French govt reveals plan to teach Arabic in primary schools

France’s Education minister, Najat Vallaud Belkacem, has found herself on the firing line since revealing a plan to teach Arabic to primary school kids as young as six. Belkacem has suggested including Arabic among the language choices for French pupils.

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World’s oldest gymnast from Germany parachute jumps at 90

Ninety-year-old Johanna Quaas, who in 2012 made her way into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest active gymnast, is carrying out a tandem parachute jump to honor Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.

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Airstrikes Cause Chaos and Destruction in Syria’s Homs: VICE News Quick Hit

Wednesday’s attacks targeted rebel-controlled areas of Homs province, while Russia also carried out its first airstrikes in the country, on what Moscow claims are Islamic State targets.

Read: Russia Confirms It Has Started Airstrikes in Syria – http://bit.ly/1LQA7Mb

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VICE News Daily: ​Increased ​Jail Time For Stone-Throwing Palestinians

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: ​Some Palestinian protesters will face tougher punishments​, ​a promising development in the fight against malaria, ​Nigerian street vendors defy police ban, and a Moscow ​charity screens films for the homeless.

ISRAEL
Knesset Approves Tougher Punishments For Stone-Throwing Palestinians
​Protesters will now face up to 20 years in prison.

SOUTH AFRICA
New Drug Could Cure Malaria in One Dose
Researchers say a promising new compound in their drug instantly kills stubborn parasites.

NIGERIA
Street Business Booming Despite Ban
Vendors in Abuja sell goods from the trunks of their cars since real estate prices are some of the​ highest​ in Africa.

RUSSIA
Charity Screens Movies For Moscow’s Homeless
Twice a month, ​the organization screens old Soviet films as part of a summer activities program.

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On The Line: Henry Langston Discusses Ukraine, Russia, and the Baltic States

Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/vicenews) where we’ll announce the next topic for ‘On The Line’.

VICE News correspondent Henry Langston joined ‘On The Line’ to discuss his recent trips to Ukraine and the Baltic States.

As fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels continues in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s neighbors are keeping a wary eye on Moscow. Henry Langston has been following the story for VICE News and has traveled to Lithuania to see the country’s new “Rapid Reaction Force,” and to the front lines of the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday he’ll join On The Line to take your questions.

Watch “The Russians are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike” – http://bit.ly/1H8HzMK

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This Week On The Line: Henry Langston Discusses Ukraine, Russia, and the Baltic States

On Thursday at 12pm EDT VICE News correspondent Henry Langston (https://twitter.com/henry_langston) joins On The Line to discuss his recent trips to Ukraine and the Baltic States.

As fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels continues in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s neighbors are keeping a wary eye on Moscow. Henry Langston has been following the story for VICE News and has traveled to Lithuania to see the country’s new “Rapid Reaction Force,” and to the front lines of the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday he’ll join On The Line to take your questions.

Watch “The Russians are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike” – http://bit.ly/1H8HzMK

VICE News and On The Line want to hear from you! Let us know your questions for Henry on Twitter with the hashtag #ontheline, or send us a video message on Skype.

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Fictional Little Green Men Seize Lithuanian Town (Excerpt from ‘The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania)

Since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula and the start of conflict in eastern Ukraine in spring 2014, the small Baltic state of Lithuania has been anxiously eyeing Moscow. Some in the capital of Vilnius believe that the country might fall prey to a Ukraine-style military incursion, orchestrated by Russia.

Lithuania, a former Soviet satellite, shares a border with the heavily militarized Russian exclave of Kaliningrad — which houses Russia’s Baltic fleet and has been flooded with arms and personnel in the last year. From Kaliningrad, Russia has staged military drills that reportedly involve thousands of soldiers, hundreds of military vehicles, and dozens of warships. In response, Lithuanian forces are also mobilizing.

In May, VICE News followed the Lithuanian army during Operation Lightning Strike — a four-day wargames exercise. The drill marked the first nation-wide test of Lithuania’s new 2,500-strong “Rapid Reaction Force,” set up in the wake of the Ukraine crisis to deal with hybrid warfare threats, such as armed protests, airfield and weapons stockpile seizures, and the sudden appearance of “little green men” who seem to take orders from far away.

In this excerpt, VICE News travels to Kaisiadorys, Lithuania, where separatist insurgents backed by the fictional country of Udija have seized a government building — all as part of a country-wide military exercise.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike” – http://bit.ly/1RzVIHw

Read “Meet the Colonel in Charge of Countering Russian Propaganda in Lithuania” – http://bit.ly/1dAnMgN

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Mock Invasion by the State of Udija (Extra Scene from ‘The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania’)

Since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula and the start of conflict in eastern Ukraine in spring 2014, the small Baltic state of Lithuania has been anxiously eyeing Moscow. Some in the capital of Vilnius believe that the country might fall prey to a Ukraine-style military incursion, orchestrated by Russia.

