The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

Obama commutes Chelsea Manning's sentence, former president George H.W. Bush hospitalized, Fatah and Hamas agree on Palestinian unity government, and more.

by VICE Staff
Jan 18 2017, 3:10pm

Demonstration for Chelsea Manning in London. Photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

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

US News

President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence
Outgoing President Barack Obama has granted clemency to Chelsea Manning, commuting the bulk of the soldier's remaining time in prison for leaking classified documents. Sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013, Manning will now be released on May 17 rather than in 2045. While her lawyer said the decision "could quite literally save Chelsea's life," leading Republicans condemned the move. Senator John McCain called it "a grave mistake." Obama is expected to explain his decision at his final press conference Wednesday.—VICE News

Secret Service Settles Racial Bias Lawsuit for $24 Million
The Secret Service will pay more than $24 million to settle a lawsuit brought by more than 100 black agents who accused the agency of systemic discrimination. The suit alleged that white agents were promoted over better-qualified black agents, though the settlement deal required the Secret Service to admit to no wrongdoing.—The Washington Post

Snowden Permitted to Stay in Russia for Three More Years
Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has been given the OK to remain in Russia for another three years, according to the country's foreign ministry. Spokesperson Maria Zakharova explained in a Facebook post that Russia would not extradite Snowden in that period, even if relations between the two nations improve during the Trump administration.—The Guardian

Former President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized
George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized, according to his office chief of staff. Jean Becker said Bush, 92, was in stable condition and "doing fine" at the Methodist Hospital in Houston's Texas Medical Center after experiencing some shortness of breath.—KHOU News

International News

Nigeria Bombs Refugee Camp by Mistake, Kills 52
The Nigerian military mistakenly bombed a refugee camp in the northeast of the country, killing 52 people and wounding at least 200 others. Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said the strike had been an attempt to clear the area of Boko Haram militants, and military personnel were "all in pain" over the mistake. The Red Cross said six of its aid workers were among those killed.—BBC News

Fatah and Hamas Agree Palestinian Unity Government
The Fatah-run Palestinian Authority (PA), operating primarily in the West Bank, has agreed to form a unified government with longtime rival Palestinian organization, Hamas, which operates in Gaza, ahead of upcoming elections. After three days of negotiations in Moscow, the two groups announced they will work to create a Palestinian National Council alongside smaller factions such as Islamic Jihad.—Al Jazeera

Putin Dismisses Dossier, Calls Russian Prostitutes 'Best in the World'
President Vladimir Putin has dismissed a dossier alleging Russian security services had gathered compromising personal details on US president-elect Donald Trump as "rubbish." Putin said Trump has "socialized with the most beautiful women in the world. It is hard to believe that he ran to a hotel to meet with our girls of a low social class, although they are the best in the world."—CNN

British PM Wants to Withdraw from EU Single Market
Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK will also quit the European Union's single market, the world's largest trading bloc, when her country exits the EU. Setting out a 12-point strategy, dubbed by the British press as a "Hard Brexit" plan, May said she wanted to create a "bold and ambitious free trade agreement" with the EU from scratch.—Reuters

Everything Else

NFL Denies Asking Lady Gaga Not to Mention Trump
The National Football League has denied claims that Lady Gaga was told not to bring up Donald Trump during her upcoming Super Bowl halftime show. NFL spokesperson Natalie Ravitz described such reports as "false" and "unsourced nonsense." Lady Gaga's representatives confirmed no request had been made.—CNN

North Americans Spent More Than $50 Billion on Weed in 2016, Report Says
A new report by ArcView Market Research estimates that people in the US and Canada spent $53.3 billion on marijuana last year. Illegal sales made up 87 percent of the North American weed market, according to the company's analysis.—The Huffington Post

Seinfeld Agrees to Web Series Deal with Netflix
Jerry Seinfeld has struck a deal with Netflix to move his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to the streaming site. Seinfeld has also agreed to two stand-up specials, the first of which is expected in 2017.—Rolling Stone

CIA Posts 13 Million Pages of Declassified Files Online
The CIA has posted the full contents of its declassified records database—13 million pages—online. It follows a long-running legal battle involving a pledge by transparency campaigners to print, scan, and upload the documents themselves.—Motherboard

Former Apprentice Star Sues Trump for Defamation
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice who accused president-elect Donald Trump of sexual assault in October, is now suing Trump for defamation. Trump denied the assault claim, and accused Zervos of making up a "phony" story.—VICE

Glastonbury Festival to Change It Up in 2019
The UK's biggest music event will change its name from the Glastonbury Festival to the Variety Bazaar when it moves locations for one year only in 2019. "That's a good name, don't you think?" said founder Michael Eavis.—Noisey