The VICE Morning Bulletin


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The VICE Morning Bulletin

The United States Olympic Committee has apologized for swimmers' false claims about being robbed, Russia agrees to a 48-hour ceasefire in Aleppo, Frank Ocean drops a new visual album, and more.
August 19, 2016, 1:15pm

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

US News

USOC Apologizes for Swimmers' False Claims
The United States Olympic Committee has apologized on behalf of the four US swimmers who falsely claimed they had been robbed at gunpoint in Rio, describing their behavior as "not acceptable." Police in Rio have recommended that Ryan Lochte and James Feigen face charges of false reporting of a crime. The swimmers, and in particular Lochte, have been widely criticized over the incident. —ABC News

DOJ to End Use of Private Prisons
The Department of Justice will phase out use of privately owned prisons because of safety concerns. Contracts with 13 private prisons will be reviewed and allowed to expire over the next five years. "They do not maintain the same level of safety and security," said Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. This new directive won't affect state prisons or facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. —The Washington Post


US Admits $400 Million Iran Payment Was Tied to Prisoner Release
The State Department has admitted a $400 million cash payment to Iran was used as "leverage" to negotiate the release of five US prisoners. Spokesman John Kirby maintained the payment was negotiated separately from the prisoner release, but conceded there was "some connection" between the money and the release. —NBC News

Clinton Foundation to Stop Accepting Foreign Donations if Hillary Wins
Bill Clinton has announced that the Clinton Foundation would no longer accept foreign or corporate money if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. He also said he would resign from the board if she wins. This follows concerns about relations between Hillary Clinton's State Department and foundation donors revealed in 2009 emails. —The New York Times

International News

Russia Agrees to 48-Hour Ceasefire in Aleppo
Russia has agreed to a United Nations (UN) plea for a 48-hour ceasefire in the Syrian city of Aleppo to allow aid to reach besieged areas. Moscow said it was ready to start the first "humanitarian pause" next week, but has not yet heeded a UN call for regular, weekly 48-hour halts in the fighting. —Al Jazeera

Medecins Sans Frontieres Pull Staff from Yemen Over Safety Concerns
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has begun evacuating its staff from six hospitals in northern Yemen after a Saudi-led coalition air strike hit a hospital run by the medical aid group on Tuesday, killing 19 people. MSF said there was an "absence of credible assurances" the hospital would be protected. —Reuters


Mexican Police Accused of Executing 22
The Mexican government's human rights body has accused police of killing 22 people in extrajudicial executions in a raid on a drug cartel last year. The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) says police killed a total of 42 people in a raid on a Michoacan state ranch, and afterward attempted to cover up the excessive force used by putting guns near the bodies of those who weren't armed. —VICE News

Fleeing ISIS Fighters Used Civilians as Shields
Aerial photos have been released showing ISIS fighters using civilians as shields to escape the northern Syrian town of Manbij. The Syrian Democratic Forces, who have taken control of Manbij with the help of US-led coalition strikes, said the pictures show a convoy of hundreds of vehicles with civilians inside. —BBC News

Everything Else

Bolt Wins Eighth Olympic Gold
Usain Bolt has claimed his eighth Olympic gold medal after winning the men's 200-meter final. It keeps alive his hope of winning the "treble treble"—three golds at three successive games, if he wins at the 4 x 100-meter relay today. —USA Today

Amber Heard to Give $7 Million Settlement to Charity
The actress will donate her $7 million divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to charity, half to the American Civil Liberties Union, "with a particular focus to stop violence against women," and half to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. —Variety

NYC Parks Department Jokes About Trump Statue's Penis
NYC Parks Department has removed the naked Donald Trump statue (which featured a notable lack of, um, endowment) from Union Square, but still managed a decent joke: "NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small." —CNN

Frank Ocean Drops Visual Album
Frank Ocean has unveiled a new, 45-minute visual album called Endless. Released on iTunes, it features entirely new music, but is a separate project to his proper follow-up album to 2012's Channel Orange. —Noisey

Twitter Unveils New Feature Intended to Filter Out the Trolls
Twitter has announced a new "quality filter" feature that will screen incoming tweets based on "a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior." The hope is that it will remove tweets from trolls who are trying to abuse or harass other users. —VICE News

Trump Ads Appear on Clinton Subreddit
Donald Trump's campaign appears to be paying to promote his campaign on Reddit, where he has an active fanbase. Promoted posts—linkouts to the Trump campaign's donation page—have appeared on the Hillary Clinton subreddit. —Motherboard