Incoming: Raised By Extremely Online Parents

Trump's new racist attack, sea ice melt concerns, Chechnya's anti-LGBTQ crackdown. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, July 29.

Trump’s latest racist comments included calling a majority black area a “rat and rodent infested mess”

This time, the president’s target was a congressional district that is 53% black and includes a large part of Baltimore. President Donald Trump added on Twitter that “no human being would want to live” there.

Trump was directing his comments toward House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings and the more than 700,000 people who live in his congressional district.

The racist attack came after Cummings questioned acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan about conditions at US detention centers, where children have died in custody and people have reported being malnourished.

In response to Trump’s comments, the Baltimore Sun released a scorching editorial, writing, “Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.” Baltimore residents clapped back hard at Trump’s attack.

Worth noting: Ben Carson, Trump’s secretary of housing and urban development, lives in the district, according to an address database. Carson's representatives didn't answer when asked if his home or neighborhood was disgusting.

An unwelcome record: We could see a new low for the area of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

Each year, the low for sea ice arrives around mid-September after the long summer melt. The previous record for its early arrival was in 2012. Right now, this year’s melt is proceeding even faster.

It’s no surprise that 2019 is shaping up to be an exceptional year for sea ice loss. We have already experienced the hottest June across the globe ever, and July is expected to be the planet’s warmest month on record.

Whether or not 2019 sets new records, that trend is set to continue.


Trump’s top intelligence official is leaving the administration. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will step down effective August 15. Coats and Trump had long been at odds, and speculation has existed for some time that Coats might resign. Trump announced Rep. John Ratcliffe will be nominated to replace him.

Two American teenagers were detained for allegedly killing a police officer in Italy. An Italian state news outlet identified the two Americans as Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, 18, and Finnegan Lee Elder, 19, from San Francisco. Italian officials are investigating the pair’s role in the stabbing of a police officer near their hotel following a drug deal that went awry.

Neil deGrasse Tyson will keep his job after a sexual misconduct investigation was closed. The astrophysicist will remain at his high-profile job as the director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium after the museum said its investigation was complete.

Twin babies were found dead inside a hot car after police said their father forgot about them. The 11-month-old babies were left inside the car for most of the day while their father — who has been arrested and charged — forgot they were in the back seat and went to work two blocks away, police said.

The Covington Catholic student’s defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post has been dismissed. The teen, who went viral in a video with a Native American demonstrator, claimed he was misrepresented, but a judge ruled that was not supported “by the plain language in the article.”

Trans men and queer women have been swept up in Chechnya’s anti-LGBTQ crackdown

M. lives in fear of becoming the next victim of Chechnya's brutal anti-LGBTQ crackdown that has left many tortured or dead. He’s believed to be the first trans man to publicly share his story in detail since the purges began. What he told us is harrowing.

First, you need some background: Chechnya has been engaging in a brutal anti-LGBTQ campaign, rounding up gay and bisexual men, torturing them, forcing them to give up the names of others, and killing them. That campaign has been ongoing for years.

While trans men and queer women have also been the targets of the anti-LGBTQ purge, their stories have rarely been told.

In rare interviews, a trans man and four queer women told us about the nightmare of escaping, and the living in constant fear.

The honest truth about being raised by an extremely online parent

Before many of us were extremely online, Ben Smith, aka BuzzFeed Ben, our editor-in-chief, was extremely online. The man’s mailing address is basically just Twitter.

But Ben is not our main attraction today — young Hugo Smith, Ben’s son, is. Hugo has had an extremely online parent for as long as he can remember. How does that influence your relationship with your parent? We talked to Hugo, and he gave us some valuable insight.

The whole thing is great, and my favorite quote: “Sometimes you might have some long question, and he won’t notice it’s a question and just say 'uh-huh' — but if you pause and ask if he’s listening, he’ll recite everything you said, even if he only processed it when he is saying it back to you.”

Skip to footer