Trump eyes aid cuts over UN Jerusalem vote, US life expectancy falls as drug deaths rise, at least 18 injured in Melbourne car attack, and more.
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Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.
Trump Threatens Global Community Over UN Jerusalem Vote
The president suggested he would stop supplying aid to countries in the UN that vote to reject his decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. On Wednesday, Trump told his cabinet: “All of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us… Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”—The New York Times
US Life Expectancy Falls Again as Drug Deaths Rise
The latest government statistics showed life expectancy in the US falling to 78.6 years—the first time since the early 1960s it has fallen two years in a row. The National Center for Health Statistics also reported a striking 21 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in 2016. The rate of fatal overdoses from synthetic opioids doubled over the same period.—TONIC
Trump Commutes Sentence of White-Collar Convict
The president commuted the 27-year prison sentence given to Sholom Rubashkin, a former kosher slaughterhouse owner who was found guilty of fraud and money laundering in 2009. The White House cited a bipartisan group of more than 100 legal officials and scholars concerned by “the severity of his sentence" as well as evidence used in the prosecution. The commutation did not include a formal pardon.—VICE News
Apple Admits to Slowing Down Older iPhones
The company announced that a software feature introduced last year makes iPhones slow down over time to cope with battery problems. Apple said the feature was designed to keep phones from “unexpectedly shutting down.” Jeff Suovanen, an engineer at iFixit, said the slowing down “causes a lot of perfectly good phones to get replaced.”—Motherboard
More Than a Dozen Injured in Melbourne Car Attack
A 32-year-old man was arrested after police said he plowed his car into a crowd of people in the center of the Australian city. At least 18 people were hurt, with several reportedly in critical condition. Police said the collision with pedestrians on Flinders Street was deliberate, and added that the suspect has mental health issues. Officers initially found no ties to terrorist groups.—VICE News
Another North Korean Soldier Flees Across the Border
The soldier made it across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) into South Korea under heavy fog. South Korean soldiers fired 20 warning shots to repel North Korean border guards who may have been looking for the defector. He is the fourth North Korean soldier to escape and defect by crossing the DMZ in 2017.—Al Jazeera
Catalans Head to the Polls for Crucial Vote
The people of Catalonia were slated to vote Thursday in a regional election called by the Spanish government in a bid to contain the separatist movement. The previous local parliament was dissolved in October after its former president Carles Puigdemont was accused of going rogue and declaring independence from Spain after a referendum appeared to find support for the move. The separatist leader has been campaigning while in exile in Belgium.—Reuters
UK’s Deputy PM Sacked over Porn Allegations
British Prime Minister Theresa May fired her deputy, Damian Green, following allegations that he had pornographic images on his work computer. An investigation by May’s cabinet secretary concluded that Green’s explanation of the issue had been “inaccurate” and “misleading.” Green insisted he did not view or download porn in his office.—Sky News
Nelly Sued Over Alleged Sexual Assault
Monique Greene filed a lawsuit alleging the rapper sexually assaulted her on his tour bus in October. Prosecutors did not press charges against Nelly despite his arrest at the time, claiming Greene did not cooperate with inquiries. Nelly denied the accusation.—AP
Katy Perry Drops New Video
The star released Marie Antoinette-inspired visuals for “Hey Hey Hey,” the fourth single from her album Witness. Perry described the video as “a fun, triumphant piece of pop candy” and “a glam little stocking stuffer” on Instagram.—Billboard
MoMa Running a ‘Twin Peaks’ Marathon
New York’s Museum of Modern Art will host marathon screenings of the third season of David Lynch's show in January. MoMa film curator Rajendra Roy said the series was “something totally and spectacularly unique.”—i-D
Kendrick Lamar's Producer Had Hard Drive Stolen
Derek “MixedByAli” Ali, the 27-year-old sound engineer who worked with Lamar on DAMN., had unreleased music files reportedly worth $1 million snatched from his car. The cops managed to recover Ali’s hard drive and have returned it to him.—Noisey
Mark Hamill Has a Second Role in 'The Last Jedi'
The actor who plays Luke Skywalker reportedly did the voiceover for an alien gambler character called Dobbu Scay in The Last Jedi. Visual effects supervisor Ben Morris said Hammill “had a great time” playing the part in the casino scene.—VICE
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