Tag Archives: turkey

The VICE Morning Bulletin

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

US News

Judge Blocks Trump's Order to Punish Sanctuary Cities
A federal judge in San Francisco blocked President Trump's executive order to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" refusing to comply with his administration's crackdown on immigration. US district judge William Orrick granted a preliminary injunction in San Francisco and neighboring Santa Clara County, arguing that the attorney general doesn't have the authority "to impose new conditions on federal grants."—VICE News

Rick Perry Says US Should Stick to Paris Agreement
Energy Secretary Rick Perry thinks the US should uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change but seek to "renegotiate" its commitments. "I'm not going to tell the president of the United States let's just walk away from the Paris accord," Perry said at a Bloomberg energy conference.—Bloomberg

US Begins Assembling Anti-Missile System in South Korea
The US military installed parts of its THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea Wednesday. The country's defense ministry said it was working with the US toward "early operational capability" for the system, as relations with North Korea remain tense. Meanwhile, the THAAD installation in South Korea sparked protests.—Reuters

International News

Yemen Aid Falls Short of Addressing Hunger Crisis, Says UN
Donor countries pledged almost $1.1 billion in aid to Yemen at a conference in Geneva Tuesday, but the UN said the figure is just half of what's required to deal with "the world's largest hunger crisis." Millions of children in the country suffer from acute malnutrition, and the UN said some 17 million Yemenis are at risk of famine.—Al Jazeera

China Unveils First Domestically Built Aircraft Carrier
China is putting the finishing touches, relatively speaking, on a new aircraft carrier in the northeastern port city of Dalian. The unnamed vessel, which will not be operational until 2020, is the nation's first domestically built aircraft carrier. China's only operational carrier of jets, the Liaoning, was bought from Ukraine and modified.—Reuters

Turkey Arrests At Least 800 in Latest Crackdown
Turkish authorities have arrested at least 800 people in a crackdown on suspected dissidents with alleged ties to last year's attempted coup, according to a state-run news service. The suspects are said to have varying degrees of influence over or contacts within the nation's police. At least 47,000 people have been arrested since the coup failed in July 2016.—AP

French Mayor Fined for Derisive Comment About Muslim Children
The mayor of the French town of Beziers has been fined for incitement of hatred against Muslims. Far-right politician Robert Menard was ticketed just about $2,000 for describing the number of Muslim children in a local school as "a problem" and tweeting about the "great replacement," a phrase used in France to convey the idea of a decline in the white Christian population.—BBC News

Everything Else

Dr. Luke Said to Lose Sony Gig Amid Ongoing Rape Accusation Uproar
Court papers suggest that Dr. Luke's status as CEO of the Sony-owned label Kemosabe Records has come to an end. One anonymous source said Sony is preparing to completely sever its relationship with the producer following his legal battle with Kesha over rape allegations.—The Hollywood Reporter

Beyoncé Launches Scholarship Program for Young Women
Beyoncé has established a scholarship that will benefit "confident and conscious" students at four different US universities. The Formation Scholars program was launched to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Lemonade.—Noisey

Pope Francis Gives TED Talk
Pope Francis has become the latest high-profile figure to give a TED Talk, astonishing a Vancouver audience by appearing via videolink. The pontiff spoke about his experience as an immigrant in Argentina and today's "discarded people."—TIME

Kelly Wright Joins Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against FOX News
FOX News anchor Kelly Wright has joined an expanding lawsuit alleging racial discrimination at the network. Wright said he was forced to perform as a "racist caricature of a Black entertainer" and alleged he had a segment cut because it was "too positive" about black people.—CNN

Wes Anderson's Next Movie to Debut on 4/20
Fox Searchlight Pictures will release Wes Anderson's stop-motion movie Isle of Dogs on April 20, 2018. The studio also released a poster for the film featuring five dogs, a downed airplane, and a boy in a parachute.—Creators

