Morning Update: Everything The Burnout Touches Is Yours

Trump refuses to budge on the shutdown, a new plan in Syria, a very wholesome meme. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Jan. 7.

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President Trump is still demanding wall funding as the government remains partially shut down

It’s been more than two weeks, and Trump is not budging on his demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall on the southern border.

Some 800,000 federal workers are either furloughed without pay or are being forced to work without pay if they are considered “essential,” while their agencies’ funding remains uncertain.

Trump repeated that he “may decide a national emergency” to build the wall.

Since the president has no plan to end the shutdown, he is trying to sell it with a “higher purpose.”

Meanwhile, for low-wage subcontractors who likely won’t receive back pay when the shutdown ends — security guards, cafeteria workers, janitors, and hospitality workers — the situation is “life and death.”

US troops will leave Syria only if Turkey agrees not to attack Kurdish fighters

In December, President Trump said US forces would withdraw from Syria, having “defeated ISIS.” But after the move was met with protests, the troops may be staying a little longer.

Concerns were raised that if the US withdraws, the Kurdish militias who fought alongside the US against ISIS would be vulnerable to an attack from Turkey, which considers them terrorist insurgents.

Now, national security adviser John Bolton says any withdrawal would be on the condition that Turkey could assure the safety of Kurdish fighters.

Bolton was keen to stress that there would be no arbitrary withdrawal point.


A man has been arrested and charged with the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. Barnes was killed when an assailant shot into her family's car. Officials named the suspect as Eric Black Jr. and said he was identified by a tip.

UK Ministry of Justice staff called a BuzzFeed News journalist “crazy” and a “bitch” after she published a leaked report. Internal emails and instant messages reveal the fury inside the ministry after BuzzFeed News was given a report that the department had insisted didn’t exist.

A woman in a vegetative state for more than a decade just gave birth, and now police are investigating. A whistleblower came forward saying the woman had been sexually assaulted at a private nursing care facility. Men working there are reportedly no longer allowed in the rooms of female patients alone.

A woman defended herself against a dog attack and then the dog’s owner bit her on the arm. The owner, identified as 19-year-old Alma Cadwalader, was arrested on Friday.

Ellen DeGeneres said Kevin Hart should host the Oscars despite anti-gay tweets, and the internet has thoughts. People expressed frustration with DeGeneres for her interview with Hart. Meanwhile, CNN anchor Don Lemon called them both out in a powerful segment.

The Golden Globes were last night. Sandra Oh became the first Asian woman to win the award for best actress in a TV drama in 40 years. Green Book dominated, and people were not pleased. A woman holding Fiji Water became a meme. Here’s the full list of winners.

How millennials became the burnout generation

It’s rare that longform pieces land with the force that Anne Helen Petersen’s latest essay did. Millions of people read it over the weekend.

She writes about why straightforward tasks on her to-do list can feel so impossible — a state of paralysis familiar to many of us in the generation that invented words like “adulting” to describe the most basic functions of self-sufficient existence.

Petersen goes beyond merely refuting the “lazy generation” narrative. She articulates the nature of an unshakeable state of burnout.

The whole piece is a must-read, but here’s a taste: “We’re called whiny for talking frankly about just how much we do work, or how exhausted we are by it. But because overworking for less money isn’t always visible — because job hunting now means trawling LinkedIn, because ‘overtime’ now means replying to emails in bed — the extent of our labor is often ignored, or degraded.”

Chinese kids are getting their parents, their parents’ parents, and their parents’ parents’ parents involved in a meme

Generally speaking, I am in favor of all things wholesome on the internet.

So I’m thrilled to tell you this morning about a meme spreading in China, called the four generations challenge, that features family members appearing in order from youngest to oldest.

There’s nothing complicated to it — but honestly, every single entry is just so lovely. Enjoy.

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