Lebanon gets a new PM but protests continue | AFP

As Lebanon picks a new prime minister Hassan Diab who has the endorsement of the Shiite group Hebollah, Sunni protesters block roads and call for a general strike.

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The Great American Pilgrimage: ‘South side with me’ – Chicago, IL

Stephen arrives in the Windy City with Rio and realizes they’re both in need of haircuts. So our hero sends Rio to the doggy spa while he goes to a south side barbershop to get cleaned up and talk to the owner Sunni and other regulars in the shop about their neighborhood, politics and America’s future.

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Retaking Mosul: Liberators Not Welcome (HBO)

Not everyone in Mosul and the surrounding areas of Iraq is eager to greet liberation forces.

Iraqi troops along the southern front in the battle to retake Mosul are encountering stronger resistance than they’d expected. This region of Iraq has always been hostile to the government in Baghdad and wary of would-be liberators.

“We had Saddam Hussein. So he was a bad person, right?” Pejwani resident Alshad Naffouri told VICE News correspondent Seb Walker. “But then look what came next! What are you going to do? If you’re going to slaughter me, slaughter me.”

Naffouri does not support ISIS, but he is also skeptical of government forces. Sectarian conflict complicates the situation further, as most locals like Naffouri are Sunni, while the advancing military is predominantly Shia.

Many people like Naffouri fear that the battle for Mosul might only be the start of another bloody chapter in Iraq’s history.

This segment originally aired October 24, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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A Sniper In Iraq’s Golden Division Remembers His Fallen Comrade

In 2014, Islamic State militants swept into Western Iraq’s Anbar Province, overrunning Iraqi security forces, enslaving minorities, and causing thousands to flee for their lives.

The jihadist group captured Iraq’s largest city, Mosul, and the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, where hundreds of US troops died fighting the Islamic State’s predecessor.

Now, two years later, the Iraqi security forces, with help from Iranian-supported Shiite militias and US military advisors and warplanes, are fighting to take back towns and cities in Anbar, one battle at a time.

But it’s a difficult task: Anbar has been the crucible of Iraq’s insurgency, and is the country’s Sunni heartland — long marginalized by and hostile to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

VICE News embedded with Iraq’s Golden Division Special Forces unit as they fought their way into the villages surrounding the city of Hit, where they encountered ambushes, sniper fire, and tried to sort suspected Islamic State operatives and sympathizers from innocent Iraqi civilians.

In this extra scene, a member of a sniper team VICE News met when embedded in Ramadi last year, tells us how he’s coping since losing his friend, who was considered the best sniper in the country.

Watch “Fighting the Islamic State with Iraq’s Golden Division: The Road to Fallujah” – http://bit.ly/1sCv6k2

Read “Suicide Bombings Kill At Least 25 in Baghdad, As Fallujah Siege Continues” – http://bit.ly/21iMK7x

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Fighting the Islamic State with Iraq’s Golden Division: The Road to Fallujah

In 2014, Islamic State militants swept into Western Iraq’s Anbar Province, overrunning Iraqi security forces, enslaving minorities, and causing thousands to flee for their lives.

The jihadist group captured Iraq’s largest city, Mosul, and the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, where hundreds of US troops died fighting the Islamic State’s predecessor.

Now, two years later, the Iraqi security forces, with help from Iranian-supported Shiite militias and US military advisors and warplanes, are fighting to take back towns and cities in Anbar, one battle at a time.

But it’s a difficult task: Anbar has been the crucible of Iraq’s insurgency, and is the country’s Sunni heartland — long marginalized by and hostile to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

VICE News embedded with Iraq’s Golden Division Special Forces unit as they fought their way into the villages surrounding the city of Hit, where they encountered ambushes, sniper fire, and tried to sort suspected Islamic State operatives and sympathizers from innocent Iraqi civilians.

Watch “What It’s Really Like to Fight for the Islamic State” – http://bit.ly/1UhTYU1

Read “Iraq Halts Assault Against Islamic State-Held Fallujah to ‘Protect Civilians’ Trapped Inside” – http://bit.ly/1TQvKq7

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The Road to Fallujah (Trailer)

WATCH THE FULL LENGTH NOW: http://bit.ly/1TY8iY5
In 2014, Islamic State militants swept into Western Iraq’s Anbar Province, overrunning Iraqi security forces, enslaving minorities, and causing thousands to flee for their lives.