Former NYPD Cops Allegedly Took Bribes for Gun Licenses
Authorities have formally charged three retired NYPD officers and a former city prosecutor for helping people obtain gun licenses in exchange for bribes. The alleged bribes range from cash to prostitutes to extravagant vacations.—VICE

The VICE Morning Bulletin

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

US News

Trump Calls for Overhaul of Foreign Worker Visa Rules
Intent to produce on a signature campaign theme, President Trump on Tuesday is expected to sign an executive order aimed at discouraging companies from hiring foreign workers as opposed to citizens. Government departments will be instructed to change their practices when it comes to H-1B visas, currently awarded to US companies by lottery, to favor the highest-skilled workers. Trump has previously criticized H-1B as a "cheap labor program."—The Washington Post

Supreme Court Blocks Arkansas Execution
The Supreme Court has denied the state of Arkansas's request to execute Don Davis, upholding a State Supreme Court stay of execution at nearly the last minute. Davis was one of eight men scheduled to die before the end of April, when the state's injection drugs will expire. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson vowed to "continue to fight back on last minute appeals."—NBC News

After Murder Goes Viral, Facebook Promises Change
Facebook's vice president of global operations Justin Osofsky says the company must "do better" after it allowed a video of an apparent homicide to remain on its site for some time. Osofsky revealed it took some two hours to remove the video in which Steve Stephens, suspected of fatally shooting a 74-year-old man, films the moment he pulls the trigger. Osofsky said the company was now reviewing its "reporting flows."—VICE News

Leading California Separatist Moves to Russia
Louis Marinelli, a leader of one campaign to make California an independent nation, is packing it up and heading to Russia, apparently. Marinelli wants to make Russia his new home because of "frustration, disappointment, and disillusionment with the United States." The Yes California Independence Campaign's petition has now been withdrawn.—AP

International News

Turkey May Extend State of Emergency for Three Months
The Turkish government has called for a parliamentary vote Tuesday to extend the country's state of emergency by an additional three months. Thousands of opposition protesters demonstrated in Istanbul Monday night after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's referendum victory granted him new powers. Erdoğan suggested he was willing to reinstate the death penalty, despite opposition from greater Europe. He was also congratulated on his (disputed) win by US president Donald Trump. —Deutsche Welle

British Prime Minister Wants General Election
UK prime minister Theresa May wants the country to hold a "snap" general election June 8, just two years after the last one. She said Brits needed "certainty and security" following the Brexit vote, though she was not required to hold an election for three more years under current law and will need parliamentary approval to fast-track it.—BBC News

Paraguayan President Cancels Bid for Second Term
Paraguay's president, Horacio Cartes, has announced he will not run for reelection in 2018 after his allies in Congress had floated changing the law to allow him to do so. Cartes said Pope Francis inspired his "gesture of renunciation" in a country that emerged from dictatorship in 1989.—Reuters

Everything Else

Lady Gaga Shares FaceTime Talk with Prince William
Lady Gaga has shared a FaceTime conversation with Prince William about mental health issues for his charity Heads Together. "I feel like we are not hiding anymore," Gaga said. The British royal called her "brave" for opening up about her struggle with post-traumatic stress.—TIME

Third Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Planned
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn revealed a third movie will follow the sequel, which opens in theaters next month. "I'm returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," Gunn wrote on Facebook.—Variety

Kendrick Lamar Set to Claim Billboard 200 No.1
Kendrick Lamar's new LP DAMN. is poised to be the No.1 album on the Billboard 200, according to industry experts. Forecasts have the record on course to achieve equivalent album sales of around 475,000 units in its first week, ending April 20.—Billboard

Tyler, the Creator Records Bill Nye Theme
Tyler, the Creator is doing the theme song for science guru Bill Nye's new Netflix show. The track for Bill Nye Saves the World is Tyler's take on the original Bill Nye the Science Guy theme. "The first one is really sick," the rapper said.—i-D

