The VICE Morning Bulletin

This morning, US diplomats call for a strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, British MP Jo Cox has died, Meat Loaf is in the hospital after collapsing onstage, and more.

by VICE Staff
Jun 17 2016, 1:52pm

Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail. The 2016 Democratic candidate vowed to help defeat Republican Donald Trump, but stopped short of conceding the primary to Hillary Clinton. Photo via Flickr user Phil Roeder

US News

State Department Dissenters Want the US to Go After Assad
Dozens of State Department officials have signed an internal memo calling for a major shift in US policy in Syria. Specifically, they urged military strikes against President Bashar al Assad's government to force regime change. The memo, which was filed to the State Department's "dissent channel," highly critical of the Obama administration, was signed by 51 mostly midlevel officials. –The New York Times

Sanders Vows to Help Clinton Beat Trump

Bernie Sanders promised to work with Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump in November, but stopped short of formally conceding the Democratic race. Sanders will continue to fight for his liberal policy agenda and said he wanted the Democrats to become "a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors." –ABC News

Microsoft Invests in Legalized Marijuana Trade
Microsoft has teamed up with a California-based startup to help businesses and government agencies track sales of legalized marijuana "from seed to sale." KIND Financial has been selling its weed-tracking software for three years, but the startup will now be working with one of the world's most valuable companies to help governments regulate weed. –The Denver Post

Corporate Lawyers Back Garland for SCOTUS
Lawyers at 44 major companies, including Nike and Viacom, have urged the Senate to seriously consider Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Barack Obama nominated Garland months ago, but Republicans have refused to hold confirmation hearings. In a joint letter, the lawyers argued Garland was "exceptionally well-qualified," and argued a prolonged vacancy could leave many important legal issues unresolved. –Bloomberg

A memorial for British Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed by a man with suspected ties to far right groups. Photo via Flickr user Garry Knight

International News

UN Says ISIS Guilty of Genocide Against Yazidis
ISIS fighters are committing genocide against the Yazidi community in Iraq and Syria, according to UN human rights investigators. A UN report based on interviews with survivors found that ISIS has tried to "erase the Yazidis through killings, sexual slavery, enslavement (and) torture." Girls as young as nine have been raped, the report said. –Al Jazeera

British Opposition MP Assassinated
British Labour Party MP Jo Cox has died after being shot and stabbed as she prepared to enter a meeting with constituents in northern England. A 52-year-old man, reported to have sympathy for far-right extremist groups, has been arrested following the killing. Prime Minister David Cameron said the death was "a tragedy." –VICE News

Ex-President of Guatemala Faces Corruption Charges
The former president and former vice president of Guatemala have both been charged with corruption and money laundering. Otto Perez Molina and Roxana Baldetti are among 70 people accused of taking part in a scheme to embezzle millions of dollars of government money. They both deny the charges. –Associated Press

Hong Kong Bookseller Accuses China of Abduction
Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing Kee, 61, said at a press conference that he was blindfolded, taken by train to the city of Ningbo, and then held in a small room, where he was unable to call his family. According to him, this abduction was perpetrated by the Chinese government, who also kidnapped several other publishers critical of the country's ruling party. Lam accused the Chinese authorities of behaving "like gangsters." –The Guardian

Meat Loaf on tour in 2007. The singer collapsed onstage in Canada Thursday night. Photo via Flickr user Christie D. Mallon

Everything Else

Meat Loaf Collapses Onstage in Canada
Meat Loaf, the 68-year-old rock star, collapsed onstage during a concert in in Edmonton Thursday night while performing his biggest hit, "I'd Do Anything for Love." He was taken to a nearby hospital. – NBC News

Russia Athletes Face Possible Olympics Ban
The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) will decide today whether Russia's athletics team can compete in the Rio Olympics. The Russian team is currently suspended following an IAAF report about state-sponsored doping. –AFP

Grammys to Recognize Streaming-Only Albums
The Recording Academy has changed its rules so that streaming-only releases are now eligible for Grammys. It makes albums like Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book eligible for next year's awards. –Rolling Stone

Philadelphia Will Tax Soda
Philadelphia has introduced a levy on sugary or artificially sweetened drinks to tackle obesity, the first major US city to implement a soda tax. It will come into effect in January and is expected to raise $90 million annually, money that will mostly be spent on schools. –VICE News

Canadian Border Guards Seize Fentanyl Shipments
The Canada Border Services Agency has intercepted over a kilogram of fentanyl in the past month, more than $1 million worth of the potent opiate. In total three separate shipments were seized, all of which originated in China, said authorities. –VICE News

Immigration Raids Sometimes Target People with Valid Asylum Claims, Says Group
A new civil report from a coalition of immigration lawyers and groups claims Central American families picked up in US immigration raids sometimes have valid asylum claims. The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project says people are targeted before their claims are heard in court. –VICE