Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.
Republicans Spooked by Latest Trump Improv on Gun Control
At a televised White House meeting with lawmakers on gun control, Trump shocked Republicans by calling for stronger background checks and raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21. He also said law enforcement should have the power to immediately remove guns from owners suspected of being a danger, and even hinted at openness to an assault weapons ban. “Some of you people are petrified of the NRA," Trump said.—VICE News / The Hill
Kushner Companies Received Loans After WH Visits
Jared Kushner’s family business took a $325 million loan from Citigroup last year after Kushner met with Chief Exec Michael L. Corbat at the White House. Kushner Companies also received a $184 million loan from private equity powerhouse Apollo after its founder Joshua Harris met with Kushner more than once, apparently to discuss a job that never materialized.—The New York Times
Hope Hicks Is Out at the White House
The communications director announced Wednesday she would step down in the coming weeks. President Trump was reportedly upset Hicks disclosed to the House Intelligence Committee she had told “white lies” for him. Hicks was said to be “a puddle of tears” at a White House meeting Wednesday, according to a source there.—VICE News / CBS News
Walmart Introduces New Age Restrictions for Firearms
The retail giant said it was raising the minimum age to buy guns and ammunition from 18 to 21. Walmart was also said to be pulling toys and airsoft guns that look like assault weapons from its website. Earlier on Wednesday, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would raise the minimum age for firearm sales to 21 and would stop selling assault rifles as well.—VICE News
Putin Claims Russia Has ‘Invincible’ Weapon
The Russian president said his country has developed a nuclear-equipped cruise missile that is “invincible in the face of all existing and future systems.” Vladimir Putin claimed the missile had “practically unlimited range.” He also said Russia had developed a way to launch nuclear-equipped missiles from mini-submarines that resemble drones. In a televised speech, Putin suggested Russian citizens come up with names for the weapon systems.—VICE News
German Government Hit by Major Cyberattack
Officials revealed they were investigating how a government network used by the country’s foreign and defense ministries was compromised by hackers. Anonymous security officials reportedly believed the Russian hacking group Fancy Bear was behind the attack, and suspected they used malware to steal data.—VICE News
UN Pleads for Ceasefire in Syria
The UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock urged leading powers to actually implement a 30-day ceasefire in Syria after a Security Council resolution calling for a break from the violence passed over the weekend. While Russia ostensibly supported a five-hour daily break in the fighting, UN officials said the window wasn't large enough to deliver aid. US representative Kelley Currie said the Russian call for five-hour pauses was “cynical” and “callous.”—AP
Mali Bombing Kills Four Peacekeepers
A vehicle carrying personnel from the UN’s peacekeeping mission ran into an explosive in Mopti Wednesday, killing four people and wounding four others. The bombing came after six Malian soldiers were killed by an explosive Tuesday. The UN’s mission chief blamed terrorists for “attacks of unspeakable vileness.”—Al Jazeera
Spotify Is Going Public
The streaming giant filed for a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, giving investors the chance to trade Spotify shares before they're opened up to the public. The company has been valued at up to $23.4 billion.—Noisey
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt Sign on to Quentin Tarantino Movie
Sony Pictures revealed both actors will star in the director’s next movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. DiCaprio will play a former western TV actor living next door to Manson Family victim Sharon Tate, while Pitt will play the actor’s stunt double.—Entertainment Weekly
‘Heathers’ Pushed Back After Parkland Shooting
Paramount Network delayed a series based on the 1988 movie Heathers from its March schedule following the massacre in Florida. The company said the satirical high-school show, which takes on gun violence, would be delayed until later in 2018.—The Hollywood Reporter
Keith Richards Apologizes to Mick Jagger
The Rolling Stones guitarist apologized for calling his bandmate a “randy old bastard,” describing his comments as “completely out of line.” Richards had told the Wall Street Journal: “It’s time for the snip—you can’t be a father at that age.”—AFP
Ta-Nehisi Coates Writing ‘Captain America’ Comic
The acclaimed essayist and writer of Black Panther comics announced he is creating new work about the Marvel superhero. “I’m not convinced I can tell a great Captain America story, which is precisely why I want so bad to try,” he said.—VICE
Rae Sremmurd Drop New Material
The hip-hop superstars released three tracks from their forthcoming triple album SremmLife 3: the Rae Sremmurd song “Powerglide,” the Swae Lee track “Hurt to Look,” and the Slim Jxmmi track “Brxnks Truck.”—Noisey
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.