The VICE Morning Bulletin

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

US News

Vice President Says 'Strategic Patience' with North Korea Is Over
Mike Pence says the "era of strategic patience" maintained by past US administrations toward North Korea is a thing of the past. While visiting South Korea on a ten-day tour of Asia, the vice president said the US would try to resolve the standoff over North Korea's weapons development program by "peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary." He added, "All options are on the table."—AP

FBI Assist in Manhunt After Video of Killing Posted on Facebook
The FBI is helping Cleveland police search for Steve Stephens, suspected of killing someone at random, filming the attack, and posting the footage on Facebook. Though Stephens claimed he had carried out multiple murders on Facebook, police chief Calvin Williams only confirmed one person, 74-year-old Robert Godwin, had been killed in northeast Cleveland.—NBC News

United Airlines Ditches Passenger Bump Policy
United has changed its policy on removing passengers following widespread outrage over David Dao's forced removal from a flight. Crew members will now be allocated seats at least 60 minutes prior to takeoff, so no passenger already onboard will have to give up his or her seat. Meanwhile, American Airlines pledged never to remove a seated passenger, while Delta said it will pay up to $10,000 to do so.—CBS News

EPA Under Industry Pressure to Gut Regulation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing more pressure from the business world to cut regulations than any other government agency, according to the Commerce Department. Back in November, Trump invited American manufacturers and trade groups to suggest ways he could help their businesses run more smoothly. Among the 168 pieces of policy advice they submitted, many concerned tweaking EPA guidelines. BP, for example, hopes to change leasing renewal requirements so it's less of a hassle to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.—The Washington Post

International News

President Erdoğan Claims Victory (and New Power) in Turkish Referendum
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has apparently won a narrow victory in the country's referendum, giving him a range of new powers—despite opposition and other claims that various forms of suppression took place. Erdoğan's campaign to change Turkey's constitution carried just more than 51 percent of the votes, and the head of the country's High Electoral Board confirmed the result as legitimate.—BBC News

Hundreds of Palestinian Prisoners Launch Hunger Strike
Around 700 Palestinian prisoners have begun a hunger strike in a protest against conditions inside Israeli jails. Led by Marwan Barghouti, a leading figure in Fatah who is currently in jail, around 2,000 prisoners total are expected to join the strike. Hamas and the Palestinian National Council have announced their support.—The Guardian

At Least 126 Killed in Attack on Convoy in Syria
Some 126 people, including 68 children, were killed in a bomb attack on a bus convoy west of Aleppo, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. No entity has yet claimed responsibility for the assault, which targeted those fleeing government-held towns for more secure regime strongholds.—Al Jazeera

Former South Korean President Charged with Bribery
South Korea's former president Park Geun-hye has been indicted by prosecutors on bribery charges. Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the multinational retail chain Lotte, has also been charged, accused of arranging a $6.16 million bribe for Park and her confidante Choi Soon-sil in return for government help.—Reuters

Everything Else

Alex Jones Is 'Playing a Character,' Lawyer Claims
Alex Jones's attorney claimed the InfoWars host is "playing a character" at a pretrial hearing for the child custody battle between Jones and his ex-wife. Randall Wilhite said Jones's anger was a show persona. "He is a performance artist," Wilhite said.—Austin American-Statesman

'Fate of the Furious' Claims Biggest Global Debut Ever
Fate of the Furious, the eighth movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise, has achieved the highest-earning global box office debut of all time. The movie took in $532.5 million, knocking Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which took in $529 million) from the top spot.—TIME

The Chainsmokers Debut at No.1 on Billboard 200
The Chainsmokers' first full-length album Memories… Do Not Open has debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, selling 221,000 equivalent units. It sent Drake's More Life down to No.2 after three weeks at the top.—Billboard

