The VICE Morning Bulletin


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The VICE Morning Bulletin

CIA contractors reportedly behind latest WikiLeaks release, hospitals and doctors line up against GOP health plan, US Marine unit arrives in Syria, and more.

US News

CIA Contractors Said to Be Responsible for WikiLeaks Release
Contractors working for the CIA are the likely source of leaked information on the agency's hacking tools and techniques released by WikiLeaks, according to anonymous law enforcement officials. Two of them said US intelligence has been aware of the security breach since the end of last year, while WikiLeaks said documents detailing CIA hacking had been shared "among former US government hackers and contractors… one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive."—Reuters

Hospitals and Doctors Oppose GOP Health Bill
Both the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have criticized the Republicans' plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The AHA said the plan for Medicaid would reduce care for "our most vulnerable," while the AMA warned any drop in health insurance coverage would harm "vulnerable patient populations."—The Washington Post


US Marine Unit Arrives in Syria
Hundreds of US Marines are now in Syria to support rebels readying to retake the city of Raqqa from ISIS, according to a military official. The contingent, from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, will provide an artillery force for the local Syrian Democratic Forces. The US military is currently authorized to send up to 503 troops to Syria.—ABC News

Illegal Border Crossings Way Down, Homeland Security Boss Says
Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly says attempts to cross the US southern border from Mexico have dropped 40 percent in January and February. The Trump appointee says the "dramatic drop" emerged basically as soon as President Trump took office and started issuing executive orders on the matter.—USA Today

International News

At Least 26 Killed in Suicide Bombing at Iraqi Wedding
A suicide attack at a wedding celebration near the Iraqi city of Tikrit has killed at least 26 people and left another 25 wounded. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, in which two bombers reportedly detonated vests among a party of wedding guests, mostly killing children.—BBC News

Bolivia Expands Coca Production
Bolivian president Evo Morales has signed a law that almost doubles the real estate legally available to plant coca, a.k.a. cocaine's main ingredient. Although Morales wants to support legal coca leaf exports, opposition parties said expanding available land from under 30,000 acres to 54,000 acres would stimulate the illegal trade in cocaine.—AP


Fire at Guatemalan Children's Home Kills 22 Girls
At least 22 girls have perished in a fire at a home for abused children and teenagers in San José Pinula, Guatemala. The fire began when some of the girls, placed in isolation after an escape attempt, set fire to mattresses, according to Guatemala's national police chief. Around 40 people are being treated for burns.—Reuters

Man Posing as Justin Bieber Charged with Sex Offenses in Australia
Australian police have charged a 42-year-old man with 931 child sex offenses, accusing him of pretending to be Justin Bieber in an attempt to ensnare young people online. Charged with rape and indecent treatment of children, police allege that the man used social media to contact children and solicit explicit images.—The Guardian

Everything Else

Pharrell Williams Receives Order of Arts and Letters
Pharrell Williams has been awarded Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, France's highest cultural honor. Receiving the insignia from the French culture minister at a ceremony next to the Louvre, the artist said, "This is another level."—Billboard

Beyoncé Signs Open Letter for Equal Rights
Beyoncé and Madonna were among the artists who co-signed a letter for Global Citizen and Chime for Change urging the US to support equal rights for women. "Recent policies and appointments in the United States jeopardize its position as a global leader," they warned.—Rolling Stone

Jon Huntsman to Become Ambassador to Russia
Jon Huntsman has reportedly accepted an offer to become the US ambassador to Russia. Huntsman, notably, called on President Trump to drop out of the presidential campaign in October after a recording revealed him bragging about groping women.—NBC News

Dave Chappelle Roasts Police for 'Huge Gaffe'
Comedian Dave Chappelle spoke out against aggressive policing at a town hall in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The comedian decried the "huge gaffe" cops made by breaking up a New Year's party and urged local authorities to "make our corner of the world outstanding."—VICE News

Young M.A. Releases New Track
Young M.A. has dropped her follow-up single to last year's huge hit "Ooouuu." The Brooklyn rapper's new track "Hot Sauce" will be part of the Herstory EP released at the end of March.—Noisey

Scientists Claim to Have Created a Time Crystal
Two research teams from Harvard and the University of Maryland say they've independently created a time crystal—a three-dimensional object extended into the fourth dimension of time—in a laboratory.—Motherboard