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The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

White House denies (again) plan to fire Mueller, another explosion in Austin injures two, UK and EU strike a deal on Brexit transition, and more.

by VICE Staff
Mar 19 2018, 3:38pm

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

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

US News

After Most Direct Trump Attack Yet on Mueller, White House Pulls Back
White House lawyer Ty Cobb issued a statement Sunday night asserting that the president was “not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel” after Trump attacked Mueller’s investigation on Twitter over the weekend. The president claimed Mueller’s team contained “13 hardened Democrats” and said the probe “should never have been started." The tweets prompted senior Republicans to publicly warn Trump not to go after the investigation.—CBS News

Another Explosion in Austin Injures Two
Two men in their 20s were being treated for non-life threatening injuries after an explosion in the Texas city Sunday night. Police said the blast likely came from a roadside bomb. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said investigators believed it may well have been related to three other bombings that have rocked the city this month and left two people dead, sparking concern within the local black community in particular.—ABC News

Massachusetts AG to Probe Facebook Data Scandal
Maura Healey said she was opening an investigation into Cambridge Analytica’s alleged exploitation of Facebook users’ private data. Over the weekend, Facebook suspended the account of whistleblower Christopher Wylie after he revealed how personal data was used by the firm—contracted by the Trump campaign in 2016—to produce targeted messages online. Lawmakers in the US and UK called on Facebook to explain what it knew about the data pilfering.—The New York Times

Democrats Have Ten-Point Lead in Midterm Poll
In a new NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll, 50 percent of voters said they wanted Democrats to control Congress, while only 40 percent of voters preferred Republicans keep control. The poll also found Democrats more energized for this year’s midterms, with 60 percent of their voters saying their interest was “high” compared with only 54 percent of GOP voters.—NBC News

International News

Vladimir Putin Wins Another Six-Year Term
The Russian leader took in some 76 percent of the vote in Sunday's widely-mocked presidential election, with his chief rival Alexei Navalny blocked from participating. Videos appeared to reveal officials shoving paper in ballot boxes in several voting stations. —VICE News / BBC News

At Least 11 Killed in Afrin Bombing
An explosion in the northern Syrian city killed seven civilians and four Free Syrian Army fighters, according to Turkish state news. Turkish forces and their Syrian allies seized control of Afrin from Kurdish fighters on Sunday, the culmination of an eight-week military operation.—Reuters

French Consulate Staffer Suspected of Moving Weapons to Palestinians
Israeli authorities arrested a man working at France’s consulate in Jerusalem who allegedly transferred 70 pistols and two assault rifles from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. According to Israel's Shin Bet security agency, Romain Franck allegedly used a consulate vehicle to smuggle the guns.—VICE News

UK and EU Strike a Deal on Brexit Transition
The United Kingdom will remain part of the European single market when it begins leaving the EU in March 2019—at least until the end of December 2020, under a newly negotiated agreement. The UK’s Brexit minister David Davis said it was “near enough to the two years we asked for."—Sky News

Everything Else

The Roots’ SXSW Show Canceled After Bomb Scare
The band's show at the festival in Austin, Texas, on Saturday night was axed after a bomb threat. Police in Austin arrested 26-year-old Trevor Weldon Ingram and charged him with making the threat.—CNN

‘Black Panther’ Still Breaking Box Office Records
Ryan Coogler's film became the first movie since Avatar to stay at the top of the domestic box office for five weekends in a row. And it was the seventh movie to break the $600 million barrier in North America after taking in another $27 million over the weekend.—The Hollywood Reporter

Thom Yorke Reveals Solo Shows
The Radiohead frontman released dates for 12 European performances in May and June, ending with the Sonar festival in Barcelona. Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and two members of Atoms for Peace were slated to join Yorke on the tour.—Pitchfork

Investigators Said to Clear Sigur Rós of Tax Evasion
The Icelandic band revealed they had around $8 million in assets briefly frozen by Iceland’s tax inspectors before being cleared of charges. Drummer Georg Hólm said their accountant “hadn’t handed in the right documents."—Noisey

Academy President Probed for Alleged Sexual Harassment
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was investigating its own president, John Bailey, after he was accused of sexual harassment in three complaints. The Academy promised to review the allegations and present its findings to the board, which has the power to suspend or expel any member.—VICE News

Cirque du Soleil Performer Dies After Fall in Florida
The aerialist Yann Arnaud died from injuries he sustained in a fall during a performance in Tampa. The circus company said he was “loved by all those who had the chance to know him,” and canceled the remainder of its shows in Florida.—VICE

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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