The jihadist group captured Iraq’s largest city, Mosul, and the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, where hundreds of US troops died fighting the Islamic State’s predecessor.

Now, two years later, the Iraqi security forces, with help from Iranian-supported Shiite militias and US military advisors and warplanes, are fighting to take back towns and cities in Anbar, one battle at a time.

But it’s a difficult task: Anbar has been the crucible of Iraq’s insurgency, and is the country’s Sunni heartland — long marginalized
by and hostile to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

VICE News embedded with Iraq’s Golden Division Special Forces unit as they fought their way into the villages surrounding the city of Hit, where they encountered ambushes, sniper fire, and tried to sort suspected Islamic State operatives and sympathizers from innocent Iraqi civilians.

Watch “What It’s Really Like to Fight for the Islamic State” – http://bit.ly/1UhTYU1

Read “Iraq Halts Assault Against Islamic State-Held Fallujah to ‘Protect Civilians’ Trapped Inside” – http://bit.ly/1TQvKq7

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Talking Heads: Who’s Supporting Assad?

VICE News and the New York Review of Books have partnered to create Talking Heads, a series about the big issues of the day as seen by the Review’s distinguished contributors.

In this episode, Charles Glass discusses his essay “In the Syria We Don’t Know.” He drove through Syria in October 2014 to see how the country’s civil war had impacted daily life. With Bashar al-Assad benefiting from US-led airstrikes on the Islamic State, and large areas of the country under his regime’s control, Glass found people carrying on at a relatively normal pace amid the conflict. But signs of death and personal loss were inescapable, as resentment mounted among citizens who feel they have no choice but to support Assad or be slaughtered at the hands of Sunni radicals.

VICE News sat down with Glass to discuss America’s uncertain foreign policy in the region and the underlying forces propping up Assad’s government.

Read Charles Glass’s essay, “In the Syria We Don’t Know” – http://bit.ly/1HwRujS

Watch “Jihadists Battle the Assad Regime: Syria’s Rebel Advance (Trailer)” – http://bit.ly/1FEL81A

Watch “Talking Heads: A Look Back at the Violence in Ferguson” – http://bit.ly/1HklJVR

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – November 24, 2014

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The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines.​ Today: Yemen’s Shia Houthi rebels drive al Qaeda out of central stronghold, security forces in Togo clash with protesters calling for presidential term limits, an outbreak of plague kills dozens in Madagascar since August and could spread in the capital, fishermen retrieve Japanese blowfish from Crimea’s Sevastopol Bay.

YEMEN
Houthi Rebels Force Al Qaeda Out of Central Stronghold
With the help of government forces, Shia Houthi fighters drove the Sunni militants out of al Bayda province.

TOGO
Police Confront Protesters Demanding Presidential Term Limits
Thousands are calling on the government to enforce limits, which would bar President Faure Gnassingbe from running for a third term next year.

MADAGASCAR
Plague Kill a Third of 119 Infected Since August
Forty have died from the plague in three months, and the UN warns the disease could spread in the capital.

CRIMEA
Fishermen Come Across Unusual Threat
Japanese puffer fish were retrieved from Sevastopol Bay, and scientists say the fish could harm the Black Sea fauna and local population.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – November 21, 2014

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The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines.​ Today: Italy rescues migrants off the coast of Sicily, Colombian police search for father of girl forced to swallow more than 100 capsules of cocaine for transport to Europe, Iraqi tribesmen trained to fight off the Islamic State in Anbar province, and construction of controversial canal project to begin in Nicaragua around Christmas.

ITALY (Fortress Italia)
Migrant Rescues Ongoing in Coastal Waters
The coast guard continues to save hundreds in the Mediterranean despite the halt of its Mare Nostrum mission last month.

COLOMBIA
Girl Forced to Act as Drug Mule in Critical Condition
Police are offering nearly $11,000 for the capture of the girl’s father, who they believe planned to send his young daughter to Europe carrying up to 600 grams of cocaine.

IRAQ
Tribesmen Trained to Battle the Islamic State
Thousands of members of Sunni tribes want to protect Anbar province from falling to the group.

NICARAGUA
Chinese-Run Canal Project to Begin Construction Next Month
Activists and scientists are warning the canal will have a devastating impact on the environment.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – October 27, 2014

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The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Lebanese army battles Sunni militants in northern city of Tripoli, Egypt puts off Gaza talks following Sinai violence, Pakistan’s first female superhero fights polio in animated series, and homeless models in the Colombian capital take the runway to raise awareness of the difficulties they face.

