The VICE Morning Bulletin
Congress tussles over latest funding deal, dozens missing after earthquake rocks Taiwan, Pence teases "aggressive" sanctions against North Korea ahead of visit to South, and more.
Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.
Lawmakers Hashing Out Yet Another Funding Stopgap
The House passed a short-term spending bill that would cover the military through September and the rest of the government until March 23. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed confidence their parties could reach a deal on spending caps and avert a government shutdown this Friday. President Trump, however, said he would “love to see a shutdown” if the budget doesn't include measures to address illegal immigration, and the House bill was said to face up an uphill climb in the Senate.—The New York Times
SpaceX Launches Car Into Space
Elon Musk’s company successfully launched its new Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida Tuesday, capturing stunning live images of its Tesla Roadster and “Starman” dummy jetting toward Mars’s orbit. Musk confirmed that the rocket’s center core engine—intended to land on a floating pad in the Atlantic—had crashed into the ocean.—VICE News
Pence Teases ‘Aggressive’ Sanctions Against North Korea
Speaking on a visit to Japan, the vice president said the US “will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever.” Although Pence suggested earlier this week that the US might meet with North Korean officials at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the new sanctions will reportedly take effect before the games end.—CBS News
Trump Demands Military Parade in Washington
The Pentagon was working on putting together a military pageant in the US capital after Trump insisted on a display similar to one he witnessed in France, according to two anonymous officials. The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said Trump has “asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”—The Washington Post
60 People Missing After Earthquake Rocks Taiwan
A magnitude 6.4 quake struck near the city of Hualien late Tuesday night, leaving at least six people dead and 258 others injured. Rescue workers were searching through the debris of collapsed and badly damaged buildings for dozens of people believed to still be trapped underneath or inside the rubble.—Reuters
Kim Jong-Un’s Sister Attending Winter Olympics
Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of the North Korean leader, will join other senior officials from Pyongyang at the opening ceremony in South Korea on Friday. The majority of the 280 North Koreans taking part in the Winter Olympics—including competitors, journalists, and 229 cheerleaders—arrived in the South Wednesday.—BBC News
Merkel Seals Deal for Coalition Government
German chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union sister parties agreed to form a coalition with the left-leaning Social Democratic Party (SDP) after months of dialogue. SDP leader Martin Schulz was reportedly set to become the country’s foreign minister and was slated to give up his party leadership role. The SDP also appeared likely to snag the finance and labor cabinet posts—The Guardian
UN Warns: 68 Million Girls to Endure Genital Mutilation by 2030
The UN Population Fund has predicted that the number of girls subjected to genital mutilation is on track to rise from 3.9 million per year to 4.6 million per year by 2030. The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, described the process as “a gross violation of the human rights of women and girls.”—AP
‘Game of Thrones’ Showrunners to Make Star Wars Movies
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have agreed to write and produce a new series of movies for the Disney and Lucasfilm franchise. The series will be distinct from both the current Skywalker saga and the new trilogy helmed by Rian Johnson.—VICE
Diane Kruger Shows Support for Quentin Tarantino
The actress insisted her experience working with the director on Inglourious Basterds was “pure joy” after Uma Thurman said Tarantino forced her into a dangerous scene that left her injured. Kruger said Tarantino “never abused his power or forced me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with.”—Variety
Casino Boss Resigns over Sexual Misconduct Claims
Wynn Resorts CEO and Republican money man Steve Wynn stepped down amid allegations of serial sexual harassment against him. Wynn denies the misconduct claims, but said the “avalanche of negative publicity” meant he could no longer continue in the job.—NBC News
Netflix Paid More than $50 Million for ‘The Cloverfield Paradox,’ Report Says
Paramount reportedly sold J.J. Abrams's sci-fi horror movie to the streaming service for the huge sum because the studio feared a disastrous box-office showing. It received poor reviews after its post–Super Bowl release.—The Hollywood Reporter
Kendrick Lamar Shares New Video for 'Black Panther' Track
The rapper dropped visuals for “All the Stars,” his collaboration with SZA for the Black Panther soundtrack. In the video, Lamar lounges in a boat floating on a mass of humanity and walks in a forest alongside live panthers.—Noisey
Wes Anderson Drops Clip from New Movie
The first clip from the director’s stop-motion film Isle of Dogs shows rival canine gangs fighting over moldy food on a quarantined island. The movie, Anderson’s first feature since The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014, is out in the US on March 23.—i-D
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