The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

Trump backs away from border wall demand, North Korea conducts live-fire military exercises, Arkansas carries out back-to-back executions, and more.

by VICE Staff
Apr 25 2017, 2:21pm

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

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

US News

Trump Backs Down from Border Wall Demand
President Trump has apparently shifted his position on funding the building of a US-Mexico border wall and will not insist it be included in a spending bill necessary to prevent a government shutdown this week. A senior official for the administration said the president is willing to delay the issue until later this year to help avoid excess chaos. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was "good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations."—NBC News

Arkansas Carries Out Back-to-Back Executions
Arkansas executed two inmates by lethal injection Monday evening, the first time two executions have been conducted in one night in the US this century. Jack Jones, 52, was killed shortly after 7 PM, followed by Marcel Williams, 46, shortly after 10:30 PM. Williams's attorneys had attempted to secure their defendant a last-minute stay by arguing Jones had been "moving his lips and gulping for air" after his injection.—AP

State Department Removes Article on Mar-a-Lago
The State Department has pulled an article about President Trump's Florida estate Mar-a-Lago from its website and issued a statement of "regret" for any "misperception" it had created. Democratic senator Ron Wyden criticized the entry for "promoting the president's private country club" using taxpayer money.—The Washington Post

Sonny Perdue Confirmed as Agriculture Secretary
Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue has been confirmed as secretary of agriculture after an 87–11 vote in the Senate. Perdue should be sworn in Tuesday, the same day President Trump plans to issue an executive order on agriculture promoting "rural prosperity."—USA Today

International News

North Korea Conducts Live-Fire Military Exercises
North Korea held military exercises using live fire Tuesday, threatening to escalate tensions in the region. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said their country's military was "closely monitoring the North Korean military's movements." In Japan, authorities have revealed that citizens would get only a ten-minute warning before North Korea launched a missile at the country.—CNN/The Japan Time

Le Pen Takes 'Leave of Absence' as National Front Leader
Marine Le Pen has announced she is taking "a leave of absence" as leader of the National Front Party to concentrate on the runoff election for president of France. The far-right politician claimed she would be "above party politics." Incumbent François Hollande, a Socialist, backed her centrist rival Emmanuel Macron and called Le Pen's candidacy "a risk for the country."—The Independent

At Least 14 Killed in Attack on Minibus in Pakistan
A bomb attack on a minibus in northwestern Pakistan has left at least 14 people dead and at least ten more injured. The bomb had been planted at the side of the road near the village of Godar in Kurram Province and detonated Tuesday morning, according to a local official.—Al Jazeera

Four Dead in Security Firm Heist in Paraguay
A gang of roughly 50 men reportedly stole up to $40 million after using explosives to break into a private security firm in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. After gang members blew open the firm's vaults, three suspects and one policeman were killed in a two-hour gun battle. The gang fled in armored trucks, and an operation for their capture is under way in Paraguay and over the border in Brazil.—BBC News

Everything Else

Universal to Make a Madonna Biopic
Universal has struck a deal to make Blond Ambition, a Madonna biopic. The script—penned by Elyse Hollander about the singer's early years in New York—was No.1 on last year's "black list," a ranking of Hollywood's most promising screenplays.—The Hollywood Reporter

Gorillaz Drop Bonus Track
Gorillaz has released a bonus track from the deluxe version of its forthcoming album, Humanz. "The Apprentice" features Rag 'n' Bone Man, Zebra Katz, and RAY BLK. The new album is out April 28, and the deluxe edition will have 26 tracks.—Noisey

Elton John Cancels Shows After Bacterial Illness
Elton John has been forced to cancel a series of US shows in April and May after contracting "a harmful and unusual bacterial infection" in South America. He spent two nights in intensive care in a British hospital.—USA Today

Wikipedia Founder to Launch News Service
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has announced a crowdfunding campaign to create a news service called Wikitribune. The platform will rely on donations from community supporters, who will be able to suggest stories to cover.—Wired

Ontario Moves on Basic Income Pilot Program
Three towns in Ontario have been identified as testing grounds for the Canadian province's basic income pilot project. Only 4,000 people will be selected for the experiment in social security that guarantees participants a minimum monthly income.—VICE News

'Fancy Bear' Targeted French Presidential Candidate Macron
Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro found evidence that Fancy Bear—the hacking group that attacked the Democratic National Committee—targeted the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. Hackers created domains with addresses similar to his party's official emails, presumably to launch phishing campaigns.—Motherboard