LEBANON
Army Fights Militants in Northern City of Tripoli
Clashes intensified after a raid on an apartment in a nearby town where fighters hid weapons and ammunition.

EGYPT
Government Puts Off Gaza Talks After Sinai Violence
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is blaming Friday’s attacks, which killed more than 30 soldiers, on ‘foreign hands’.

PAKISTAN
Country’s First Female Superhero Battles the Polio Epidemic
‘Burka Avenger’ seeks to stress to parents the importance of vaccinating their children.

COLOMBIA
Homeless Models on Display at Bogota Shopping Center
Six young, disadvantaged people participate in a fashion show to raise awareness of the plight of the city’s nearly 9,000 homeless people.

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The Islamic State (Full Length)

WATCH NOW: Embedded with Al-Qaeda in Syria – http://bit.ly/2ynOxnn

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced its intention to reestablish the caliphate and has declared its leader, the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph.

The lightning advances the Islamic State made across Syria and Iraq in June shocked the world. But it’s not just the group’s military victories that have garnered attention — it’s also the pace with which its members have begun to carve out a viable state.

Flush with cash and US weapons seized during its advances in Iraq, the Islamic State’s expansion shows no sign of slowing down. In the first week of August alone, Islamic State fighters have taken over new areas in northern Iraq, encroaching on Kurdish territory and sending Christians and other minorities fleeing as reports of massacres emerged.

VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings.

Watch next: “Fighting ISIS-linked snipers in Marawi, Philippines” – http://bit.ly/2sR2GWj

Click to watch “Ghosts of Aleppo (Part 1)” – http://bit.ly/Ghosts-of-Aleppo

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Grooming Children for Jihad: The Islamic State (Part 2)

Click here to watch Part 1 now: https://news.vice.com/video/the-islamic-state-part-1

In Part 2 of VICE News’ exclusive look at the emergence of the Islamic State, filmmaker Medyan Dairieh meets an Islamic State member from Belgium who works to indoctrinate some of the youngest members of the group. He also gains further insight into the minds of Islamic State fighters as they host celebrations and military parades featuring American tanks and APCs seized from the Iraqi army.

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group which formerly had ties to al Qaeda, is now in control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. The group, which adheres to the strictest form of Sharia law, is determined to establish a caliphate that stretches across the Middle East and into the rest of the Muslim world.
 
As the Islamic State continues its violent expansion in Syria and Iraq, it is also working to win the hearts and minds of new recruits and potential new members in areas it controls.

Read Now: The US Has Reluctantly Started Bombing Iraq Again – http://bit.ly/1ojpCGu

Watch our 5 Part documentary ‘The Battle for Iraq’ – http://bit.ly/1nmit6C

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The Spread of the Caliphate: The Islamic State (Part 1)

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced their intention to reestablish the caliphate and declared their leader, the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph.

Flush with cash and US weapons seized during recent advances in Iraq, the Islamic State’s expansion shows no sign of slowing down. In the first week of August alone, Islamic State fighters have taken over new areas in northern Iraq, encroaching on Kurdish territory and sending Christians and other minorities fleeing as reports of massacres emerged.

Elsewhere in territory it has held for some time, the Islamic State has gone about consolidating power and setting up a government dictated by Sharia law. While the world may not recognize the Islamic State, in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group is already in the process of building a functioning regime.

VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings. In part one, Dairieh heads to the frontline in Raqqa, where Islamic State fighters are laying siege to the Syrian Army’s division 17 base.

Watch our 5 Part documentary ‘The Battle for Iraq’ – http://bit.ly/1nmit6C

Read Now: Total Chaos in Northern Iraq as Islamic State Takes Country’s Largest Dam – http://bit.ly/1yaqbSO

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – July, 18 2014

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The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: dozens of rival Yemeni tribesmen killed in clashes, Pakistani police foil attack on prime minister’s residence, Indian parents protest alleged rape of young girl, and Peruvian officials burn tons of illegal drugs.

YEMEN
Fighting Continues After Capture of Omran
Shia Houthi tribesmen are battling Sunni tribal allies of the government.

PAKISTAN
Police Foil Attack Against Prime Minister’s Home
Two officers and one militant were killed in the operation in Lahore.

INDIA
Parents Protest Alleged Rape of Six-Year-Old
Police haven’t arrested anyone in connection to the crime.

