VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – May, 5 2014

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: pro-Russia in Ukraine separatists storm Odessa police headquarters over the arrest of their comrades, Syria finalizes the list of contenders to challenge President Assad’s rule, Honduras investigates children’s deaths believed to be linked to its notorious street gangs, and Italian soccer fans turn violent ahead of the national cup final match.

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UKRAINE
Pro-Russia Separatists Storm Odessa Police Headquarters
The incursion forces police to release the 30 activists they arrested after a bloody Friday left more than 40 people dead in the southern city.

SYRIA
Court Announces Candidates for June Presidential Election
Two members of Syria’s parliament will challenge President Assad’s bid for another seven years in power.

HONDURAS
Authorities Investigate Possible Gang-Related Deaths of Children
Police believe at least seven children may have been killed in San Pedro Sula over the last month for refusing to join street gangs.

ITALY
Violence Delays Italian Cup Soccer Final
A dozen fans are hurt, including one critically, in confrontations outside Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

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Al-Qaeda Hospital Massacre In Yemen

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On December 5, 2013, in an attack that went largely underreported by the world’s media, al Qaeda gunmen, dressed in government military uniform, casually slaughtered 52 innocent civilians in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The Al-Oradi hospital sits within the same compound as the Yemeni ministry of defense, where al Qaeda alleged that drone strikes were directed from. Instead of targeting the ministry, however, the attackers killed the security guards manning the side gate of the hospital, then spent hours calmly stalking its corridors, shooting doctors, nurses, and even patients lying in their beds. In grim pictures captured by surveillance cameras, one gunman is seen approaching a group of terrified hospital staff. At first they don’t flinch, and almost seem to be awaiting instructions, until the attacker reveals a hand grenade, pulls out the pin, and tosses it at them as if he were throwing a ball to a puppy.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) usually avoids targeting civilians and even provides some form of governance in the small areas they control in Yemen. This goes some way to explaining why it enjoys some level of support in this war-torn country. But when this footage was aired on national TV, even AQAP supporters were horrified, and it was compelled to make an apology. In a video statement, its military leader, Qasim al-Raymi, acknowledged “our mistake and guilt,” claiming that the nine attackers had been ordered not to enter the hospital. He continued: “We offer our apology and condolences to the victims’ families. We accept full responsibility for what happened in the hospital and will pay blood money for the victims’ families.” Al-Raymi added: “We are continuing our jihad.”

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Watch the latest from Syria in “Wolves of the Valley”: https://news.vice.com/videos/syria-wolves-of-the-valley

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Syria’s Unending Rebel Conflict: Wolves of the Valley

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2013 was a bad year for the Syrian rebels. While the mainstream rebels struggled to defend their frontlines from the resurgent Assad regime, a renegade al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), launched a series of assaults on the formerly-dominant FSA brigades from behind, capturing their strongholds in rebel-held northern Syria and executing their commanders. Now the rebels are fighting back.

A coalition of former FSA brigades, funded by Saudi Arabia and rebranded as the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (or SRF), launched a surprise offensive against ISIS in the spring of 2014, in a campaign supported by both the Saudi and US governments. VICE News was the first western TV crew into Northern Syria for 6 months, embedding with the SRF as they reimposed their rule over the country’s northwestern Idlib province. What we witnessed was a brief window into a complex and morally ambiguous conflict with no end in sight.

Read Aris Roussinos’ article “Running With the Wolves of Syria” on vicenews.com
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Check out the first dispatch from “Syria: The Long War”

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – April, 25 2014

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Vladimir Putin warns Russia must protect itself from the “CIA project”, fighting rages in Syria’s Aleppo province, London police look to women to help stem extremism, and the death toll from West Africa’s ebola outbreak climbs.

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Putin on the Web
Russia’s president says the Internet was developed as a “CIA project” the country should protect its interests from.

The Assault on Aleppo
Rebels strike a cement factory believed to store weapons, and government air strikes level a marketplace.

Counting on Women
London police launch a campaign aimed at intercepting plans of British nationals to travel to Syria to fight in the war.

Ebola Outbreak ‘Unprecedented’
The death toll in West Africa continues to rise as doctors struggle to contain the virus in Guinea and Liberia.

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Possible Chemical Attack in Syria: This Just In

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Claims of another chemical attack on civilians emerged from Syria on Monday. Activists reported the attack in the town of Telmanes, in the province of Idlib. Doctors at the Al Seddiq Hospital said they received 200 individual cases of people affected by the strikes, many of whom were children. The reports claim that barrel bombs containing chlorine were dropped from helicopters. This is the latest in a series of chemical attacks that have reportedly taken place across the country since April 11 and are being blamed on the Syrian regime.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – April, 22 2014

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: an abducted Ukrainian journalist is released long enough to give a press conference, one of Myanmar’s leading opposition figures dies, a British fighter in Syria gives an up-close and personal look into his makeshift home, and Venezuelan protesters alter an Easter tradition to show discontent for their president.

