The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

American claimed to serve as envoy for Trump in meeting with Putin contact, Kyrgyzstan names St. Petersburg bombing suspect, former Trump adviser gave documents to Russian spy, and more.

by VICE Staff
Apr 4 2017, 3:38pm

Photo by Chuck Kennedy/MCT/via Getty Images

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

US News

American Said to Have Acted as Envoy for Trump in Meeting with Putin Contact
Erik Prince, founder of the notorious security firm Blackwater, held a two-day meeting in the Seychelles east of Africa in January with one of Russian president Vladimir Putin's close contacts. According to anonymous officials, Prince presented himself as an unofficial emissary for Donald Trump, then president-elect. United Arab Emirates officials reportedly coordinated the meeting to help establish a line of communication between Putin and Trump. Prince's spokesperson said the meeting "had nothing to do with President Trump."—The Washington Post

Former Trump Adviser Gave Documents to Russian Spy
Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page confirmed that he met with a Russian spy in 2013 and gave him documents related to the US energy industry. The spy, Victor Podobnyy, was charged with acting as an "unregistered agent" in the US in 2015. FBI documents suggest he promised Page "a favor for a favor." Page, for his part, said there was nothing sensitive in the energy documents he gave to the Russian agent.—BuzzFeed News

Pence Seeks Compromise to Revive Health Care Overhaul
Vice President Mike Pence met with key Republican lawmakers in the White House and on Capitol Hill Monday night in an effort to revive at least part of the American Health Care Act. Representative Mark Meadows, who leads the conservative Freedom Caucus, described the new proposal as "a solid idea."—NBC News

Trump Donates Salary to National Park Service
President Trump has donated the first quarterly installment of his salary, $78,333.32, to the National Park Service. A check was presented to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in the White House briefing room. Meanwhile, Trump has proposed a $2 billion cut to Zinke's department, which oversees the work of the National Park Service.—VICE

International News

Suspected Gas Attack in Syria Kills at Least 58
What's believed to have been a gas attack in the Syrian province of Idlib has killed at least 58 people and injured dozens of others, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The monitoring group said early morning strikes on the town of Khan Sheikhoun were carried out by either Syrian government or Russian planes. Medical workers reported hospitalizations of choking people consistent with a gas attack.—BBC News

Kyrgyzstan Names St. Petersburg Bombing Suspect
Security officials have named Akbarzhon Jalilov, a Kyrgyzstan-born man who became a Russian citizen, as the likely bomber of a St. Petersburg metro train. According to a Russian news agency, a suspect with ties to radical Islamists carried out a suicide attack on the train, killing 14 people and wounding 50 others.—Reuters

Paraguayans Protest Against President's Re-Election Bid
Angry at the advance of a a constitutional amendment that would allow President Horacio Cartes to seek another term, thousands rallied peacefully outside Paraguay's Congress Monday night. In 1989, following a 35-year dictatorship, the country banned reelection bids.—Al Jazeera

Duterte Fires Interior Minister Over Corruption Claims
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has fired his interior minister Ismael Sueno, citing "loss of trust and confidence." Sueno denied any wrongdoing and blamed three of his undersecretaries for false accusations of corruption. Duterte's spokesman said the president would not "countenance any questionable or legally untenable decisions."—CNN

Everything Else

Judge Denies Polanski Plea to Avoid Prison
A California judge has denied an ask by film director Roman Polanski, who sought assurances he would not face prison time if he returned to the US. The 83-year-old fled the US in 1978 ahead of his sentencing for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.—Los Angeles Times

Car Makers Pull Ads from 'The O'Reilly Factor'
Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Hyundai have decided not to advertise on Bill O'Reilly's FOX News show following a report settlements were made with five women alleging sexual harassment. A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson referred to the allegations as "disturbing."—CNN Money

Young Thug Reportedly Cleared of Drug and Gun Charges
Young Thug has had a series of charges relating to a 2015 police raid on his home near Atlanta dropped, a report said. A judge apparently cleared the rapper of felony drug and gun possession charges because cops entered his home without a proper warrant.—Billboard

Hackers Stole $800,000 from Russian ATMs
Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has revealed that disappearing malware was used by hackers to steal $800,000 from ATMs in the country. Researchers worked out the theft method after the line "take the money bitch" was discovered in the machines' files.—Motherboard

Spoof Trump Talk Show Coming to Comedy Central
Comedy Central has announced a new late-night show starring impersonator Anthony Atamanuik as President Trump, who will interview guests from a makeshift Oval Office. The President Show will also feature Peter Grosz as Vice President Mike Pence.—VICE

British Government Gives Anti-Abortion Group $312,000
The UK government has given a grant of roughly $312,000 to the anti-abortion group Life. The money comes from the Tampon Tax Fund, established to redistribute the tax collected on sanitary products to organizations helping women and girls.—Broadly