PERU
Tons of Confiscated Drugs Incinerated
It’s the second massive disposal of illegal substances this year.

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Clashes Continue as Frontline Tension Escalates: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 4)

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As the Kurds move further into Iraq’s disputed territories, not everyone is thrilled. In towns closer to Baghdad with higher Arab populations, like Jalawla and Sadiya, they have encountered fierce resistance from militant Sunni groups. While Kurdish peshmerga forces have been welcomed in many areas, they’ve needed to fight to enter others.

In our fourth dispatch amid the escalating crisis in Iraq, VICE News embedded with the peshmerga as they struggle to maintain control over their land, as tension in Iraq heightens between its main ethnic and religious factions.

We also spoke with a Sunni tribal leader in Kirkuk about the recent Kurdish takeover and the strategic importance of the city, and with Kurdish soldiers about why they volunteered to fight — and how they are successfully fending off advances from ISIS and the Iraqi Shiite military nearby.

Iraq’s ISIS Crisis Puts Long Disputed Oil-Rich Kirkuk Back Into Kurdish Hands: http://bit.ly/1mhFnXl

Here’s Who Is Fighting in Iraq and Why: http://bit.ly/1yFN1ET

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The ISIS Uprising: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 2)

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As a coalition of ISIS fighters, Sunni militias, and former Baathists continues to push its way toward Baghdad, the Iraqi army and Shiite militias have fought to slow its progress.

In Mosul, however, ISIS and other Sunni forces now exert total control. Confusion remains about what exactly happened there, and why Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts so quickly. There is much speculation about the role high-ranking officers in the Iraqi army might have played, and whether or not they were involved in internal sabotage or had advance knowledge of the assault. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has already fired a number of high-ranking officers, and ordered one to be court-martialed for desertion.

After fighting broke out, hundreds of thousands of civilians fled Mosul for territory controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government, many Iraqi army deserters among them. A seven-year veteran of the Iraqi army who sought refuge in Erbil agreed to talk to VICE News about what happened on the condition that we withhold his identity.

Here’s Who Is Fighting in Iraq and Why: http://bit.ly/1yFN1ET

Crisis in Iraq: ISIS Is Locating Bases in Residential Areas: http://bit.ly/1lEYTNa

Crisis in Iraq: Kurdish Peshmerga Clash With Advancing ISIS: http://bit.ly/1ye4TGF

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Fighting Back Against ISIS: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 1)

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Last week, the extremist militant Sunni group — Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), along with other Sunni militias and former Baathist party members, seized control of large parts of Iraq, including Mosul, the nation’s second largest city.

In many places, the Iraqi army barely put up a flight. Soldiers dropped their weapons and fled, whether because of fear, incompetence, or internal sabotage. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have become internally displaced after fleeing the fighting or the potential for potential Iraqi air strikes.

As ISIS and the other groups continued to fight their way to Baghdad, gruesome videos of brutal executions began to surface. Iraqi army units stationed near Baghdad, as well as Shiite militias, have pledged to not give up so easily.

Many say the conflict was brewing for a while, and that ISIS, along with some of the other groups, has had some semblance of control in Sunni areas for quite some time. They point to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s increasingly sectarian polices and crackdowns on Sunnis as having provoked the events of the last week, and fear this could be the start of a devastating civil war.

In the north, Kurdish forces known as the peshmerga have used the opportunity to seize disputed areas, territories that the Kurds long felt belonged to them but the government was hesitant relinquish. An informal border now exists between ISIS dominated areas and Kurdish territory. There has only been sporadic clashing, as neither group seems determined to break the strange detente.

Here’s Who Is Fighting in Iraq and Why: http://bit.ly/1yFN1ET

Crisis in Iraq: Kurdish Peshmerga Clash With Advancing ISIS: http://bit.ly/1ye4TGF

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 21, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: journalists in Iran, Iraq’s child bride legislation, BP signs a new contract and Lebanon deploys troops in Arsal.

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Journalists Convince Iran to Withdraw Repressive Measures
Iran is scrapping its plan to regulate journalism after receiving an open letter from more than 400 of the country’s journalists.

Iraq’s Controversial Child Bride Legislation
A controversial new law being drafted in Iraq would make it legal for children as young as 9 to get married.

BP Wins US Oil Contract
Just four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP has won a new oil contract.

Lebanese Army Deployed in Border Town of Arsal
The Lebanese Army has deployed forces in Arsal – a Sunni town on the border of Lebanon and Syria.

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