Lady Gaga Drops Surprise New Track
Lady Gaga has released "The Cure," a brand-new track she debuted during her performance at Coachella Saturday night. Less than 12 months after her album Joanne, the synth-heavy party-pop single has been made available on iTunes.—Noisey

US Navy Not Feeling Vaping at Sea
The US Navy has prohibited vaping and possession of all electronic devices that deliver nicotine aboard its ships, submarines, and aircraft. The indefinite ban follows 12 incidents involving exploding devices over an eight-month period.—Motherboard

Mysteryland USA Festival Canceled
This year's Mysteryland USA festival has been canceled, organizers announced. The event in upstate New York, set to include performances by LCD Soundsystem and Major Lazer, was scrapped due to "unforeseen circumstances."—Thump

How LGBTQ Turks are Preparing for a History-Making Constitutional Vote

On April 16, Turkish citizens will vote for or against building a "New Turkey," as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called the monumental constitutional reform package currently tearing the country in two. The reform would increase the president's powers to declare laws by decree and eliminate the role of the prime minister. Critics, from human rights watch groups to Turkey's main opposition parties, fear a "yes" vote will place Turkey under one man's rule. Many fear it could also bring consequences for all sorts of marginalized groups there, significantly so for the country's LGBTQ community.

The referendum has unfolded amid rising nationalism, wide-reaching dismissals of government employees, and detentions and arrests of activists and organizers in the wake of the country's failed government coup last July. Since the attempted coup, Turkey has existed under a state of emergency; according to Human Rights Watch, over 47,000 people have been jailed and 160 independent media outlets have shuttered since July, and the amendment would cement many of the ruling powers Erdoğan has taken on since the state of emergency was declared.

For the LGBTQ community in Istanbul, the stakes of the vote are high. Turkey already sees the highest rate of transgender homicides in Europe, and while Turkey has been praised for having one of the most visible LGBTQ communities among majority Muslim countries, its gay pride festival has been banned for the last two years on grounds of coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Last year, ultra-nationalist groups vowed to prevent the marches, calling them "immoral," and marchers were violently dispersed in 2015 by riot police with rubber bullets and water cannons. If a "yes" vote prevails, there is little doubt that nationalist fervor will intensify in the country, which could lead to more of the same kind of discrimination.

As Turkey braces for its referendum vote, we spoke to four members of the LGBTQ community in Istanbul about what place they might have in a "New Turkey."

Esra Ece, 34, sex worker

I am a trans woman, a sex worker, and also an LGBT and women's rights columnist and activist.

If you are a woman, a trans woman, or a sex worker in Turkey, the country thinks that you deserve the worst, including death. To our clients, we are just sex workers—they don't think we're human at all. They come when they want to and think we're toys they can do whatever they want with.

Prostitution is legal in Turkey, but there's no difference between working legally or in the streets illegally—you're not human in the street, and you're not human inside the brothels, either.

The state perpetuates violence against women because they don't like women in the public sphere. The state creates this violence and Turkish society ignores it. If you're a woman, you have to be at home serving your husband. If you aren't a woman that men approve of, they can harass you or beat you.

Violence is the system; it's fascism. If we get a "yes" vote, our struggle for human rights will become more difficult. It would be dark times for all people. It's a human rights issue. Everyone faces problems regarding religion, ethnicity, ideology, or political views.

As a human being, I dream of the day we can become one and have equal rights. We are here and we do exist. We have to live together because we aren't going anywhere. If we don't like each other, we have to at least be respectful.

Çagla Akalin, 27, actress

In the last five years we have become more free and more comfortable, so yes, Turkish society is more accepting of the LGBT community. The issues and problems we face here are the same as in other countries. Being LGBT is a problem everywhere in the world.

We are being normalized. We use public transportation; we are now part of social life. Trans women didn't use to walk on Istiklal [Istanbul's most famous pedestrian street]; they couldn't be visible in the street. They had to stay in at night. We are present in social media and people see us more and listen to us. We have more outlets to express ourselves. Turkish society is not becoming more conservative. It is becoming more open minded.