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Journalist Held by Pro-Russian Separatists Speaks
Ukrainian journalist and activist Irma Krat makes a brief appearance to speak to the media before she’s whisked back into the hands of masked captors.

Opposition Leader Win Tin Dies
A veteran of Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement and the country’s longest-serving political prisoner passes away at 85.

British Jihadist Gives Video Tour of Living Quarters
Amateur video from Syria appears to show where one British fighter and his comrades eat and sleep.

Protesters Burn Effigies of President in Easter Demonstration
Some Venezuelans use the religious holiday to express their disapproval of leader Nicolas Maduro.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – April 17, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: an Al Qaeda leader threatens the US in a new video, doctors in Syria are battling a flesh-eating disease, diplomats descend on Geneva for Ukraine talks, and protests over coastal developments in Dakar.

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Al Qaeda Leader Threatens the US in New Video
The leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch has threatened to attack the United States in a new video showing what could be the group’s largest gathering ever.

Doctors Battling Flesh Eating Disease
As if they didn’t already have enough to deal with, doctors in Syria are now battling a flesh-eating disease that has infected over 300 people in a single province.

Diplomats Descend on Geneva for Ukraine Talks
High-level diplomats from Russia, the US and Europe have arrived in Geneva for talks aimed at solving the Ukraine’s political crisis.

Protests Over Coastal Developments in Dakar
A protest against a new beachfront development turned violent in Senegal’s capital Dakar, after police fired tear gas to control crowds and arrested 24 people.

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Life as an Illegal Immigrant in Greece

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Greece has always been a gateway for immigrants searching for what they assumed would be a better life in Europe. But many of those who’ve crossed illegally into Greece have found that they have traded one bad situation for another. Refugees from war-torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan are finding themselves stuck in a country that is not only battling an economic crisis but is witnessing a rise in anti-immigrant violence, exemplified by the a nationalist political party known as the Golden Dawn.

VICE News’ Alex Miller travelled from Athens to the western port of Patras to find out what it is like to be trapped in a country you never wanted to be in in the first place.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – April 16, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: pro-Russia politicians are attacked with flour, dye and eggs, three journalists working for Hezbollah’s TV station are killed in Syria, the Indian supreme court recognizes a third gender, and celebrations and protest mark the founder of North Korea’s birthday.

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Pro-Russia Politicians Pelted with Flour, Dye, Eggs
Protesters in Kiev have attacked pro-Russia politicians with flour, dye and eggs.

Three Journalists for Hezbollah TV Station Killed
Three journalists from the official TV channel of the Shiite group Hezbollah have been reported dead in Syria.

Supreme Court Recognizes Third Gender
In a landmark ruling, India’s supreme court has recognized transgendered people as a third gender.

Celebrations, Protests Mark N. Korean Founder’s Birthday
North Korea celebrated the 102nd birthday of the country’s founder with military rallies, public pageantry and a booming fireworks display.

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The American Jihadist: Eric Harroun In His Own Words

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In July of 2013 American Eric Harroun travelled to Syria to fight against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. He would wind up arrested by the FBI on terrorism-related charges. This is Eric’s story in his own words.

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The Battle for Aleppo – Trailer

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Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, is witnessing continued clashes between government forces and opposition fighters on several fronts in and around the city. Those who could afford to flee have left. However many civilians remain, either unwilling or without the means to leave. Those remaining are subjected to a continuous bombardment by barrel bombs deployed by regime helicopters and warplanes.

In recent months, due to the increased military strength and growing confidence of the regime, the situation has deteriorated for those who live in the rebel held areas of the city.

Almost totally encircled and under siege from constant air strikes, many civilians, including women and children have been injured or killed.

VICE NEWS gained unprecedented access to armed jihadi groups in Aleppo as they fought Assad’s forces and trained for battles in future. We met a commander from Jabhat al-Nusra, the largest jihadist group in the city, and the children of fighters from Syria and abroad.

VICE NEWS also covered the efforts of the “Civilian Rescue Force” — a non-aligned group of volunteers, as they desperately try to save as many lives as possible in the aftermath of regime air strikes.

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VICE on HBO Extended: A Syria of Their Own

Thomas Morton spends the night training with the teenage female fighters of the Kurdish militia in Syria.

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VICE on HBO Debrief: A Syria of Their Own

Thomas Morton went to war-torn Syria where the Kurdish people are fighting to set up their own autonomous state. This is his Debrief from Season 2 Episode 4 of VICE on HBO.

