The News 11/27-12/2: The complicated Mr. Castro

Top Stories of the Week

Donald Trump alleges voter fraud. Trump, the current president-elect of the US, has alleged that "millions" of people voted illegally on election day. In addition to being completely without basis, this allegation calls into question an election that Trump won (at least, via the electoral college, if not the popular vote.)

In other Trump news, he will reportedly be abandoning his business when he assumes the presidency -- which really doesn't mean all that much, to be honest. 

Goodbye, Fidel. After decades at the helm of Cuba, Fidel Castro passed away last weekend at the age of 90. Castro had already passed over control of the country to his brother, so the implications of his death have more to do with his legacy, one that is exceedingly complicated -- Castro made great strides when it came to health care and literacy (and lobbied against racism and apartheid), but he also oversaw harsh crackdowns on the Cuban people, greatly hindered human rights, and arguably kept Cuba growth-stunted. 

Aleppo. While most of the world is focused on Donald Trump, Aleppo, Syria, is facing unspeakable tragedy. Some 25,000 people have been forced from their homes within the city. which the Syrian regime is closer and closer to retaking from rebel forces. The UN has warned Aleppo is becoming a "human graveyard", but help seems out of sight.

Cuba. (Flickr - Andrew Schimmeck)

Cuba. (Flickr - Andrew Schimmeck)



Blues Buzz

The complicated legacy of Fidel Castro. Holocaust-themed ice skating routine. For most of us, America was never paradise. Beyond the "diversity" buzzword in the outdoors. Fetal funerals. When the wilderness was only for white people. Love in the time of AIDS. Paris/Rory is the would-be pairing you should actually care about. Orthodox Jewish lesbians. Greeting Mike Pence with rainbow flags.


Regional Updates

South, Southeast, & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

  • Moroccan state TV sparked outrage after airing a makeup tutorial aimed at women experiencing domestic violence.
  • Palestinians helped Israel's government battle fires, believed to be caused by arson, as they spread across the occupied West Bank.
  • Libya wants Russia's help in tackling the Islamic State.
  • Tearing up the Iran Deal is not advisable, says a top US general.

Sub-Saharan Africa:


  • Famed Cuban dissidents the Ladies in White called off their weekly march in the wake of Castro's death.
  • A plane carrying a Brazilian football team, Chapecoense, crashed in Colombia following an electrical failure. Seventy-six people were killed, but the crash has garnered attention mostly because of the tragedy of the football team, which had made an almost mythic rise and was set to compete in one of South America's most important tournaments. 
  • Once again, Colombia has a peace deal with the FARC established -- this one theoretically for good.
  • Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, came under fire for positive comments about the late Cuban leader.
  • A businessman seems to have won Haiti's presidential election.
  • An attacker with a knife went on a stabbing spree at Ohio State University. He was ultimately killed, and the victims are all expected to recover.
  • There will be no charges against the cop who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott, a black man, in North Carolina. 


  • New Zealanders are protesting a media merger many fear will jeopardize the quality of the country's press.
  • Protesters disrupted the Australian government over the country's treatment of refugees earlier in the week. 

Quote of the Week:

"On being invited to visit Pakistan by the Prime Minister, Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people, said Mr. Donald Trump." -- Official Pakistan press release

Blue Out: This fur seal.