Until last year, we had very good parades and the police protected us. But last year, the parade organizers made posters that were very provocative and mocked Islam. That's why the police and Turkish society reacted so violently.

I am Muslim, and my freedoms shouldn't interfere with other people's freedoms. I think that Turkish society and the government have the right to ban the parade. The gay pride organizers should have been more respectful of religious people.

Erdoğan is not someone to fear. The foreign press tries to show him as a dictator because he is brave enough to stand against foreign leaders. There are many trans women like me who share my political views and who will say "yes" in the referendum.


Rozerin Seda, 35, human rights lawyer

I feel very lucky that nothing has affected me yet. If the constitutional reform package is approved, the president will be able to touch everything.

Lawyers are keen to be in cases involving disadvantaged groups, but it is risky, and we face problems with solidarity. You have to be brave enough to be very visible, and you will get called gay, trans, or lesbian. The same thing happens with lawyers working on the Kurdish issue—if you defend Kurds, you are called 'pro-Kurdish' or 'terrorist.' Nobody picks up our calls.

In 2010, the government was more accepting of LGBT people. Now they are considered a sin and that sends a clear message: My religion will never accept you.

Gay Pride in Istanbul attracted thousands of people in 2014 during Ramadan. Pride was banned in 2015 under the pretense that it happened during Ramadan. Why do they ignore us? We are not wrong, we are not dirty. It is not legal for the government to ban the march. If we see "no" on the referendum maybe we can march this year.

The constitution doesn't have any specific protection for LGBT people. Guaranteeing equal rights based on sex is not enough. Specifying LGBT protections in the constitution or changing the education system can make a real difference, and political intent is very important.

Eylem, 35, sociologist

I am a trans woman, but I find identities limiting. We move in the streets in groups all the time. This protects us a bit; it's our lifestyle. My lifestyle is a kind of protection. LGBT people must live together, otherwise they can't live.

In Turkey it can all change suddenly. Life is traumatic and we accept it, we are an elastic society. The LGBT community was the star of the Gezi movement [ large anti-government demonstrations that took place in 2013]. LGBTQ people were mixing with society in those days. Today and for the last four years, we have been separating. You must nourish solidarity. You need forums, campaigns and activism, but our society is terrorized.

For me, a "yes" result on the referendum doesn't just affect LGBT rights—it represents a war against society. If you lose human rights, you lose LGBT rights. If you lose humanity, you lose LGBT rights. There is no distinction.

I ask for international solidarity, that they don't forget us. As long as you breathe, there is hope! I always have hope but I pray to God that we won't live through a civil war. Turkey needs a minimum of peace and stability for LGBT citizens to live peacefully.

Follow Lorena Rios on TwitterAll portraits by Ömer Tevfik Erten.

Mike Flynn Is Willing to Testify in Exchange for Immunity, Report Says

On Thursday evening, the Wall Street Journal, citing "officials with knowledge of the matter," reported that former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn has offered to be interviewed by the House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as the FBI, in exchange for immunity from prosecution—though immunity from what remains unclear. 

Flynn's brief tenure in the Trump administration came to an abrupt end last month, when it was revealed by the Washington Post that the retired general had discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak despite telling the public and other administration and law enforcement officials that he had not. Some speculated almost immediately that Flynn could be prosecuted either for lying to the FBI about those communications or for conducting diplomacy as a private citizen (which might have been a violation of an obscure law called the Logan Act). But the FBI was not expected to bring charges against him for those things. 

Flynn was also facing scrutiny because he accepted tens of thousands of dollars from the Russian government through RT, a state-funded media outlet, and other companies. His connection to Russia was especially scrutinized because the government in Moscow interfered in the 2016 election by hacking and leaking damaging emails from Democrats in an effort to help Donald Trump win, according to US intelligence agencies. That interference is under investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as the FBI. The central question remains whether anyone connected to Trump—or Trump himself—was aware of these Russian efforts or communicated with the Russians about them.

Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and indicated that he would be open to working with Russia on some issues, though the sanctions that former President Barack Obama placed on Russia in response to the hacking remain in effect. (Those were the same sanctions Flynn talked about with Kislyak.) 

After being forced to resign from his post, Flynn filed paperwork indicating he had been a "foreign agent"—a.k.a. a paid lobbyist—for the Turkish government. (For instance, he wrote a November op-ed for the Hill titled, "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support.") White House officials are required to disclose sources of foreign income while applying for security clearances; Democrats have challenged that Flynn did so. Flynn also reportedly talked to Turkish officials before the election about sending Fethullah Gulen, an opponent of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan who lives in the US, back to Turkey. 

Flynn's lawyer declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal about any offers of testimony, but the lawyer released a statement denouncing the "unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason, and vicious innuendo" swirling around him: 

Flynn has not been charged with any crime, so it's unclear what he would be seeking immunity from. Importantly, none of the US officials he has apparently reached out to in hopes of striking a deal have accepted his offer. Other important questions that remain include:

  • What sort of information does Flynn have that he thinks would be sufficient to convince Congress or the FBI to grant him immunity?
  • Does the wrongdoing he's worried about being accused of (or charged with) have anything to do with Russia, or is it unrelated?
  • Why has no one taken up his offer? Is it possible that what he thinks he knows is not actually as valuable as he thinks it is?
  • Does any of this relate to the mini-scandal at the House Intelligence Committee, whose chair, Republican Devin Nunes, reportedly received classified intelligence reports from current White House officials?
  • Finally, the big one: Who does Flynn think he has dirt on? 

Follow Harry Cheadle on Twitter.

The VICE Morning Bulletin

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

US News

Hawaii Judge Extends Block on Trump Travel Ban
Derrick Watson, a US district judge, has prolonged the hold on President Trump's executive order restricting entry to the US from six Muslim-majority nations. Watson agreed to a motion by the state of Hawaii to extend the temporary restraining order on the travel ban into a more lasting preliminary injunction. Hawaii's attorney general Douglas Chin argued Trump's revised order was like a "neon sign flashing 'Muslim Ban, Muslim Ban.'"—NBC News

North Carolina Moves to Repeal Notorious Bathroom Bill
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in North Carolina reached a deal to scrap House Bill 2, the state's contentious bathroom bill that forced transgender people to use public restrooms according to the gender they were assigned at birth. Democratic governor Roy Cooper said the "repeal compromise" would be introduced today and would "repair our reputation," though questions were quickly raised about whether it went far enough to protect LGBTQ people.—ABC News 

Ivanka Trump Takes Up Formal White House Role
Ivanka Trump is to become a government employee, taking an official position in the Trump administration as an assistant to the president. Having been criticized for only "voluntarily" complying with ethics rules despite having an office at the White House, Trump said her formal, unpaid position would be "subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees."—The New York Times

Energy Department Staffers Stop Using Term 'Climate Change'
Staffers inside the Department of Energy's Office of International Climate and Clean Energy were asked by a supervisor to stop using phrases like "climate change" and "emissions reduction," according to unnamed sources. A department spokeswoman insisted no words or phrases were banned, but officials at the DOE said they've been avoiding phrases associated with climate change since President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday rolling back environmental protections. —Politico

International News

Turkey Ends Military Operation in Syria
Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim has declared Operation Euphrates Shield, its military campaign in northern Syria, both "finished" and "successful." Turkey's efforts to keep ISIS and the Kurdish Popular Protection Units away from its border began in August last year. But Yildirim did not discount the possibility of further action in Syria. "Any operation following this one will have a different name," he said.—BBC News

