The VICE Morning Bulletin
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The VICE Morning Bulletin

Trump changes his mind on the Assad regime, Turkey confirms chemical weapons were used in Syria attack, Jeff Sessions orders review of marijuana enforcement, and more.

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

US News

Trump Changes Mind on Assad Regime
President Donald Trump said his attitude toward Syria and the government of Bashar al Assad "had changed very much" following Tuesday's chemical attack in Idlib Province. Speaking at a news conference with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Trump said the killing of children "crossed a lot of lines for me." US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley condemned the Syrian government and warned that "there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action." Days ago, the Trump administration indicated that it would be open to Assad remaining in power, but these remarks are signs that that view may have changed.—The Washington Post/CNN

Jeff Sessions Orders Review of Marijuana Enforcement
The Department of Justice's crime-reduction task force will review the enforcement of marijuana laws. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who created the task force, wrote a memo to US attorneys indicating his team will review "the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana."—CBS News


Ethics Commission Rules Against Alabama Governor
Alabama's Ethics Commission has referred Governor Robert Bentley to the district attorney for investigation after finding probable cause he broke ethics and campaign-finance laws. The state auditor, Jim Zeigler, filed the initial complaint against Bentley, alleging he used state funds to conduct a relationship with a female aide. The scandal emerged after a recording of Bentley's steamy phone call to the aide was made public.—AP

Maxine Waters Says Bill O'Reilly Should 'Go to Jail'
Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters said Bill O'Reilly "needs to go to jail" after reports surfaced that the FOX News host paid several women millions to keep quiet about allegations of sexual harassment against him. "It shouldn't be in America," Waters said, "that you can sexually harass women and then buy your way out of it because you're rich."—CNN/MSNBC News

International News

Turkey Confirms Chemical Weapons Were Used in Syria Attack
Autopsies on the victims of Tuesday's attack in Syria's Idlib Province show chemical weapons were deployed during the incident, according Turkey's justice minister Bekir Bozdag. After 32 victims were brought to Turkey for treatment, authorities performed autopsies on three of those who succumbed to their injuries. Bozdag said the autopsies confirmed "that Assad used chemical weapons."—Al Jazeera

Colombia Launches Investigation into Landslides
The Colombian government ordered an investigation into Saturday's landslides in Mocoa, which resulted in at least 290 deaths. It will look into Mocoa's building safety and the rigor of local officials' emergency planning. National comptroller Edgardo Maya, who launched the investigation, said the probe was "not about punishment." At least 300 people are still missing, and rescue workers continue to search for bodies.—BBC News


Germany Considers Fining Social Media Platforms for Hate Speech
The German government of Angela Merkel has drafted legislation to fine Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms up to $53 million for failing to remove hate speech from their sites. Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the social networks would have a day to remove "criminal" material and seven days for more complicated cases. Groups representing journalists and companies said that this move would restrict free speech.—Deutsche Welle

French Presidential Poll Shows Macron Lead Narrowing
French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron's lead is shrinking, according the latest election poll. Polls show the centrist Macron stands just a point ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, while Jean-Luc Melenchon, a leftist candidate, is on the rise.—Reuters

Everything Else

Britney Spears Show Delays Israeli Primary
The Israeli Labor Party's primary election has been delayed to accommodate a Britney Spears concert in Tel Aviv. Party officials were concerned traffic would prevent people reaching polling stations, so voting will now take place a day after Britney's July 3 performance at Hayarkon Park.—The Times of Israel

Taylor Swift's House Designated Historic Landmark
Taylor Swift has succeeded in getting her Beverly Hills home officially designated a historic landmark by the city council. The designation will recognize the building's longtime former tenant, Samuel Goldwyn, the legendary co-founder of MGM.—ABC News

Drake Backs Chance the Rapper for Chicago Mayor
Drake has backed a fan-led campaign urging Chance the Rapper to run for mayor of Chicago in 2019. When asked if he thought Chance would make a good leader for the city, Drake said: "Yeah, I do." Chance later thanked him on Twitter.—The Fader

Facebook Takes Action on Revenge Porn
Facebook has announced a series of measures to fight the distribution of "revenge porn," which Mark Zuckerberg called "wrong" and "hurtful." The company said new tools would allow faster reporting and removal and automatically flag photos containing the content if they're uploaded again.—VICE News

Feist Drops First New Material in Six Years
Canadian indie-rock legend Feist has released the first single from her forthcoming album Pleasure. The new track, "Century," features Jarvis Cocker of the British band Pulp delivering a monologue about numbers.—Noisey

US and Japanese Companies Organize Giant Robot Fight
California-based robotics company Megabots has announced that it has successfully organized a showdown between its giant, human-piloted mech and one created by Suidobashi, a Japanese company. The battle is set to happen in August, Megabots said, though Suidobashi has not confirmed it. —Motherboard