The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

Ethics watchdog calls Trump plan to avoid conflicts of interest "inadequate," former British agent behind Trump-Russia dossier now in hiding, US Senate takes first step toward ending Obamacare, and more.

by VICE Staff
Jan 12 2017, 3:59pm

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

US News

Ethics Watchdog Says Trump Business Plan 'Inadequate'
The director of the Office of Government Ethics has described a plan announced by President-elect Donald Trump to allow his sons Eric and Donald Jr. to run his business for the next four years as "inadequate." Walter Shaub said the strategy—which does not involve Trump selling the business or placing it in a blind trust—falls short of avoiding potential conflicts of interest. "His current plan cannot achieve that goal," said Shaub.—ABC News

Former British Agent Behind Trump Dossier Now in Hiding
The former British intelligence officer behind claims made about the Russian government gathering compromising personal material on Donald Trump has been identified in the press as Christopher Steele. The ex-MI6 man has also reportedly gone into hiding. The Kremlin called the claims made in Steele's unsubstantiated dossier "pulp fiction," and Trump himself attacked it as "phony stuff" at his Wednesday press conference.—BBC News

Senate Passes Resolution Aimed at Ending Obamacare
The Senate took the first steps toward scrapping the Affordable Care Act in the early hours of Thursday morning. After a seven-hour debate, senators voted 51-48 in favor of a budget resolution that Republicans hope will help make repealing President Obama's landmark law easier. GOP House leaders are expected to follow up on the Senate's move on Friday.—USA Today

Chelsea Manning on Obama Shortlist for Commutation
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is reportedly on President Obama's final shortlist for possible sentence commutation. The former Army intelligence analyst is serving 35 years for leaking classified documents.—NBC News / VICE

International News

Taliban Video Seems to Show Australian and US Hostages
The Taliban has released a video that appears to show a kidnapped Australian and American still alive. Timothy Weekes and Kevin King, teachers at the American University of Kabul, were abducted by gunmen in August 2016. The men are seen appealing to President-elect Donald Trump to negotiate a prisoner swap in the as yet unverified clip.—AP

Rivals Exchange Maps at Cyprus Peace Talks
As talks continue between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders over the ethnically divided island nation, the rival sides have exchanged maps outlining possible territorial boundaries for the first time in four decades. British, Greek, and Turkish diplomats are now set to join talks in Geneva aimed at establishing a two-state federation on Cyprus.—BBC News

Turkish MPs Exchange Blows in Parliament
A heated dispute between legislators in the Turkish parliament turned into a fight on Wednesday night, as MPs exchanged punches over a proposed bill expanding the powers of President Tayyip Erdogan. The primary opposition parties do not welcome the constitutional overhaul, three articles of which have been approved so far.—Reuters

Japan Rescues Crew from Sinking North Korean Ship
The Japanese coastguard has rescued 26 crew members of a North Korean cargo ship that sank off the west coast of Japan's island of Kyushu. The ships had been trying to transport rice from one part of North Korea to another.—CNN

Everything Else

Fox News Host Condemns Trump's Treatment of CNN
Anchor Shepard Smith of Fox News has condemned Donald Trump's refusal to answer a CNN correspondent's question at his Wednesday press conference. Smith said CNN "nor any other journalists should be subjected to belittling and delegitimizing by the President-elect of the United States."—Variety

Nintendo Switch Announces Preorder Sale This Friday
Nintendo has announced that a limited number of new Switch console systems will be available to preorder on Friday morning at its store in New York City. The company tweeted preorders will be possible from 9AM "while supplies last."—TIME

San Diego Chargers Want Move to Los Angeles
The owner of the San Diego Chargers, Dean Spanos, has reportedly informed the NFL Commissioner he wants to move his franchise to Los Angeles. The move might mean sharing a new stadium with the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood.—ESPN

Drake Pays Tribute to Obama with Beard Meme
Drake tried to pay sincere tribute to President Obama by posting a mash-up photoshopped photo of himself and the outgoing president on Instagram. Alongside the Obama-with-a-beard photo, Drake wrote: "Big up yaself O."—Noisey

Las Vegas's Public Buildings Are 100 Percent Powered by Renewables
Las Vegas officials have announced that all city-owned buildings and other public infrastructure are now entirely powered by renewable energy. "The move to renewable energy has been seamless," said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman.—Motherboard

Leading French Newspaper Abandons Opinion Polls
One of France's leading newspapers, Le Parisien, has decided it will no longer publish polls in the run up to the country's presidential election in April. The editor said polls were "useless because they will have no bearing on the final result."—VICE News