Arab League Urges Two-State Solution
The leaders of the Arab League have called on the UN Security Council to reaffirm the need for a two-state solution to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. At a summit in Jordan, Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, said the international community should "reject the inception of an apartheid system in the 21st century."—Al Jazeera

Truck Bomb Kills At Least 15 in Baghdad
A suicide bomb attack killed at least 15 people and left roughly 45 others wounded in Baghdad, according to local officials. The bomber detonated a truck carrying explosives at a police checkpoint. Although no group claimed the attack, ISIS has carried out bombings in Baghdad in the past as they retreat toward the northern city of Mosul.—AP

Ex-Cyclone Forces Schools to Close in Australia
Torrential rain and heavy winds brought by since-downgraded tropical cyclone Debbie forced all schools in southeast Queensland to close until Monday. Though the cyclone has degenerated into a storm, at least 52,000 homes in the Australian region remain without power and flood evacuation orders have been issued in some cases.—The Guardian

Everything Else

Mary J. Blige Reveals New Album Details
Mary J. Blige has revealed song titles, cover art, and an impressive array of collaborators for her forthcoming album Strength of a Woman. Kanye West, Missy Elliot, and Kaytranada will feature on the 14-track album, which will drop at the end of April.—Pitchfork

Jeff Bezos Becomes Planet's Second-Richest Person
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has become the second-richest person in the world, moving ahead of Warren Buffett and just behind Bill Gates. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, now has a fortune of $75.6 billion.—Bloomberg

Bob Dylan to Formally Accept Nobel Prize
Bob Dylan has confirmed that he will appear in the flesh to accept his Nobel Prize for Literature in Sweden this weekend, but there won't be much of a show. The Swedish Academy said members would "show up" at one of his Stockholm gigs to give him the award.—Billboard

Lana Del Rey Teases Album in Spooky Video
Lana Del Rey has released a teaser for her forthcoming album Lust for Life. In the monochrome video, the singer talks about her creative process and hints at a possible collaboration with the Weeknd by flashing the XO logo.—Noisey

Growing Number of Americans Support Legalizing Weed
A new University of Chicago study shows support for legalizing weed has risen from 52 percent of Americans in 2014 to 57 percent in 2016. More than 60 percent of Independents and Democrats support legalizing it, compared to 40 percent of Republicans.—VICE

US Heroin Use Grows Five-Fold in a Decade
A new study by health researchers at Columbia University found the number of Americans using heroin jumped five times in just over a decade between 2001–02 and 2012–13. Single white men in their 30s and 40s with no degree or only a high school degree were found to be the most prone to heroin use.—Motherboard

Hundreds of Twitter Accounts Hacked with Swastikas Through Third Party App ‘Twitter Counter’

A number of Twitter accounts, including major brands and institutions are getting hijacked right now. Everyone from Duke University to major fast food outlets to Nike Spain are getting hacked with a swastika and a reference to April 16th, a date when a referendum will be held in Turkey to give President Erdogan more…

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The VICE Morning Bulletin

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 (AHCA) 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 Kurtulmus 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 towards 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' 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 Over 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

What Do the Men of Tinder Really Want?

Photos by Marianne Eloise

Animal rights charity PETA conducted a social experiment the other day, with one man and two Tinder accounts. On one account, the man really, really loved meat. You could tell because the photos were of him awkwardly holding steak in a supermarket and wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word: "BACON." On the other account, the man was a vegan. You could tell because he was pictured holding a watermelon and wearing a shirt bearing the word "VEGAN."

Hey guess what: Turns out heterosexual women don't want to have sex with men who wear bacon vests. PETA found that twice as many women right-swiped the vegan version of the man than the meat-loving version. This got me thinking: Would men right-swipe a vegan woman over a meat-loving woman? Or nah? Or, just, nah?

