News

The VICE Morning Bulletin

Vladimir Putin announces a ceasefire in Syria, actress and singer Debbie Reynolds dies, and more.

by VICE Staff
Dec 29 2016, 1:12pm

Lionel Hahn/Sipa USA via AP

US News

Obama to Announce Retaliation Against Russia
President Barack Obama is expected to outline retaliatory moves against Russia for interference during the recent US presidential election, possibly as soon as today. Measures reportedly include expanded sanctions and the naming of individuals behind the effort to use hacked Democratic National Committee emails to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign. -CNN

John Kerry Condemns Israeli Settlements as Threat to Peace
Secretary of State John Kerry has offered his harshest criticism yet of close US ally Israel, calling settlement building in the Palestinian territories "a threat to peace." Kerry warned that "the settler agenda is defining the future in Israel." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Kerry's remarks a "deep disappointment." The New York Times/VICE News

Chicago Cops to Get Body Cameras in 2017
All police officers in Chicago will be wearing body cameras by the end of 2017, said the city's mayor, Rahm Emanuel. Chicago cops were slated to get the cameras in 2018, but the rollout has moved up a year as a way to improve the department's image with the community. A series of controversial shootings and misconduct incidents have heigtened tensions between the department and the city's black population especially. Reuters

Trans Boy Asked to Leave Cub Scouts
Joe Maldonado, an eight-year-old boy from New Jersey, said he was asked the leave his local Cub Scout troop because of his trans status. "I'm way more angry than sad," he told a local paper. "I would let every person in the world go in. It's right to do." The Boy Scouts of America said the Cub Scouts program is only for those listed as male on their birth certificate. -AP

International News

Putin Announces Ceasefire Deal for Syria
Russian president Vladimir Putin said a nationwide ceasefire deal, beginning at midnight Thursday, has been reached with rebel groups in Syria. Syria's state news agency said the deal did not include ISIS or the Islamist group formerly known as al Nusra Front. Putin said the ceasefire would lead to talks between Bashar al Assad's government and rebel representatives to be held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Al Jazeera

Duterte Threatens to Throw Officials Out of Helicopters
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte claimed to have thrown a Chinese man accused of rape and murder out of a helicopter midair, and threatened to treat corrupt officials the same way. "I have done this before, why would I not do it again?" Duterte later waffled when asked if he had really done that, saying, "If that is true, I will not admit it." Duterte has launched a nationwide campaign of violence against drug users and suspected drug dealers, with many killed without a trial. -Reuters

About 50 Dead Following Floods in the DRC
At least 50 people have been killed after the Kalamu River flooded in the city of Boma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The result of torrential rain pushing waters two meters above normal levels, the flood left thousands homeless after their houses were destroyed. BBC News

German Police Detain Man Connected to Anis Amri
German police raided the Berlin home and workplace of a 40-year-old Tunisian man who is being questioned about his ties with Anis Amri, the man who drove a truck into a Christmas market and killed 12 people. Police discovered the 40-year-old man's number on Amri's cellphone, and prosecutors said "further investigations indicate that he may have been involved in the attack." The authorities will decide by the end of today whether to arrest him. The Guardian

Everything Else

Debbie Reynolds Dies
Actress Debbie Reynolds has died at the age of 84 following a severe stroke, just one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Reynold's son, Todd Fisher, said his sister's death had been "too much" for her. "She's with Carrie," he said. The Hollywood Reporter

Obama Protects Desert Land
President Obama has designated two new national monuments: Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, making 1.65 million acres federally protected. Obama said this move would safeguard "lands considered sacred by Native American Tribes." CBS News

'Games of Thrones' Most Illegally Watched Show of 2016
For the fifth successive year, HBO's Game of Thrones was illegally downloaded more times than any other TV show, according to BitTorrent data. The Walking Dead came in second place, followed by Westworld. -TorrentFreak

George Michael Documentary Set for March Release
George Michael was working on a film called Freedom before his death, a documentary about the making of his second album set to air in the US and UK in March 2017. Narrated by the singer, it also features interviews with Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Tony Bennett. Noisey

Security Experts Warn 2020 Election Could Be Hacked
Leading computer experts at the Chaos Communication Congress, a gathering of hackers, have called for a complete overhaul in US voting machine security lest the machines be targeted directly. "Even if the 2016 election wasn't hacked, the 2020 election might well be," warned professor J. Alex Halderman. Motherboard

Faulty Christmas Toy Asks Kids to 'Fuck Me'
A British Columbia couple who bought their six-year-old son a Hatchimal for Christmas discovered the toy repeatedly said, "Fuck me." Other parents who bought the popular toy noticed the fault and uploaded videos to YouTube. Manufacturer Spin Master was forced to "sincerely apologize" for the defect in some toys. -VICE