The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

Lobbyist tied to Russian interests says he met with Sessions, feds to stop shielding immigrant parents from deportation, Trump set to announce new restrictions on Cuba, and more.

by VICE Staff
Jun 16 2017, 2:30pm

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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

US News

Sessions Hosted Dinner Parties for Russian Lobbyist Types, Report Says
Richard Burt, a US lobbyist for the interests of a few Russian companies, said he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 election campaign. Sessions said he did not believe he'd met with any "agent of any Russian company" at his Senate Intelligence Committee hearing this week. Burt has served on the advisory board of a private equity firm connected to Russia's Alfa Bank and lobbied for a US company later bought by Russia's state-run energy company.—The Guardian

Trump to Announce New Restrictions on Cuba
President Trump is expected to announce a rollback of some of former president Obama's historic reforms on US-Cuba relations during a speech in Miami Friday. His administration is likely to reintroduce restrictions on travel and move to stop business deals tied to the Cuban military. A White House official said changes would not amount to a complete reversal. "You can't put the genie back in the bottle 100 percent."—NBC News

US to Send 4,000 More Troops to Afghanistan
The Pentagon is planning to deploy another 4,000 US troops to Afghanistan to assist the 8,500 already there, according to a Trump administration official. A majority of the troops will be assigned to the training of Afghan forces, while some will conduct counterterrorism against ISIS and the Taliban. The decision is expected to be announced next week.—AP

DHS to Stop Shielding Immigrant Parents from Deportation
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has announced his department is cutting a program designed to protect the immigrant parents of US citizens from deportation. Former president Obama established the policy in 2014 with a memo, which came under judicial scrutiny and ultimately wound up in a deadlocked Supreme Court. The Department of Homeland Security stated the program had "no credible path forward."—The Washington Post

International News

Russia Claims Airstrike Might Have Killed ISIS Leader
Russia's defense ministry claims an airstrike by its own forces may have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The ministry said it was still trying to verify the impact of a May 28 strike on a meeting of ISIS leaders in Raqqa. The ministry believes around 330 ISIS fighters were killed in the operation.—Reuters

Australia Announces Gun Amnesty Program
Australia will hold a nationwide, three-month period of amnesty in which gun owners can hand over their weapons without fear of punishment. Justice Minister Michael Keenan said he wanted cut the number of "unregistered and illicit" guns because of increased security threats, including terrorism. An official report last year estimated there could be 600,000 unregistered guns across the country.—AP

Turkish Foreign Minister Calls for an End to Gulf Crisis
Turkey's foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the Gulf diplomatic dispute "can't be solved with embargoes and sanctions." He said Qatar was waiting to be shown evidence of its support for extremism, having been accused of it by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region. The minister is set to continue Turkish efforts to resolve the crisis by visiting Saudi Arabia Friday.—Al Jazeera

Serbia Set for its First Openly Gay Prime Minister
Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić has nominated the first openly gay prime minister in the country's history. Vučić's party has the parliamentary majority needed to approve the appointment of Ana Brnabić, 41. But Dragan Markovic Palma, leader of the Unified Serbia Party in the majority coalition, said Brnabić was "not my prime minister."—BBC News

Everything Else

Young Thug Drops New Album
Young Thug released his new album, Beautiful Thugger Girls, by surprise late Thursday night. Appearing on Apple Music, the 14-track release includes collaborations with Future on "Relationship," and Snoop Dogg on "Get High."—Noisey

Obama Inducts Jay Z into Songwriters Hall of Fame
Barack Obama hailed Jay Z as a "true American original" as he inducted the rapper into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on Thursday. In a video message, Obama said he had "been listening to Jay since I was a young and hungry state senator."—Pitchfork

DiCaprio to Hand Over Picasso in Justice Department Investigation
Leonardo DiCaprio will hand over a painting by Pablo Picasso to the US government, as the Justice Department tries to recover assets it claims were bought with money stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. DiCaprio was given the painting as a gift by one of the accused financiers.—The Guardian

Bat Signal Shines in LA in Honor of Adam West
Los Angeles officials projected the bat signal on the side of city hall Thursday night in a tribute to the original Batman screen actor Adam West, who died last week at the age of 88. Hundreds of fans gathered, many in costume, in honor of West.—The Hollywood Reporter

Facebook to Use New AI Tools to Combat 'Terrorist Content'
Facebook has announced new plans to eradicate "terrorist content" from its platform, including the use of artificial intelligence that would stop people from uploading content that's already been taken down as well as remove pro-terrorist messages.—VICE News

Indigenous Groups Call on UN to Ban Cultural Appropriation
A coalition of indigenous groups has launched a legal bid at the UN to make the appropriation of native cultures illegal. A lawyer for the coalition made reference to Urban Outfitters' Navajo line.—i-D