Lithuania, a former Soviet satellite, shares a border with the heavily militarized Russian exclave of Kaliningrad — which houses Russia’s Baltic fleet and has been flooded with arms and personnel in the last year. From Kaliningrad, Russia has staged military drills that reportedly involve thousands of soldiers, hundreds of military vehicles, and dozens of warships. In response, Lithuanian forces are also mobilizing.

In May, VICE News followed the Lithuanian army during Operation Lightning Strike — a four-day wargames exercise. The drill marked the first nation-wide test of Lithuania’s new 2,500-strong “Rapid Reaction Force,” set up in the wake of the Ukraine crisis to deal with hybrid warfare threats, such as armed protests, airfield and weapons stockpile seizures, and the sudden appearance of “little green men” who seem to take orders from far away.

In this extra scene, a mock uprising of protestors supporting the fictional enemy state of Udija, seemingly a veiled reference to Russia, attack Lithuanian soldiers, in an exercise designed to mimic populist uprisings that have defined recent conflicts in Eastern Europe.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike” – http://bit.ly/1RzVIHw

Read “Russia Threatens Retaliation If US Puts Heavy Weaponry in Eastern Europe” – http://bit.ly/1Ig9sXl

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Gun Talk with Young Cadets (Excerpt from ‘Child Warriors of Donetsk’)

Once a relic of the Soviet era, patriotic youth clubs in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are gaining new popularity, offering military training to their members. As young people practice assembling guns, marching, and military drills, a strong sense of allegiance flows through the ranks, with some members holding high aspirations of joining the Russian Federation army.

Up to 15 of these clubs compete in the annual Future Warrior Contest held in a local military academy, which is judged by the academy’s members and former Russian military. The contestants battle each other in displays of military prowess, vying for the prize of a visit to a training camp near Moscow.

In this excerpt, VICE News speaks to young cadets about their experiences with guns, as they take a break from their military training at the Future Warrior Contest in Donetsk.

Watch “The All-Girl Soldier Club: Child Warriors of Donetsk” – http://bit.ly/1BJyiOf

Read “Flexing Its Military Might, Russia Is Pushing Sweden Into NATO’s Arms” – http://bit.ly/1N5eHbC

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The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike

Since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula and the start of conflict in eastern Ukraine in spring 2014, the small Baltic state of Lithuania has been anxiously eyeing Moscow. Some in the capital of Vilnius believe that the country might fall prey to a Ukraine-style military incursion, orchestrated by Russia.

Lithuania, a former Soviet satellite, shares a border with the heavily militarized Russian exclave of Kaliningrad — which houses Russia’s Baltic fleet and has been flooded with arms and personnel in the last year. From Kaliningrad, Russia has staged military drills that reportedly involve thousands of soldiers, hundreds of military vehicles, and dozens of warships. In response, Lithuanian forces are also mobilizing.

In May, VICE News followed the Lithuanian army during Operation Lightning Strike — a four-day wargames exercise. The drill marked the first nation-wide test of Lithuania’s new 2,500-strong “Rapid Reaction Force,” set up in the wake of the Ukraine crisis to deal with hybrid warfare threats, such as armed protests, airfield and weapons stockpile seizures, and the sudden appearance of “little green men” who seem to take orders from far away.

Watch “Selfie Soldiers: Russia Checks in to Ukraine (Trailer)” – http://bit.ly/1cLlJpo

Read “Meet the Colonel in Charge of Countering Russian Propaganda in Lithuania” – http://bit.ly/1dAnMgN

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The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike (Trailer)

Since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula and the start of conflict in eastern Ukraine in spring 2014, the small Baltic state of Lithuania has been anxiously eyeing Moscow. Some in the capital of Vilnius believe that the country might fall prey to a Ukraine-style military incursion, orchestrated by Russia.

Lithuania, a former Soviet satellite, shares a border with the heavily militarized Russian exclave of Kaliningrad — which houses Russia’s Baltic fleet and has been flooded with arms and personnel in the last year. From Kaliningrad, Russia has staged military drills that reportedly involve thousands of soldiers, hundreds of military vehicles, and dozens of warships. In response, Lithuanian forces are also mobilizing.

In May, VICE News embedded with the Lithuanian army during Operation Lightning Strike — a four-day wargames exercise. The drill marked the first nation-wide test of Lithuania’s new 2,500-strong “Rapid Reaction Force,” set up in the wake of the Ukraine crisis to deal with hybrid warfare threats, such as armed protests, airfield and weapons stockpile seizures, and the sudden appearance of “little green men” who seem to take orders from far away.

