What's Going On Around The World Today?

Fierce fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo has stalled a planned ceasefire and delayed civilian evacuation. Scientists are freaking out that Donald Trump has picked Rick Perry to head the Energy Department. And how electronic music made by neo-Nazis soundtracks the alt-right.


What the Syrian regime’s capture of Aleppo means for the world.

Civilians and rebel fighters were not evacuated from the devastated enclave of eastern Aleppo on Wednesday, amid reports that a ceasefire had been broken by pro-government forces.

The city’s bloody fall may doom the Syrian uprising, but that’s unlikely to end the war and headaches for other countries, and it complicates the war for just about everybody else, including the US. It will likely prompt further displacement of Syrians, increasing the flood of refugees into a Europe already veering to the right in part over immigration worries.

And a little extra

Aleppo’s plight also embodies what many critics regard as the West’s policy and moral failure on Syria. World powers including the US, France, and the UK originally backed the rebels but eventually retreated over worries about their increasingly Islamist character and the possibility of a confrontation with Russia.

The takeover will also give a big boost to the jihadi groups that are fighting the regime, including ISIS.

Read more: People trapped inside Aleppo sent heartbreaking and terrifying “final messages.” This is what the city looked like this year. And 18 cartoons reacting to the crisis.


The latest from the president-elect.

  • Scientists are freaking out that Donald Trump has picked former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy. (In 2012, Perry proposed to eliminate it.) The $30 billion agency is a critical supporter of basic research, and the biggest funder of physics in the country.

  • Trump has tapped first-term Montana congressman and former Navy SEAL commander Ryan Zinke to lead the Department of the Interior. Zinke’s been praised locally for protecting public lands but is perceived as an adversary to environmentalist causes.

  • US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is preparing to hand over her Justice Department to Trump. She told BuzzFeed News in an interview on Tuesday how the department will keep advocating for LGBT rights in her final weeks and hand that work off to the new administration.

Ehm, what?

You can have a 45-minute coffee date with Ivanka Trump for a cool $50,000. All proceeds from the date will go to the Eric Trump Foundation, which was started to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

And just a regular Tuesday in 2016: The president-elect met Kanye West at Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday. Trump said they’ve “been friends for a long time” and talked about “life.” Kanye said they met to “discuss multicultural issues.”


How electronic music made by neo-Nazis soundtracks the alt-right.

“Fashwave” is the sound of young white nationalism, writes BuzzFeed News’ Reggie Ugwu. It’s sort of like the soundtrack to a vintage buddy cop movie, only instead of a black cop and a white cop, both cops are white and neither believes in the Holocaust.

The genre is championed on the same forums that gave voice to the so-called alt-right movement and aggressively supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, including the Daily Stormer, The Right Stuff, and the National Policy Institute.

It’s the intuitive musical expression of that movement’s less self-serious, more sardonic tone, and has roots in the online imageboards, video games, and sci-fi propagated among young, white racists on the outer perimeters of the internet.


  • In Brazil: New documents tie Brazil’s President Michel Temer to a money laundering scandal that sparked the impeachment of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff.

  • TV icon Alan Thicke has died of a heart attack at the age of 69. He was famous for playing the dad in the ‘80s sitcom Growing Pains.

  • Religious targeting: Employees at major tech firms including Google and IBM have signed a pledge to never create a Muslim registry. And a spokesperson for Facebook called the notion of a Muslim registry a “straw man.”

  • Job alert: You can be an emoji translator and get paid for it. Yes, that’s right.

  • Celeb: Mariah Carey’s kitschiness has long confounded critics. But with her new reality show, she can finally embrace the in-betweenness that is her complex legacy.

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