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The VICE Morning Bulletin

Obama meets with Castro, America prefers Joe Biden to any presidential candidate, Afghan security forces begin to retake land from the Taliban, and more.

by VICE Staff
Sep 29 2015, 10:45am

President Barack Obama, VP Joe Biden and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev (Photo: The Official White House Photostream via)

Welcome to the VICE Morning Bulletin. Here you'll find a roundup of the day's most important stories from around the world, all in one handy blog post, like a multivitamin of interesting stuff to start your day. With contributions from our global offices, the VICE Morning Bulletin will feature the biggest headlines in the US as well as internationally, and offer a handpicked crop of culture stories, long reads, weird news, and a VICE documentary each morning.

US News

  • Obama to Meet Castro
    President Obama will hold talks with Cuban President Raul Castro later today, only their second face-to-face meeting. It follows Castro's appeal to the US to end its trade embargo, and Obama's call for Congress to lift economic sanctions on Cuba. —Miami Herald
  • Free STD Tests
    Planned Parenthood, locked in a battle with Republicans over federal funding, are offering free testing for sexually transmitted diseases today. The tests come as a new poll finds 55 percent of Americans support Planned Parenthood (and as Congress moves to avoid a government shutdown over the spending feud). —The New York Times
  • Biden: Most Wanted
    A new poll shows Americans have a more positive impression of Joe Biden than Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the entire Republican field. If a hypothetical election were held today, voters would go for Biden over Donald Trump by 19 points. —NBC News
  • America Has 24 New Geniuses
    Writer and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of 24 people awarded MacArthur Foundation "genius" grants today. Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and star of the Broadway musical Hamilton, is among the others given the $625,000 award. —The Washington Post

International News

  • Afghan Counterattack Begins
    Afghan security forces have begun retaking areas of Kunduz from the Taliban, government sources claim. The city was seized yesterday by a resurgent Taliban—the first major urban area they have held since the US-led invasion in 2001. —CNN
  • New Zealand Loves Mother Nature
    New Zealand's government wants to turn an area of the South Pacific the size of France into a marine reserve. Fishing and mining will be banned in the vast ocean sanctuary, home to whales, dolphins, endangered turtles and sea birds, as well as underwater volcanoes. —The Guardian
  • Canadian Leaders Face Names of the Dead
    Party leaders clashed over immigration and refugee numbers at the Canadian election TV debate last night. Arriving at the studios, politicians were confronted with a banner listing the names of 20,000 migrants who have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea and US-Mexico border. —VICE News
  • British Jihadis Sanctioned
    UN sanctions—a travel ban and asset freeze—have been imposed on British jihadists fighting or recruiting for the Islamic State. The British government hopes the move will deter other UK citizens from traveling to fight in Iraq or Syria, hoping to join at least 700 Brits who have already made the journey to join the Islamic State. —BBC

Catherine E. Coulson as "The Log Lady" in 'Twin Peaks' ('Twin Peaks' screencap via Propaganda Films / Spelling Television)

Everything Else

  • Noah's First Daily Show
    Political satire has a new "stepdad". Jokes about papal dick size, Whitney Houston and AIDS got Jon Stewart's replacement off to a good start last night. —VICE
  • Paul Walker's Daughter Sues Porsche
    The daughter of The Fast and Furious star Paul Walker is to sue carmaker Porsche. The wrongful death suit alleges safety defects in the Porsche Carrera GT the actor was driving when he was killed two years ago. —Los Angeles Times
  • The Log Lady Has Died
    Catherine E. Coulson, the actress who played the Log Lady on Twin Peaks, has passed away at the age of 71. Director David Lynch paid tribute to his "solid gold" friend. —VICE
  • Anonymous Hacking Trial Begins
    The criminal trial of journalist Matthew Keys, a former Fox affiliate producer, has begun. Keys faces computer hacking charges and is alleged to have urged others in an Anonymous group to "go fuck some shit up". —Motherboard

If that's all the reading you can handle today, you should watch part one of our three part documentary about how Pablo Escobar's legacy of violence drives today's drug wars.