Mel Gibson managed to work out what women want (spoiler: men who treat women like human beings), but what do straight men really want? After 25 years on this planet, I still do not know. So with the help of our intern, Marianne, I spent a couple of days running diametrically opposed Tinder profiles to see which ones got the most right swipes. Our methodology was simple: right-swipe 100 guys, keep track of the matches, then swap the picture, and repeat for four entire days.

First off:

Meat Lover vs. Vegan


Winner: Meat eater, with 51 matches
Loser: Vegan, with 43 matches

No surprise here: A highly unattractive picture in which I am grabbing a wet symbol of masculinity—a $6 discounted sirloin steak—is what men wanted. What I wanted to know is: What exactly is wrong with the vegan picture? I'm holding a cauliflower in a nurturing way that says, "Yes, I will be the primary caregiver for your babies, and yes, I am essentially Mother Earth."

Answer: Men just hate vegans.

What they said in the DMs, first off for the vegan one:


Being vegan didn't put everyone off. This considerate offer came from one guy who simultaneously acknowledged that he is but an average middle-class white man, while also nodding toward what he could do for me.

As for the meat pic:


Yeah, they pretty much just all made weak meat gags.


Vaper vs. Smoker

Winner: Vaper, with 81 matches
Loser: Smoker, with 69 matches

Name me anything worse than a human who's actively into vaping. Not people who buy the things to help them quit smoking, but: my younger brother, who bought an e-cig despite never smoking before, or people who envelope you in great bubblegum-scented clouds outside train stations, or anyone describes their vape as a "rig."

However, it would seem Big Vape lobbyists have been successful in changing hearts and minds. The men of Tinder would rather bang someone who vapes than someone hotter—because I do look at least 1 percent hotter in the cigarette picture.

What they said about the vape photo:


The thought of me toking on a smelly pipe appeared to be a turn-on for some, while cigarettes were just a little too risqué:



Polo Nose vs. Sxe

Winner: Polo nose, with 62 matches
Loser: Straight edge angel, with 50 matches

This app is to help you find people to introduce to your genitals, not to act as a middle man for evangelical study buddies, so it's no surprise polo nose won. You might be thinking, Weird the other girl got nearly as many matches. But as any girl who's spent a considerable amount of time on Tinder will know: For every man who tells you apropos of nothing that he'll cum on you until you drown, there's a sensitive little soul who hasn't had sex since his last LTR ended two years ago, who's happy with anything he can get. This is exactly why someone who doesn't drink alcohol or have casual sex—the two Big Things about Tinder dates—can still get 50 matches.

What they said in the DMs, first for polo nose:


As for straight-edge princess:


Knife vs. No Knife


Winner: A woman brandishing a knife, with 76 matches
Loser: A woman not holding a knife, with 52 matches

Yeah, sorry, I don't understand men. If they want a bit of spice, they can just buy a butt plug. Instead, they're right-swiping on a woman who could gut them like a hog before they'd started on their opening line. But then they'd like that wouldn't they. The picture on the right looks just like my basic bitch Tinder picture in real life, which is probably why I haven't had sex in *looks at watch and whistles*.

Worst part about this round is that we got banned because so many big cry-babies reported the knife picture, so who knows how many more sexual mavericks out there would have matched with me had they been given the opportunity.

What they said in the DMs:


Can't argue with that:


Puppies vs. Turkeys

Winner: Turkeys, with 58 matches
Loser: Puppies, with 56 matches

Anyone right-swiping on that turkey is no one I want to come into contact with ever. Maybe it's because the turkey looks a bit like an inflamed scrotum? And all these guys were submissives who liked the fact I was laughing at something that looked like a scrotum? I don't know! I'm not a psychology expert!

What they said in the DMs:


§

Ultimately, this experiment proved what I already knew: that men do not want to have sex with vegans.

But let's summarize everything else we learned: that men seem to love stuff that reminds them of their dicks; that they like a bit of danger and potentially some blood loss; and that nothing will put the most determined off a potential fuck, even a photo of their sex partner vaping.

Follow Hannah Ewens on Twitter.