The VICE Morning Bulletin
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

Special counsel to lead Russia probe, key Republican referred to Putin paying Trump, officer acquitted in Terence Crutcher killing, Chris Cornell dead at 52, and more.
May 18, 2017, 2:48pm

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

US News

Special Counsel Appointed to Lead Russia Investigation
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been appointed as a special counsel to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 elections and possible ties to President Trump's campaign. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the appointment, writing that the move was "in the public interest" and stressing that it didn't indicate any crimes have been committed. Trump said he was confident the investigation would find "there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity."—VICE News

House Majority Leader Claimed Putin Paid Trump
In a private meeting with senior Republicans in June last year, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he thought Donald Trump was being paid by Vladimir Putin, an audio recording has revealed. "Swear to God," McCarthy said after being met with laughter. House Speaker Paul Ryan's spokesperson dismissed McCarthy's words this week as "an attempt at humor."—The Washington Post

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ICE Detainee Dies in Georgia
A 58-year-old man died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Georgia, the second ICE detainee death in the state this week. Found to have high blood pressure and diabetes when taken into ICE custody, Atulkumar Babubhai Patel was taken to the hospital two days later, where he died of complications from congestive heart failure. He is the eighth ICE detainee to die since October.—CNN

Officer Acquitted in Terence Crutcher Killing
Police officer Betty Shelby has been acquitted of manslaughter after fatally shooting Terence Crutcher, an unarmed, 40-year-old black man. "Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder," said Crutcher's father, Rev. Joey Crutcher, after the verdict. Protestors outside chanted: "No justice, no peace, no racist police."—AP

International News

Jordan May Have Provided US Intel Trump Shared with Russia
Intelligence on an ISIS airplane bomb plot shared by President Trump with Russia's foreign minister came from Jordanian spies, according to anonymous officials from that country. Former CIA officer John Kiriakou said he doubted an Israeli spy provided the information, as reported elsewhere.—Al Jazeera

Brazilian President Accused of Approving Shady Payments
Brazilian President Michel Temer is facing impeachment calls after being accused of sanctioning secret payments to politician Eduardo Cunha, a potential witness in the country's ongoing corruption investigation. Opposition members in Congress registered impeachment requests after the O Globo newspaper said it had a recording of Temer discussing payments. Temer is vigorously denying the allegations.—BBC News

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Venezuela Sends Troops to Border State to Deal with Looting
The Venezuelan government has ordered 2,000 soldiers to the border state of Tachira to deal with an outbreak of looting. Economic activity ground to a virtual halt Wednesday in state capital San Cristobal amid looting and clashes between anti-government protesters and police. Jose Francisco Guerrero, 15, was shot and killed during the unrest.—Reuters

Australian Tax Official Charged in $123 Million Fraud Scheme
Australian police have charged a senior tax official, his son, and eight others with involvement in a $123 million fraud scheme. Michael Cranston is accused of giving information on the tax office to his 30-year-old son Adam. Cranston's son and his eight friends are said to have spent money obtained through tax fraud on cars, motorbikes, jewelry, and wine.—AP

Everything Else

Chris Cornell Dies Suddenly, Aged 52
Chris Cornell, former frontman for rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died at the age of 52. Cornell's representative called his death "sudden and unexpected." A medical examiner is still to determine the cause of death.—Noisey

Kendrick Lamar Portrait Headed to US Capitol
A portrait of Kendrick Lamar painted by a high school student will be hung in the US Capitol building for a year. Tiona Cordova's picture of the artist, entitled "Utmost Appreciation," was one of the 2017 Congressional Arts Competition winners.—XXL

Alex Jones Retracts Yogurt Company Conspiracy
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has admitted allegations he made against yogurt giant Chobani were made-up as part of a settlement in a defamation lawsuit launched by the company. Jones had falsely linked Chobani to a sexual assault case involving child refugees.—Los Angeles Times

Artists Release Benefit Album for Chelsea Manning
A 32-track benefit album for Chelsea Manning featuring Talib Kweli and Against Me! has been released on Bandcamp. Michael Stipe provides a spoken word intro explaining all proceeds go to Manning, released from prison Wednesday.—Noisey

Two Teens Climbed Golden Gate Bridge Undetected
Two Wisconsin teenagers climbed to the top of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, evading detection by the authorities until they posted video of the climb online. Peter Teatime and Tommy Rector could reportedly now face misdemeanor trespassing charges.—VICE