The VICE Morning Bulletin
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The VICE Morning Bulletin

FBI reportedly denied request to push back on Russia/Trump stories, Malaysia says Kim Jong-nam killed by toxic nerve agent, White House signals federal crackdown on weed, and more.

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

US News

FBI Turned Down Request to Push Back on Russia Stories, Report Says
The FBI reportedly turned down a request by the White House to publicly reject media stories about ties between Trump campaign associates and Russian intelligence officials. According to anonymous US officials, Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, asked the FBI to dispute the media reports. But White House press secretary Sean Spicer reacted to the new allegation by insisting there was no foul play. "We asked them to tell the truth," he said of the FBI.—CNN

Trump Wants 'Top of the Pack' Nuclear Capability
President Trump wants to expand the US nuclear arsenal to make sure it is "top of the pack." The newly minted commander-in-chief is worried the US has "fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity." Speaking about North Korea's ballistic missile test program, Trump added that "China can end it very quickly in my opinion."—Reuters


Google's Self-Driving Company Sues Uber
A self-driving car company owned by Google Alphabet is suing Uber and its self-driving operation, Otto, over the alleged theft of design and technology secrets. The lawsuit accuses former Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski of downloading 14,000 "proprietary and confidential" files before co-founding Otto.—Bloomberg

White House Signals Federal Crackdown on Weed
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday teased a new battle in America's long, depressing war on pot. Spicer said there was likely to be "greater enforcement" of federal laws in the future, and that President Trump saw a "big difference" between medical and recreational use.—VICE

International News

Kim Jong-nam Killed by Toxic Nerve Agent, Says Malaysia
A preliminary Malaysian report suggests that Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of the North Korean leader, was killed using a VX nerve agent. The UN classifies the toxic nerve agent as a weapon of mass destruction. Malaysian police said it had been detected from tests on Kim's eyes and face.—CNN

Bomb Attacks Kills at Least 60 in Northern Syria
A suicide bomb attack in a village just outside the city of al Bab in northern Syria has killed at least 53 people and injured dozens of others. It was followed by another attack that killed at least eight. ISIS forces had recently been forced to retreat from the area.—Al Jazeera

Critical Senator Arrested by President's Government in Philippines
Philippine senator Leila de Lima, who has fiercely criticized President Rodrigo Duterte and called him a "sociopathic serial killer," has been arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Denying the charges, De Lima said: "It is my honor to be imprisoned for the things I am fighting for."—AFP


Guatemala Cuts Off Dutch Abortion Service Boat
Guatemala's army has pledged to stop a Dutch nonprofit group, Women on Waves, from operating free abortion services from a boat docked at the port of Quetzal in Puerto San José. President Jimmy Morales's government has instructed the army to block the boat and prevent any of the nonprofit activists from stepping ashore and women from stepping aboard.—BBC News

Everything Else

Beyoncé Pulls Out of Coachella
Beyoncé has decided to pull out of headlining the Coachella festival in April due to the "advice of her doctors to keep a less rigorous schedule." The star, pregnant with twins, will perform as a headliner in 2018 instead.—AP

Caitlyn Jenner Calls Trump Trans Policy a 'Disaster'
Caitlyn Jenner has spoken out against President Trump's revocation of federal guidelines encouraging schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity. "This is a disaster," she said in a video. "And you can still fix it."—TIME

Kyle MacLachlan to Appear at SXSW Tribute
Kyle MacLachlan and other Twin Peaks stars will appear at musical tribute events at SXSW in Austin, Texas, next month. Neko Case, Real Estate, M. Ward, and Tame Impala's Cameron Avery will perform songs "inspired by the series."—Rolling Stone

Donald Glover Kinda Maybe Collaborating with Chance the Rapper
The actor-director-musician Donald Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino) said this week he's done a bit of teaming up with Chance the Rapper. "We're both busy but when he has like a moment we've just been sitting down and just working together," he said.—Noisey

UK Cops Discover $1.25 Million of Weed in Bunker
British police officers have discovered an enormous marijuana grow house in an abandoned nuclear bunker. Cops in Wiltshire said the crops, found across 20 giant rooms in Chilmark, would have a street value of $1.25 million.—VICE

Programmer Models TRAPPIST-1 in Universe Simulator
Just hours after NASA announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, programmer Vladimir Romanyuk has modeled the planets for universe simulator Space Engine and made it available as a downloadable pack.—Motherboard