The VICE Morning Bulletin

Derailed Amtrak train was way over speed limit, officials say special counsel probe could last another year, White House blames North Korea for WannaCry attack, and more.

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Dec 19 2017, 4:01pm

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

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

US News

Derailed Train Was Going Well Above Speed Limit
The train that veered off a bridge in Washington state Monday, leaving three people dead, was traveling at 80 mph—50 mph faster than the track speed limit, investigators said. Police said ten people currently being treated for their injuries remained in critical condition. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading the investigation, and one of its board members, Bella Dinh-Zarr, said it was “too early to tell” why the train had been going so fast.—NBC News

White House Blames North Korea for WannaCry Attack
White House official Tom Bossert wrote an op-ed claiming North Korea was “directly responsible” for the ransomware attack that hit hundreds of thousands of computers around the world earlier this year. Bossert referred to “evidence” pointing at Pyongyang, but did not give any more details. The Trump administration was expected to issue a more formal statement about the subject Tuesday.—VICE News

Special Counsel Probe Could Last Another Year, Officials Say
Anonymous officials revealed Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election could continue for at least another 12 months. White House lawyers will meet Mueller’s team later this week. Sources close to the special counsel suggested President Trump and his advisors had unrealistic expectations about the investigation coming to an end sooner than later.—The Washington Post

Charlottesville’s Chief of Police Stepping Down
Police Chief Alfred Thomas is retiring from his gig in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the wake of a report harshly criticizing local cops' conduct during white supremacist rallies in August. Former US attorney Tim Heaphy found Thomas had led a “slow-footed response” to the violence.—CBS News

International News

Saudis Shoot Down Houthi Missile Near Riyadh
The military coalition led by Saudi Arabia claimed to intercept a ballistic missile fired by Iranian-backed Houthi fighters near the Saudi capital of Riyadh. According to the Houthis’ al-Masirah news network, the Burkan-2 missile had been aimed at the al-Yamama Palace and designed to strike “a meeting of the leadership of the Saudi regime.”—BBC News

Palestinians Condemn US After Veto at the UN
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, said the body would no longer recognize the US as part of any peace process. The announcement came after the US blocked a UN Security Council resolution against America's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said the US had moved to “further obstruct peace and delay its realization.”—Al Jazeera

South Africa’s Ruling Party Chooses New Leader
Delegates from the African National Congress (ANC) voted in Cyril Ramaphosa as the dominant party's new leader. Ramaphosa beat Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the ex-wife of current president Jacob Zuma, winning 2,440 delegates’ votes to her 2,261. Ramaphosa will now campaign in South Africa’s 2019 presidential election on behalf of the ANC.—The Guardian

Thai Military Moves Toward Ending Ban on Political Activity
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced a plan to hold a national election in November 2018. Prayuth, putative head of the country’s military regime, said he would introduce an executive order to allow some basic political prep to take place—strictly forbidden since a military coup in 2014—though legit campaigning appeared to still be forbidden.—Reuters

Everything Else

Twitter Stock Rose as Hate Accounts Got Banned
The social media giant saw its share price spike almost 10 percent Monday after introducing strengthened restrictions on hateful speech. Twitter suspended accounts belonging to several alt-right or extremist groups, including American Renaissance, Britain First, and the American Nazi Party.—The Hollywood Reporter / VICE News

Meryl Streep Responds to Rose McGowan's Claim
The Oscar-winning actress spoke out after McGowan accused her of “silence” when it came to Harvey Weinstein’s alleged serial sexual violence. Explaining that it “hurt to be attacked,” Streep said in a statement: “I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know.”—The Huffington Post

#MeToo Founder Chosen for NYE Countdown in NYC
Tarana Burke, the activist who launched the movement originally a decade ago, will lead the New Year’s Eve ball drop and 60-second countdown at Times Square. “I think it’s fitting to honor the Me Too movement as we close a historic year and set our intentions for 2018,” Burke said.—TIME

Diddy Gains Support for Plan to Purchase Carolina Panthers
Sean “Diddy” Combs revealed his plan to bid for the NFL team after the current owner, Jerry Richardson, announced his intention to sell amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Both Stephen Curry and Colin Kaepernick suggested they wanted in on the bid, and Diddy said he wanted Kaepernick playing for the Panthers.—Noisey

Björk Becomes Giant Slug in New Video
The Icelandic artist dropped a video for her new single “Arisen My Senses,” off of the recently-released LP Utopia. Sculptor Tristan Schoonraad used europhane and silicon to transform Björk into a huge, slug-like creature for the clip.—i-D

Hawaii Lawmaker Wants Locally-Owned Broadband Networks
State Rep. Kaniela Ing moved to introduce a bill requiring Hawaii explore the possibility of an internet infrastructure independent of the mainstream mega-providers. Ing wants to look at whether government grants could build community-owned networks.—Motherboard

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