The VICE Morning Bulletin

More than 200 killed after earthquake rocks Mexico, Trump using campaign cash to pay Russia probe lawyers, global leaders criticize his bizarre UN speech, and more.
September 20, 2017, 2:53pm
Photo by Rafael S. Fabres/Getty Images

Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.

US News

Trump Using Campaign Money to Pay Russia Probe Lawyers
President Trump has reportedly dipped into Republican National Committee funds and money donated to his reelection campaign to cover legal costs associated with the investigations into Russian election interference. The RNC acknowledged just over $230,000 had been paid to Trump's lawyers. Trump appears to be the first modern president to use campaign and election committee money to respond to a criminal investigation.—Reuters

Puerto Rico Braces for Hurricane Maria
With the Category 4 storm expected to hit Puerto Rico Wednesday, Governor Ricardo Rosselló said the impact would be "much more devastating" than Hurricane Irma. The US territory's public safety commissioner said residents should get to one of the island's 500 shelters. "You have to evacuate—otherwise, you are going to die," he said.—NBC News


White House Wants to Make Gun Exports Easier
The Trump administration is planning to clear the way for more sales of US-made firearms to buyers overseas. White House officials want to remove the regulatory authority over these purchases from the State Department and turn it over to the Commerce Department, which tends to be less concerned with politics and public safety.—Reuters

Republicans Seeking $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut in Budget
GOP lawmakers in the Senate have come up with a plan to slash taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Despite increasing the nation's federal deficit, Senator Bob Corker said he hoped the plan would help create the kind economic growth that "improves our fiscal situation."—The New York Times

International News

More Than 200 Killed After Earthquake Rocks Mexico
The death toll from Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 quake in central Mexico climbed to more than 200 by Wednesday, with at least 86 people killed in Mexico City alone. Volunteers joined rescue workers overnight to hunt for survivors trapped under fallen buildings. Mexico City's mayor said teams were still working at 44 separate sites in the capital. The quake struck 75 miles south of the city shortly after 1 PM local time.—VICE News

Global Leaders Criticize Trump's UN Speech
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for calm after the US president warned he was willing to "totally destroy North Korea." "Fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings," Guterres said. French president Emmanuel Macron said his country "rejects escalation." An editorial in the China Daily state newspaper said Trump's rhetoric would "likely worsen the already volatile situation."—CNN/The Washington Post


Hurricane Maria Devastates Guadeloupe
One person was killed by a falling tree as the Category 5 storm slammed the French territory in the Caribbean Tuesday, with two people missing after a boat was reported sunk off the island nation's east coast. Some coastal communities were flooded, and roughly 80,000 homes lost power.—AP

Turkey Warns of Possible Sanctions Over Kurdish Referendum
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his Cabinet would soon discuss "what kind of sanctions we can impose" on the Kurdish Regional Government over its intention to hold a vote on separation from Iraq. The semi-autonomous Kurdish authority relies on pipelines in Turkey to move its oil.—Reuters

Everything Else

Hillary Clinton Calls Trump Speech 'Dark' and 'Dangerous'
Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the former presidential candidate said Trump's UN speech was "very dark, dangerous, not the kind of message that the leader of the greatest nation in the world should be delivering."—The Washington Post

Gucci Mane Publishes Autobiography
The rapper dropped The Autobiography of Gucci Mane in bookstores Tuesday, the same day his probation sentence came to an end. Sharing photos of himself at Barnes & Noble in New York City, Gucci said: "What a day!!!!"—Billboard

'The Deuce' Renewed for a Second Season
The David Simon and George Pelecanos–helmed series about sex work in 1970s New York will return for more, HBO has announced. Head of programming Casey Bloys said, "We look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves."—VICE

Chinese Authorities Shut Down Sex Doll Sharing App
Chinese police fined and closed a company renting out sex dolls for "disrupting public order." Taqu had made five types of dolls available via its app, including "Russian teenager" and "Hong Kong car race cheerleader."—Motherboard