Those of us who spend our lives in the edifying pursuit of bringing VICE to the world get to see the very tip of our spear—sharp and glimmering in the Friday evening moonlight—rip into America’s living rooms at the end of each week. We also get to see new episodes of VICE on HBO before you guys do, which totally rules.
Our newest installment finds our undaunted correspondents in two pretty gnarly places: one far-flung, the other close to home. Here’s a little taste of what to expect tonight at 11 PM when the liquid crystals inside your television are excited by electricity and light up in unimaginably complex and rapid multicolored arrays to form moving pictures.
While violent crime in most metropolitan areas in the US has gone down over the last decade, Chicago has seen a frightening uptick in shootings and gang-related violence. In 2012 the city boasted the highest murder rate in the country. It’s gotten so bad there, that residents have given the Windy City a new, war-zone-inspired nickname—Chiraq. Chicago counts over 100,000 gang members organized into subgangs, factions, and cliques all vying for control over city blocks and settling disputes, either real or imagined, with a pull of the trigger. What’s more, getting handguns in the outlying suburbs is about as difficult as finding popcorn at the movies. Thomas Morton embeds with police, and with gang members in the Englewood neighborhood, to find out how things have gotten so out of control in our nation’s Second City and why most of the country is turning a blind eye to this unfolding urban nightmare.
Nigerian Oil Spills
Since oil was discovered in the West African nation of Nigeria in 1956, there have been more than 500 oil spills. The decades-worth of spilled oil in the Niger River Delta has devastated the health of local communities and ecosystems. The Shell Oil Company was found negligent in their pipeline-building practices and safety measures. But the overall structural problem of inequitable distribution of the immense amount of wealth generated by Nigeria’s sweet, sweet oil has caused many people to pirate it, refine it, and truck it around the country in an unregulated market that has its own deleterious affects. VICE co-founder Suroosh Alvi travels to Nigeria and finds a hellacious illegal oil refinery deep in the mangrove-ringed jungles of the Niger River Delta.