The VICE Morning Bulletin
Stephen Hawking dead at 76, Democrat leads in deep-red Pennsylvania district, Trump wants militarized "space force," and more.
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Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.
Stephen Hawking Dies at 76
The beloved and renowned British physicist died at his home in Cambridge early Wednesday. Internet pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee was one of many prominent scientists to pay tribute. “We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit," he said. Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote: “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake.”—Motherboard / The Guardian
Conor Lamb led Republican rival Rick Saccone in a photo-finish for the state’s 18th congressional district seat, up 641 votes with 99 percent of ballots counted. But Saccone hadn't conceded the race and was likely assessing his legal options.—NBC News
Trump Considers Starting a Militarized 'Space Force'
The president said he believed space to be a “warfighting domain” and suggested setting up a new branch of the military called the “space force." Speaking to service personnel at the Marine Corp Air Station Miramar, Trump said he was not “really serious” when he initially suggested it. “Then I said, 'What a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that.'"—VICE News
YouTube to Pair Conspiracy Videos with Wikipedia Articles
The tech giant’s CEO Susan Wojcicki said the company would place information from Wikipedia and other sources next to conspiracy theory videos. Wojcicki unveiled the new “information cues” at SXSW in Austin, Texas. “People can still watch the videos but then they actually have access to additional information, can click off and go and see that,” she said.—Reuters
House Democrats Pressing On with Russia Probe
Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the Intel Committee, said his party would continue to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, despite a Republican report that found no evidence of foul play. The Democrats’ own update document cited 30 witnesses who had not yet been questioned.—CNN
UK Police Probe Apparent Death of Russian Businessman
The Metropolitan Police counterterrorism unit was examining the death of a man who appeared to be Nikolai Glushkov after a body resembling the Putin critic was found in London. Although there was no apparent connection to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, police said they were interested in Glushkov’s “associations." He was reportedly a friend of Boris Berezovsky, another Putin critic found hanged at his UK home in 2013.—BBC News
Violence in Congo Leaves Dozens Dead
At least 40 people have reportedly been killed in a battle between the Hema and Lendu people in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri area since Sunday. Authorities feared the precise death toll could be higher. “There are certainly other bodies out in the bush," an official said.—Al Jazeera
UN Says Facebook Played Role in Purge of Rohingya
Yanghee Lee, the UN’s special rapporteur for human rights, said the social media platform had been used to spread hate speech and incitements to violence against the Muslim minority group in Myanmar. “I’m afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended,” Lee said.—VICE News
Seth Rich’s Family Sues Fox News
The family of the former DNC staffer fatally shot in Washington, DC, in 2016 filed a lawsuit against the network, reporter Malia Zimmerman, and pundit Ed Butowsky. The family alleges “false and fabricated facts” published by the outlet fed conspiracy stories about Rich and led to “emotional distress."—ABC News
Netflix Under Fire for Gender Pay Gap on ‘The Crown’
Producers for the Netflix series caught flak after admitting lead actress Claire Foy got paid less than co-star Matt Smith on seasons one and two. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” said executive producer Suzanne Mackie.—The Hollywood Reporter
Miley Cyrus Sued for Alleged Breach of Copyright
Jamaican artist Michael May filed a lawsuit against Cyrus, alleging her hit “We Can’t Stop” rips off about half its material from his 1988 song “We Run Things." May, better known as Flourgon, was reportedly after $300 million in damages.—Reuters
Flying Lotus Drops Seven New Songs
The acclaimed electronic/hip-hop artist put out unreleased material on Soundcloud. Six songs were outtakes from the animated film Blade Runner Black Out 2022, while “Choo Choo” was an outtake from the score for Stephen Soderbergh’s new flick Perfect.—Noisey
Shia LaBeouf Says He Gave Kanye West Clothes
The actor revealed the full extent of the rapper’s apparent obsession with his style, explaining he gifted West some of his clothing. “The dude has a lot of my shit,” LaBeouf said in a new interview. “I fucking love Kanye West. He’s going through a lot."—i-D
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