Watch “Selfie Soldiers: Russia Checks in to Ukraine (Trailer)” – http://bit.ly/1cLlJpo

Read “Lithuania Thinks the Russians Are Coming — and It’s Preparing with Wargames” – http://bit.ly/1e2DqCB

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Testing Kalashnikov’s Newest Assault Rifles (Excerpt from ‘Rebranding the AK-47’)

Watch “Rebranding the AK-47” – http://bit.ly/1KWFUQa

With sales of Kalashnikov’s firearms severely impacted by sanctions imposed by the US last summer against the Russia-based company, the gunmaker has since rebranded its firearms as “weapons of peace.”

VICE News traveled to Kalashnikov’s headquarters in Moscow to speak with its new CEO Alexey Krivoruchko about the impact of sanctions on his company. We also met with the public relations agency heading up the campaign to find out more about the rebranding of its famous assault rifles.

In this excerpt, VICE News correspondent Ben Makuch heads to a shooting range in Moscow to meet with Kalashnikov Group adviser and shooting champion Andrey Kirisenko to test out some of Kalashnikov’s newest weapons, barred from the United States market by the economic sanctions.

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The All-Girl Soldier Club: Child Warriors of Donetsk

Once a relic of the Soviet era, patriotic youth clubs in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are gaining new popularity, offering military training to their members. As young people practice assembling guns, marching, and military drills, a strong sense of allegiance flows through the ranks, with some members holding high aspirations of joining the Russian Federation army.

Up to 15 of these clubs compete in the annual Future Warrior Contest held in a local military academy, which is judged by the academy’s members and former Russian military. The contestants battle each other in displays of military prowess, vying for the prize of a visit to a training camp near Moscow.

VICE News follows the Vityaz Squad as they compete against other patriotic youth clubs at the Future Warrior Contest in Donetsk.

Watch “On The Line: Simon Ostrovsky Discusses the Latest From Russia and Ukraine” – http://bit.ly/1JtjPqu

Read “Beauty Amid the Chaos: The Donetsk Opera Offers Relief to a City in the Grip of War” – http://bit.ly/1MpzVBs

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Rebranding the AK-47: A Weapon of Peace

With sales of Kalashnikov’s firearms severely impacted by sanctions imposed by the US last summer against the Russia-based company, the gunmaker has since rebranded its firearms as “weapons of peace.”

VICE News traveled to Kalashnikov’s headquarters in Moscow to speak with its new CEO Alexey Krivoruchko about the impact of sanctions on his company. We also met with the public relations agency heading up the campaign to find out more about the rebranding of its famous assault rifles.

Watch “Guns in Puerto Rico: Locked and Loaded in the Tropics” – http://bit.ly/1y862Ct

Read “As Arms Sales to the Middle East Increase, Exporters Compete to Make a Killing “ – http://bit.ly/1KFbylh

Read “Inside the Makeshift Weapons Workshop That Keeps Libya’s Militias Armed” – http://bit.ly/1RzZ3Iq

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AK-47: The Weapon of Peace (Trailer)

WATCH THE FULL LENGTH NOW: http://bit.ly/1eM002k

With sales of Kalashnikov’s firearms severely impacted by sanctions imposed by the US last summer against the Russia-based company, the gunmaker has since rebranded its firearms as “weapons of peace.”

VICE News traveled to Kalashnikov’s headquarters in Moscow to speak with its new CEO Alexey Krivoruchko about the impact of sanctions on his company. We also met with the public relations agency heading up the campaign to find out more about the rebranding of its famous assault rifles.

Watch “Guns in Puerto Rico: Locked and Loaded in the Tropics” – http://bit.ly/1y862Ct

Read “As Arms Sales to the Middle East Increase, Exporters Compete to Make a Killing “ – http://bit.ly/1KFbylh

Read “Inside the Makeshift Weapons Workshop That Keeps Libya’s Militias Armed” – http://bit.ly/1RzZ3Iq

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On The Line: Simon Ostrovsky Discusses the Latest From Russia and Ukraine

Follow us on Twitter where we’ll announce this week’s topic for On The Line: https://twitter.com/vicenews

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky (https://twitter.com/simonostrovsky) joined On The Line to discuss the latest news from Russia and Ukraine.

Watch Episodes of “Russian Roulette” – http://bit.ly/1AhdzjT

Watch “Troops and Tanks in Moscow: Russia’s Victory Day” – http://bit.ly/1FafPbJ

VICE News and On The Line want to hear from you! Let us know your questions on Twitter with the hashtag #ontheline, or send us a video message on Skype.

