The VICE Morning Bulletin
Feds want to split up detained migrant families, more than 120 countries condemn US in UN vote, government shutdown averted with funding bill, and more.
Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.
ICE Wants Detained Migrant Families Split Up by Border Agents
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) approved a plan to separate children from their parents when individuals are found illegally crossing the border, according to anonymous officials. Current policy keeps families together in detention while they await legal decisions. The White House is reportedly keen on the separation policy, but Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen has yet to sanction it.—The New York Times
Government Funding Bill Keeps Lights On
Congress passed a short-term spending bill Thursday to avoid a looming federal government shutdown. The stopgap bill moved the deadline to hash out government funding from midnight Friday to January 19, and injected some life into the sagging Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The House also approved a bill sanctioning $81 billion in disaster aid spending, covering hurricane and wildfire recovery work.—CNN
Scale of Senate Misconduct Settlements Revealed
Around $1.5 million in government money has been used to settle misconduct claims in the Senate over the past two decades. Data released Thursday by the Senate Rules and Appropriation Committees revealed at least $600,000 was paid to settle claims involving lawmakers, while $853,000 was spent on claims involving other offices peripheral to or inside the body. Senator Tim Kaine said it was “the first step toward a more transparent reporting system for harassment in Congress.”—Politico
More Than 120 Countries Condemn US in UN Vote
A resolution urging the US to reverse its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital was endorsed by 128 countries at the UN General Assembly. Only nine countries voted against it. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said: “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations.”—Reuters
Separatists Win Narrow Majority in Catalan Election
Pro-independence parties have won 70 seats in Catalonia, giving them a reduced majority in the regional parliament compared to the 72 seats won in 2015 but power nonetheless. Separatist leader Carles Puigdemont, in exile in Belgium, said Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had “received a slap in the face from Catalonia.” The Citizens party will lead the pro-Madrid cause after winning 37 seats.—AP
China Decides Not to Act on US Fentanyl Indictments
Chinese authorities declined to arrest two men indicted by the US Department of Justice for allegedly shipping fentanyl to the US, claiming a lack of clear evidence. “China does not have solid evidence to show that they have violated Chinese law,” said Yu Haibin, a director at China’s National Narcotics Control Commission.—VICE News
Australian Cops Seize $800 Million in Meth
Police arrested eight men after discovering 1.2 tons of methamphetamine during a raid on a dock—the country’s biggest-ever bust of the drug. Law enforcement put the street value at $800 million. “We are very pleased that 12 million hits of methamphetamine will be off the streets,” said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.—BBC News
Crystal Castles’ Ethan Kath Probed for Alleged Sex Crimes
Toronto cops revealed their sex crimes unit is investigating the musician. An anonymous source said the case involved claims made by “several” women. Back in October, Crystal Castles’ former frontwoman Alice Glass said Kath had sexually assaulted her.—The Daily Beast
Sportscaster Dick Enberg Dies At 82
Tributes poured in for the beloved broadcaster after he died of an apparent heart attack at home. Keith Olbermann called it “a terrible loss,” while sportscaster John Ireland said Enberg would join fellow greats on the “Mount Rushmore of LA Sports Announcers.”—AP
Travis Scott and Quavo Drop New Album
The Houston rapper and Migos member have released their joint LP Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho. Quavo’s bandmates Offset and Takeoff both feature on the album, and legendary illustrator Ralph Steadman made the cover art.—Noisey
Elderly Couple Claims 60 Pounds of Weed Was for 'Christmas Presents'
Police in Nebraska arrested an 80-year-old man and an 83-year-old woman after they were allegedly found with 60 pounds of marijuana in their pickup truck. They reportedly told officers they intended to gift the bags of weed—perhaps worth $336,000—as "Christmas presents."—VICE
Lil Wayne Drops Two New Tracks
The rapper released more songs from his forthcoming mixtape Dedication 6. One track, “Blackin Out,” uses the instrumental from JAY-Z’s “The Story Of OJ,” while the other is based on 21 Savage’s “Bank Account.”—Noisey
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