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What Happened at Slate This Week?

International affairs writer Joshua Keating on what to read to understand the apparently permanent slowdown of the Chinese economy.

Illustratoion by Slate

Greetings lady patriots and gentleman patriots,

I’m a staff writer here at Slate focusing on international affairs and foreign policy. Despite the August doldrums, it was quite a busy news week and quite a great week for Slate content.

Obviously, the big news in my world this week was the market crash and what appears to be a permanent slowdown in the Chinese economy. If you need to get up to speed on that situation, Ali Griswold and Jordan Weissmann’s crystal-clear, and quite entertaining, explanation is a great place to start. I also want to give a plug to last Friday’s piece from our partners at Roads & Kingdoms, and writer Liz Flora, on an ultra-luxurious polo club and real estate development in Tianjin, China. The article was reported before the city’s recent chemical explosion and this week’s crash, but I think the air of irrational exuberance surrounding China’s economic boom that it portrays gives some context to both situations. If you enjoy that one, there are many more incredible dispatches from around the world in the series on Slate and over at Roads & Kingdoms. Recent favorites of mine include the dark side of a utopian community in India, a melancholy but beautiful feature on a service the cleans up after the increasing number of Japanese who die at home alone, and a look at the surprising renaissance of Israeli pork.

In other highlights, this week our newly promoted chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie took a look at how Katrina still haunts black political consciousness, Jessica Huseman explored the little-discussed power of the home-school lobby, and Jacob Brogan looked at what Ray Bradbury’s 1959 FBI file tells us about the politics of science fiction, then and now. Our new book critic Laura Miller reviewed Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, arguing that the author the Internet loves to hate is having more fun than his critics. And as we grappled with the tragic events in Virginia this week, Justin Peters made a convincing case against social media sites like Twitter and Facebook taking down the accounts of killers like Vester Flanagan.

Finally, I know loyal Slate readers don’t really need me to tell them to read Dear Prudence, but Emily Yoffe’s level-headed and sound advice to spouses and co-workers on how to react to the Ashley Madison leaks is about all you need to know about that mess.

Thanks for your membership!


P.S. In late July we offered members a chance to write for Slate in our inaugural pitch slam. This week we published our first winning submission, a great review written by member Diana Martinez about Narcos, a new Netflix show. Congrats, Diana!