Editor's note

Japan’s snap election on Sunday revealed broad support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s approach to dealing with security threats from North Korea and China by building up Japan’s military capabilities. Nicole Freiner, an expert on Japanese politics, explains this shift in focus for Japan – and what it means for the prospects for peace in the region. She writes: “A discussion on changing the Japanese Constitution’s WWII prohibition of aggression is likely to be revived.”

Fires in northern California have led to 42 deaths and the destruction of more than 8,000 homes and buildings, making it one of the most catastrophic fires in state history. Fire researcher Max Moritz from the University of California, Berkeley explains why we need to rethink how we assess fire risk, including how and where we build our communities.

The 2017 World Series, which begins tonight, will likely have its share of heroes and goats. Why is that, for every athlete who rises to the occasion, another wilts under the pressure? Sports psychologist Mark Otten explores the phenomenon of the clutch athlete.

Danielle Douez

Associate Editor, Politics + Society

Top stories

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japan's vote for Abe could worsen prospects for peace with North Korea, China

Nicole L Freiner, Bryant University

Support for asserting Japan's military might in response to threats from North Korea and China may destabilize the region.

Picking up the pieces after fire devastated the city of Santa Rose, California. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Does California need to rethink urban fire risk after wine country tragedy?

Max Moritz, University of California, Berkeley

A California fire expert explains why municipalities need to reassess urban fire risk and take steps to learn how to coexist with fire.

Who will emerge as this year’s David Freese? Eric Gay/AP Photo

The psychology of the clutch athlete

Mark Otten, California State University, Northridge

What makes someone more likely to succeed when the lights shine brightest?

Economy + Business

  • How companies can learn to root out sexual harassment

    Katina Sawyer, Villanova University; Christian Thoroughgood, Villanova University

    Human resources professionals should be trained at school and encouraged on the job to take employee complaints seriously. But that's not how the profession works now.

Ethics + Religion

  • Are religious people more moral?

    Dimitris Xygalatas, University of Connecticut

    World's major religions are concerned about moral behavior. What is the relationship between religious commitment and morality?

Science + Technology

Health + Medicine

Politics + Society

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Today’s quote

No matter how we define morality, religious people do not behave more morally than atheists, although they often say (and likely believe) that they do.


Are religious people more moral?

Dimitris Xygalatas

University of Connecticut

Dimitris Xygalatas