The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

White House "strenuously" disagrees with CBO numbers, Justice Department gets more time to respond to Trump's wiretapping claims, North Korea threatens "merciless" attacks, and more.

by VICE Staff
Mar 14 2017, 2:41pm

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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

US NEWS

White House Denies 14 Million Will Lose Health Insurance
The American Health Care Act would leave 14 million fewer Americans insured by 2018 compared to the status quo under Obamacare, according to an independent analysis of the proposed legislation conducted by the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). And by 2026, the CBO predicts, the Republican plan would leave 24 million fewer people insured. But Health Secretary Tom Price says the White House "strenuously" disagrees with the CBO analysis, describing the estimates as "just not believable," though Politico cited an internal White House document showing an even higher number of uninsured.—NBC News/Politico

Justice Department Asks for Time on Wiretapping Claims
The Department of Justice asked the House Intelligence Committee for more time "to determine what if any responsive documents may exist" on the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the election. Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump was not speaking literally when he accused President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 election, but that, instead, the president meant Obama's administration had conducted "surveillance and other activities."—ABC News / CNN

Trump Said to Broaden Drone Strike Powers
President Donald Trump has granted the CIA new powers to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, according to senior US officials, after these operations were typically joint efforts between the spy agency and the military under President Obama. The Trump administration has also almost completed a review that would lift restrictions on the Pentagon's protocol for launching counterterrorism strikes, easing caps on "acceptable civilian casualties."—The Wall Street Journal/The Washington Post

Some States Declare Emergency as Winter Storm Hits
New York, New Jersey, and Maryland declared states of emergency as the National Weather Service warned of a "life threatening" winter storm hit the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic East Coast. Blizzard warnings have been issued for parts of several states, more than 5,000 flights have been canceled, and schools in New York City, Boston, and other cities are closed Tuesday.—CBS News/BBC News

International News

Turkey Blocks Dutch Ambassador, Suspends Diplomatic Ties
Turkey's deputy PM  Numan Kurtulmuş announced that the Dutch ambassador to the country will be barred from returning to Ankara, the capital, and said Turkey had suspended diplomatic relations with the Netherlands. As the squabble over the Netherlands' refusal to allow Turkish political rallies escalates, the Dutch government warned its citizens in Turkey "to avoid demonstrations and be alert."—CNN

Pirates Suspected in Possible Hijacking of Oil Tanker
A Sri Lankan oil tanker is feared hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia after the vessel was diverted toward the Somali port of Alula and put out a distress call. The district commissioner of the port received a message from men who claim to be "fishermen who suffered from the illegal fishing in the area." The European Union Naval Force has dispatched a plane to probe the vicinity.—BBC News

Syrian Rebels to Leave Homs Under Evacuation Deal
Syrian rebel fighters have agreed to give up the last area under their control in the city of Homs. Opposition fighters and their families will be evacuated from Homs's al Waer district to rebel-held parts of northern Syria over the course of six to eight weeks, following a deal with the local governor.—Al Jazeera

North Korea Warns of 'Merciless' Attacks
North Korea is promising big trouble if US military drills with South Korea reach its "territorial air or waters," with state news saying its army would "launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea, and underwater." The US Navy said the USS Carl Vinson was on deployment in the area for military exercises.—VICE News

Everything Else

Joey Bada$$ Reveals Album Details
Joey Bada$$ has announced a track listing for his forthcoming album All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$, featuring collaborations with J. Cole and Schoolboy Q. "This is the most important hip-hop album in a long time," the artist claimed on Twitter.—Rolling Stone

Tech Workers Turn Pi Day into Protest 
Around 1,600 tech workers, including Facebook, Google, and Apple employees, are expected to take part in a "Stand Up for Tech" anti-Trump protest in Palo Alto Tuesday. The March 14 event marks Pi Day, usually a celebration of math.—Silicon Valley Business Journal

Americans Seek Sanctuary in New Zealand
The number of Americans who applied for citizenship in New Zealand soared 70 percent in the three months after Donald Trump's election victory compared to the same period a year prior. Regular visits and work visas were up, too.—AP

Tool Announce North American Tour
California art-metal standbys Tool have announced a tour of selected US and Canadian cities for May and June. The band promised an "unparalleled sonic and visual experience" in a Facebook post.—Noisey

Twitter for Spies Has More Than 60,000 Users
Data obtained by Motherboard has revealed the NSA's social network for spies called eChirp had more than 60,000 "top secret" users at the end of 2013. The "informal messaging system" had produced more than 875,000 posts. Motherboard