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What's Going On Around The World Today?

European nations are acting on the growing refugee crisis. U.S. Congress is back in session today. And how tweets can predict the death of an app.

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European nations are accepting more refugees as the amount of people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria increases.

Here’s a quick look at some of the recent developments:

  • Germany could take in at least 500,000 refugees a year for the next few years, the country’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said in a TV interview Monday evening. The country also pledged 6 billion euros to help deal with the crisis.

  • Earlier on Monday, French President François Hollande said his country will accept 24,000 more refugees over two years.

  • And the UK will take in up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years, British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Hungary’s government is taking a very different approach to the crisis. It’s estimated that 14,000 people crossed into Austria from Hungary over the weekend. “But with thousands more expected to arrive in Vienna from Hungary in the following weeks, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymanna announced that the border would have to close again this week,” BuzzFeed News’ Hussein Kesvani reported from Vienna.

In the U.S., 1,800 Syrian refugees are expected to be resettled by October, and the aim will be to increase that number to between 5,000 and 8,000 next year. “I feel like we have some obligation here to join the rest of the world,” Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar told BuzzFeed News. “Europe should clearly take the lead because they are close in proximity, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take part, and doesn’t mean some countries in the mideast like Saudi Arabia shouldn’t take some refugees as well.”

BuzzFeed News

This map shows just how big the refugee crisis has grown since 2011. The red dots show the surge of Syrian refugees into neighboring countries since 2011. The blue dots represent the total number of refugees and migrants that have attempted to enter Europe through the Mediterranean or the Balkans during that same time.

And a little extra.

This is why the refugee crisis is hitting Europe now. “Many factors lie behind the latest surge,” BuzzFeed News’ Borzou Daragahi writes. But there are three main reasons: increased attacks by the Syrian regime and ISIS, hopelessness inside the camps, and, ironically, media coverage itself.

For more, here’s a selection of our coverage on the global refugee crisis:

International Rescue Committee

“I left Syria with two bags, but the smugglers told me I could only take one,” 20-year-old artist Nour said. “The other bag had all my clothes,” he said. One shirt, a rosary, a broken watch from his girlfriend, a Syrian flag pin, a Palestinian charm, a few guitar picks, a cell phone, his personal documents, and a couple of wooden and silver bracelets were all he had left.

For more stories and the latest alerts on the refugee crisis, download the BuzzFeed News app for iOS. (We also have a ~super secret~ Android version, so if you want to be a beta tester, send us a note.)

The U.S. Congress is back in business and they’ve got quite a lineup.

“Lawmakers have scheduled a mere 12 legislative days to find a bipartisan compromise to keep the government open, vote on one of the most contentious foreign policy matters in a generation [editor’s note: this would be the Iran nuclear deal], reconcile the future of funding for Planned Parenthood and roll out the red carpet — and a few thousand folding chairs — to greet Pope Francis,” the New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer writes.


The battle for control of the Arctic has been going on for centuries, but is heating up as climate change devastates the region.

Last week, President Obama visited Alaska to urge action against the threat of climate change. “But Obama’s calls for climate cooperation carry an inherent contradiction,” BuzzFeed News’ Dan Vergano writes. “To curb global temperatures, we need to stop burning fossil fuels. And yet, the U.S. is in a competition with Russia, Norway, and other nations for the Arctic’s rich resources, notably oil and natural gas,” Vergano writes.

What’s next?

“The Arctic … lends itself to all kinds of geopolitical theater,” Michael Robinson, author of The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture, told BuzzFeed News. “The melting summer sea ice, though terrible for the environment,” has opened up valuable shipping lanes, and the U.S., Russia, and other countries are scrambling to claim it, Vergano writes.

But, “Russia’s experiences [in the Arctic] have become a cautionary tale, one that illustrates the challenges facing those imagining that a changing Arctic will produce oil and gas riches,” according to the New York Times.


The lost, true story of the CIA’s greatest basketball coach.

How did a 1972 exhibition basketball game between Russia and Uganda become a crucible for Cold War tensions at the dawn of Idi Amin’s brutal regime? Ask the former CIA agent who tried to hit the Soviets where it would hurt them the most: on the court. BuzzFeed contributor Shaun Raviv reports.


How tweets can predict the death or “social decay” of an app.

“It’s hard to pick winners in the social media business, where new apps with new gimmicks are forever competing for your limited attention,” BuzzFeed News’ William Alden and Jeremy Singer-Vine write. “Even highly paid investors are often wrong about which social app will be the next Instagram, Snapchat, or Vine.”

Using Twitter data, BuzzFeed News looked at the health of dozens of socials apps –– Secret, YouNow, Timehop, Jelly –– to determine which are experiencing “social decay.” This involved studying each app and tracking how the number of tweets linking to the app changed over time.

BuzzFeed News

The first app tracked was Secret, which launched with lots of buzz in January 2014. Interest grew over the first part of the year, with a big spike in August. The chart shows a fairly steady decline after that spike, with a smaller peak in late February of this year. By late April, Secret’s co-founder said he would shut the service down.

“I terminated my much-wanted pregnancy.”

“When we were told that the baby I was carrying had a rare, fatal genetic disorder, I didn’t know if I could continue living,” BuzzFeed Contributor Blane Bachelor writes.

According to medical statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, up to 1 and 5 pregnancies end, with more than million fetal and stillborn losses each year. And another 6.7 million women of reproductive age have fertility issues.

“That’s an astounding number of women who suffer devastating reproductive trauma, yet I hadn’t heard many people talking about it, even in a society obsessed with oversharing the most mundane details of our lives,” Bachelor writes.

Quick things to know:

  • Pope Francis announced reforms aimed at simplifying and speeding up marriage annulments for Catholics. (Time)

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron revealed that UK airstrikes killed two British nationals fighting alongside ISIS. The strike is believed to be the UK’s first assassination of British citizens since 1988. (BuzzFeed News)

  • North and South Korea agreed to hold reunification meetings in October for families torn apart by the Korean War. (BuzzFeed News)

  • A comedian won the first round of voting in Guatemala’s presidential election, following President Otto Pérez Molina’s resignation last week. But “who cares?” writes Tim Rogers. (Fusion)

  • President Obama signed an executive order that requires federal contractors to give their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave a year. (BuzzFeed News)

  • A staffer for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in critical condition after he was shot in the head Sunday during a spate of deadly violence before an annual parade in Brooklyn. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, has appealed her jail order. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Across much of the U.S., there’s a serious shortage of psychiatrists. (Associated Press)

  • A white writer made it into The Best American Poetry 2015 anthology — with an Asian pen name. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Researchers believe they have found the largest Neolithic monument built in Britain near Stonehenge. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Things to watch tonight: Serena and Venus Williams will meet for the 27th time in their careers and the fifth time at the U.S. Open. (Sports Illustrated) And The Late Show with Stephen Colbert premieres tonight. (A.V. Club)

  • 15 insane confessions of a Buckingham Palace guard. (BuzzFeed UK)

Happy Tuesday

“Have you ever wondered what it would be like if characters from Star Wars were at the same nightclub as the Terminator? Well now you can with a mind-blowing mash-up video,” BuzzFeed News’ Stephanie McNeal writes. Club goin’ up, on a Tuesday.

Bonus! For the food-lovers in your life, and for you, if you are the food-lover: here are 30 things to cook in September and 7 easy dinners to make this week. And one more, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back today.

This letter was edited and brought to you by Brianne O’Brien and Millie Tran. You can always reach them here.

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