The VICE Morning Bulletin

Dozens killed in latest assault on Syrian rebels, Trump and Mitt Romney play nice, Bieber backs teens on gun control, and more.

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Feb 20 2018, 4:05pm

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

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

US News

Gun Control Polls Well but Not That Well
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 58 percent of Americans think stricter gun control legislation might have prevented last week’s mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. It also revealed 77 percent of voters don't believe lawmakers in Congress have been doing enough to prevent mass shootings generally. Meanwhile, at least some survivors of the shooting said they would not attend a White House “listening session” with President Trump planned for students this Wednesday.—The Washington Post/CNN

Trump and Mitt Romney, Friends Again
The president said the Utah Senate seat candidate has his “full support” in a Monday night tweet. Romney, who is aiming to succeed the retiring Orrin Hatch in the Senate, thanked Trump “for the support.” The Republican politician previously called Trump a “phony” and claimed his post-Charlottesville comments “caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn.”—VICE News

Pennsylvania’s New Electoral Map a Win for Dems
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court published redrawn congressional boundaries following a ruling against the gerrymandering enabled by the previous map for the state. It appeared to give the Democrats a much better shot at winning in the suburbs around Philadelphia—and boost their chances of retaking the House generally. “This is pretty close to a Democratic wet dream,” one GOP consultant said. Republicans were still expected to appeal.—Politico

Political Scientists Deem Trump America's Worst President
The 45th president got last place in a survey of “greatness” compiled by the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Trump was awarded an average score of 12.34 out of 100. Obama was considered the eighth best president, having been 18th the last time the study was done in 2014.—CBS News

International News

Dozens Killed in Latest Brutal Attack on Syrian Rebels
At least 100 people were killed in the recent wave of Syrian government strikes on Eastern Ghouta, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Four medical facilities were struck during air strikes and shelling Monday, which reportedly continued into Tuesday.—VICE News

At Least Five Killed, Hundreds Arrested at Protest in Iran
Three riot police officers and two pro-government militia members were killed when a protest by the Gonabadi Dervishes group turned violent in Tehran Monday. More than 300 people were also arrested after hundreds of Sufi (Muslim minority) demonstrators converged outside a police building to protest the detention of some members.—Reuters

South Korea Teases Next Joint Military Drills with US
Defense Minister Song Young-moo said the next exercise would be announced in the weeks after the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games end on March 18. The annual drills were delayed by the games in PyeongChang, but Song said they would be rescheduled by April 1.—The Korea Herald

Third Competitor at the Winter Olympics Fails Drug Test
Slovenian ice hockey player Ziga Jeglic tested positive for the banned substance fenoterol, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced. He was the third athlete suspended after a Japanese speedskater and a Russian curler also failed official tests.—AP

Everything Else

‘Black Panther’ Kills at Box Office
The superhero movie took in a mammoth (estimated) $235 million at North American theaters over the three-day weekend. It was the biggest opening ever for a film directed by a person of color, the biggest ever February opening, and the fifth-biggest domestic debut weekend in history.—Forbes

Fergie Explains Strange Rendition of the National Anthem
The singer said she wanted to “try something special” with her version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the NBA All-Star Game, but conceded it “didn’t strike the intended tone.” Fergie responded to all the flak by stating: “I love this country and honestly tried my best.”—AP

Justin Bieber Supports March for Gun Control
The singer was one of several stars to show support for next month’s “March for our Lives” event organized by survivors of the Parkland high school mass shooting. “All of your bravery is amazing,” Bieber tweeted. “I stand with you guys.”—Billboard

Jordan Peele Rolling on His Next Project
The director of Get Out revealed he was writing a movie he hoped to shoot later this year. Peele said “tonally it should resemble Get Out” but would “address something different than race.”—The Hollywood Reporter

Steam to Start Selling ‘Pick-Up Artist’ Video Game
The platform was slated to release a new game next month called Super Seducer, billed as the world’s “most realistic seduction simulator.” It features self-styled “pick-up artist” Richard La Ruina and claims to offer “hidden secrets” in attracting women.—Motherboard

Former Crystal Castles Singer Speaks Out About Defamation Case
Alice Glass, who has accused her former bandmate Ethan Kath of abusing and sexually assaulting her, said she would “refuse to be intimidated” despite a defamation lawsuit. “You shouldn’t be able to waste everyone’s time and money to have a lawsuit that I’m going to win,” Glass said. Kath has denied the allegations.—Noisey

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.