guilty and still see him as the moral choice.

Yesterday morning, an explosion on the New York City subway injured three victims plus the suspected bomber. The Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the attack and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has called it an “an attempted terrorist attack.” Given the accepted definition of terrorism, some mass killers are called terrorists, and not others. Ethicist and scholar of terrorism Jessica Wolfendale asks whether the distinction is a fair one and what its moral implications are.

“The Last Jedi,” which will be released in the U.S. later this week, is expected to be a huge critical success, continuing a streak of hit Star Wars films that started with “The Force Awakens.” SUNY-Binghamton marketing professor Subimal Chatterjee – who has researched the key differences between good and bad sequels – explains why the recent spate of Star Wars films has been so much more beloved than the prequel trilogy. (Jar Jar Binks is only partially to blame.)

Emily Costello

Deputy Editor/Politics + Society Editor

Top stories

Evangelicals are supporting Roy Moore despite the allegations against him. But would liberals make similar compromises? Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

Why evangelicals are OK with voting for Roy Moore

David Elcott, New York University

A scholar who has interviewed hundreds of Christians across the country explains how he sees religious beliefs and values intertwining with pragmatic concerns.

Who is a terrorist? Evan McCaffrey/Shutterstock.com

The moral questions in the debate on what constitutes terrorism

Jessica Wolfendale, West Virginia University

A scholar asks: If two acts of violence kill similar numbers of people, have similar effects on victims and communities, and spread fear and terror, should they not be seen as equally abhorrent?

Actor Mark Hammill reemerged in ‘The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Last Jedi.’ Nick Lehr/The Conversation via Lucasfilm

The secret behind the success of the new 'Star Wars' films

Subimal Chatterjee, Binghamton University, State University of New York

Why did most fans shun the prequel series, but embrace the recent spate of 'Star Wars' films? A recent study offers some clues.

Politics + Society

Economy + Business

  • How the war on tipping harms customers

    Michael Lynn, Cornell University

    Some observers say we should eliminate tipping in restaurants because of the negative impact on workers. But how do customers feel about that?

Science + Technology

  • Following the developing Iranian cyberthreat

    Dorothy Denning, Naval Postgraduate School

    Iranian cyberthreats come from independent hacker groups and from those suspected of having government ties. Their efforts may be part of a campaign to counterbalance other international powers.

Environment + Energy

From our international editions

Today’s quote

Our results show that the successful franchises make smaller, gradual updates -- rather than sweeping changes – in each successive film.


The secret behind the success of the new 'Star Wars' films

Subimal Chatterjee

Binghamton University, State University of New York

Subimal Chatterjee