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This Week On The Line (Trailer): Simon Ostrovsky Discusses the Latest from Russia and Ukraine

On Thursday at 12pm EDT Simon Ostrovsky (https://twitter.com/simonostrovsky) will join ‘On The Line’ to discuss the latest news from Russia and Ukraine.

Watch Episodes of “Russian Roulette” – http://bit.ly/1AhdzjT

Watch “Troops and Tanks in Moscow: Russia’s Victory Day” – http://bit.ly/1FafPbJ

VICE News and On The Line want to hear from you! Let us know your questions for Simon on Twitter with the hashtag #ontheline, or send us a video message on Skype.

To leave a Skype video message, follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/1Fpn9lC

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Cyberspies, Nukes, and the New Cold War: Shane Smith Interviews Ashton Carter (Part 1)

Watch Part Two: http://bit.ly/1ELJdTg
Watch Part Three: http://bit.ly/1S1om7v
Watch Part Four: http://bit.ly/1EV17C3

VICE founder Shane Smith interviews US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter about Putin’s nukes, the rise of the Islamic State, Afghan tumult, and repairing the NSA’s reputation.

In the first part of a four-part series, Ashton Carter speaks about a recent Russian cyberattack on US DoD networks, increasing Russian aggression towards the West, as well as the Cold War rhetoric occurring on both sides.

Watch “Troops and Tanks in Moscow: Russia’s Victory Day” – http://bit.ly/1FafPbJ

Watch “Silencing Dissent in Russia: Putin’s Propaganda Machine (Full Length)” – http://bit.ly/1JaHYlS

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Troops and Tanks in Moscow: Russia’s Victory Day

On May 9, Russia commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War with a military parade held in Moscow’s Red Square. In addition to approximately 16,000 troops, the newest military technology in Russia’s arsenal also participated, including the T-14 Armata battle tank.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky attended the weekend’s celebrations in Moscow, speaking with attendees who came out to display their patriotism for the motherland.

Watch “Silencing Dissent in Russia: Putin’s Propaganda Machine” – http://bit.ly/1JaHYlS

Read “Old Allies Absent as Russia Parades Troops and Tanks at WWII Victory Celebration” – http://bit.ly/1L0w0KD

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Silencing Dissent in Russia: Putin’s Propaganda Machine (Full Length)

Despite sanctions, a plummeting economy, and isolation from the world as a result of its actions in Ukraine, a wave of patriotic fervor is spreading across Russia. Thousands of Russians have attended rallies in support of President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity ratings remain sky-high, while voices of the opposition are increasingly stifled.

On the streets and in the media, the Kremlin has tightened its grip on power. State-controlled television channels spin facts to bolster the government line, whipping up anti-Western sentiment and paranoia about internal enemies. Independent broadcasters are struggling to make themselves heard as the country grows more dangerous for journalists and popular figures who are critical of the authorities.

VICE News traveled to Moscow to find out how the Russian government has suppressed dissent and fostered fear among Putin’s critics.

Watch “Why Are American Troops in Ukraine? – Russian Roulette (Dispatch 108)” – http://bit.ly/1J4gj3K

Watch “Meet the Texan Fighting for the DPR: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 107)” – http://bit.ly/1z1Q4ef

Read “Kim Jong-un Is Headed to Moscow to Make North Korea and Russia BFFs” – http://bit.ly/1OYWI6T

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Controlling the Media: Putin’s Propaganda Machine (Part 2)

Watch Part 1: http://bit.ly/1J4C4AB

Despite sanctions, a plummeting economy, and isolation from the world as a result of its actions in Ukraine, a wave of patriotic fervor is spreading across Russia. Thousands of Russians have attended rallies in support of President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity ratings remain sky-high, while voices of the opposition are increasingly stifled.

On the streets and in the media, the Kremlin has tightened its grip on power. State-controlled television channels spin facts to bolster the government line, whipping up anti-Western sentiment and paranoia about internal enemies. Independent broadcasters are struggling to make themselves heard as the country grows more dangerous for journalists and popular figures who are critical of the authorities.

In the concluding part of our two-part series, VICE News investigates how the Kremlin uses state-controlled television to manipulate public opinion and whip up anti-Western sentiment, giving rise to a far-right nationalist movement, while narrowing the media landscape, and silencing — sometimes violently — dissenting points of view.

Watch “Why Are American Troops in Ukraine? – Russian Roulette (Dispatch 108)” – http://bit.ly/1J4gj3K

Watch “Meet the Texan Fighting for the DPR: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 107)” – http://bit.ly/1z1Q4ef

Read “Kim Jong-un Is Headed to Moscow to Make North Korea and Russia BFFs” – http://bit.ly/1OYWI6T

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VICE News Daily: Violent Anti-Government Protests in Burundi

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Anti-government demonstrations grow violent in Burundi, Polish border authorities turn Russian nationalist bikers back, hellish conditions for African migrants in Libyan detention centers, and a freak storm kills dozens in northwest Pakistan.

BURUNDI
Thousands Flee as Anti-Government Protests Continue
Police and military respond to growing movement against President Pierre Nkurunziza after he announced plans to run for re-election in June.

BELARUS
Pro-Putin Bikers Turned Away at Polish Border
Members of the Night Wolves club planned to travel from Moscow to Berlin to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

LIBYA
Migrants Face Mistreatment at Detention Centers
Hundreds complain of beatings, forced labor, and other intolerable conditions.

PAKISTAN
‘Mini-Cyclone’ Kills Dozens in Peshawar and Adjacent Areas
The storm also left more than 200 wounded, and the military was called in to help with rescue efforts.

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The Pro-Kremlin Youth Group: Putin’s Propaganda Machine (Part 1)

Watch Part 2: http://bit.ly/1GCxau6

Despite sanctions, a plummeting economy, and isolation from the world as a result of its actions in Ukraine, a wave of patriotic fervor is spreading across Russia. Thousands of Russians have attended rallies in support of President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity ratings remain sky-high, while voices of the opposition are increasingly stifled.

On the streets and in the media, the Kremlin has tightened its grip on power. State-controlled television channels spin facts to bolster the government line, whipping up anti-Western sentiment and paranoia about internal enemies. Independent broadcasters are struggling to make themselves heard as the country grows more dangerous for journalists and popular figures who are critical of the authorities.

In part one of our two-part series, VICE News travels to Siberia to meet Noize MC, the outspoken Russian rapper whose anti-government views have drawn the close attention of the Kremlin, while in Moscow we get inside access to Project Network, a pro-Kremlin youth group dedicated to molding the next generation of Russians in the image of their president.

Watch “Why Are American Troops in Ukraine? – Russian Roulette (Dispatch 108)” – http://bit.ly/1J4gj3K

Watch “Meet the Texan Fighting for the DPR: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 107)” – http://bit.ly/1z1Q4ef

Read “Kim Jong-un Is Headed to Moscow to Make North Korea and Russia BFFs” – http://bit.ly/1OYWI6T

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Silencing Dissent in Russia: Putin’s Propaganda Machine (Trailer)

Watch Part 1: http://bit.ly/1J4C4AB

Despite sanctions, a plummeting economy, and isolation from the world as a result of its actions in Ukraine, a wave of patriotic fervor is spreading across Russia. Thousands of Russians have attended rallies in support of President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity ratings remain sky-high, while voices of the opposition are increasingly stifled.

On the streets and in the media, the Kremlin has tightened its grip on power. State-controlled television channels spin facts to bolster the government line, whipping up anti-Western sentiment and paranoia about internal enemies. Independent broadcasters are struggling to make themselves heard as the country grows more dangerous for journalists and popular figures who are critical of the authorities.

VICE News traveled to Moscow to find out how the Russian government has suppressed dissent and fostered fear among Putin’s critics.

Watch “Inspecting the Ceasefire in Shyrokyne: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 105)” – http://bit.ly/1K5Dn2W

Watch “Easter Artillery Fire: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 104)” – http://bit.ly/1OfpfES

Read “Pollution, Prisons, Sickness, and Raves: Inside Russia’s ‘City of the Colorful Sky’” – http://bit.ly/1EsLWWX

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VICE News Daily: Virus Threatens Rare Turtles in Australia

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Al Qaeda carries out prison break in southern Yemen, Russia launches military draft in Crimea, a rare species of snapping turtles is mysteriously dying off in Australia, and drones track tomb raiding in Jordan.

YEMEN
Al Qaeda Releases Hundreds in Prison Break
Militants freed at least 270 inmates, including some of the group’s operatives.

CRIMEA
Russian Military Launches Draft in the Annexed Territory
Moscow has plans to recruit up to 5,000 residents this year, regardless of their ethnic origin.

AUSTRALIA
Mystery Virus Kills Hundreds of Rare Turtles
Wildlife experts don’t know why nearly 300 snapping turtles have died of the herpes-like disease in recent weeks.

JORDAN
Project Employs Drones to Track Tomb Raiding
The idea is to create high-resolution 3D models by piecing together hundreds of images so that archaeologists can detect the slightest changes in the scenery.

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