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ISIS Rebels Burn a Pile of Cigarettes and Alcohol in Syria: This Just In

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Members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated group ISIS publicly burned cigarette and alcohol stockpiles in the ISIS-controlled Syrian city of Raqqa on April 2. ISIS has a strong presence across north and mid-Syria, where it has instituted Sharia law on the population and banned smoking and drinking alcohol.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 31, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: protesters in Haiti call for the president’s resignation, fresh reports of violence in Darfur, Spanish journalists released by Syrian militants and a Ukrainian former boxer withdraws from the presidential race.

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Haitian Protesters Demand President’s Resignation
Thousands of protesters rallied on the streets of the Haitian capital Port-Au-Prince over the weekend, calling for the resignation of president Michel Martelly.

Violence in Darfur
The United Nations and the African Union have voiced increasing concern over recent violence in South Sudan’s Darfur region.

Spanish Journalists Held in Syria Freed
Two Spanish journalists who were kidnapped 6 months ago by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have returned to Spain where they were finally reunited with their families.

Former Boxer Withdraws from Presidential Race, Endorses Billionaire
Former heavyweight boxer Vitaliy Klitschko has announced that he is withdrawing from the Ukrainian presidential elections.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 28, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: YouTube blocked in Turkey, peace deal in the Philippines, miners protest in Peru and Israeli partiers arrested in Peru.

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YouTube Blocked in Turkey
Turkish authorities have blocked access to Youtube following a video posted to the site by an anonymous account that appears to contain audio recordings of top government officials discussing potential military strikes in Syria.

Philippines Signs Peace Deal with Muslim Rebels
The Philippines and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group just signed a historic peace agreement after 17 years of negotiations.

Thousands of Miners Protest in Peru
Thousands of small-scale miners in Peru blocked roads around the country and in the capital during protests that left one person dead and a dozen injured.

Israeli Tourists Arrested for Partying on Ancient Site
Elsewhere in Peru, 60 mostly Israeli tourists have been arrested for vandalism, illegal drugs and alcohol on an ancient site outside of Cusco.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 26, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: France’s far right party, Russia’s space program, Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and Syria’s space program.

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France’s Far Right Party Wins A Socialist Stronghold
France’s anti-immigrant National Front party just won an election in Henin-Beaumont — an industrial town that used to be a stronghold of the Socialist party.

Sanctions Impacting Russia’s Space Program
The recent tensions between Moscow and Washington could hinder the US-Russian Space collaboration, affecting NASA’s future role in Space. Read the article on VICE News: https://news.vice.com/articles/how-to-screw-your-partner-in-space

Attacks Highlight Afghanistan’s Fragile Security
The Taliban killed at least six people and left dozens wounded in three separate attacks in Afghanistan, just 10 days before the general elections are set to take place. Read the Article on VICE News: https://news.vice.com/articles/taliban-intensifies-attacks-ahead-of-afghan-election

Syrian Government Announces Space Agency
In spite of a civil war that has torn its country apart for more than three years, the Syrian government has announced plans to start its own Space agency.

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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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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 17, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: rebel groups in Syria, hydro electricity in Pakistan, Nazi stolen art and Fukushima clean up workers protest.

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Rebel Groups in Northern Syria
Almost every other rebel group is now fighting ISIS. Things are finally looking up for Syrian Revolutionary front – an alliance of rebel groups who are chasing ISIS out of northwest Syria.

Pakistani Kashmir Uses Water to Solve Energy Crisis
Hundreds of families in Pakistani Kashmir are setting up small-scale hydro electricity projects to deal with the country’s energy crisis.

France Returns Nazi Stolen Art
France’s Culture Minister returned three paintings stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners.

Fukushima Protesters on Poor Working Conditions
Roughly one-hundred workers who helped to clean up the Fukushima nuclear plant staged a protest over low pay and dangerous conditions.

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Syria: The Long War (Dispatch One)

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The Syrian revolution just turned three years old, but for the past year things haven’t looked good for the rebels. Attacked from behind by the renegade Al Qaeda splinter group the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, and from in front by a resurgent regime, Syria’s moderate revolutionaries have been on a losing streak.

But since the New Year, everything’s changed, at least in the rebel-held north. ISIS is now fighting every other armed group in the country, and is abandoning its former strongholds all across northern Syria. A VICE News crew, the first western journalists in northwest Syria for months, has embedded with Syrian rebels fighting ISIS, and is following their rapid advance across Idlib province, until yesterday an ISIS stronghold. This is the only footage to come from the Syrian war’s most recent and least understood turning point.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 10, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Libya threatens to bomb an oil tanker, Serbian Chetniks in Crimea, elections in Syria and immigration detainees on a hunger strike.

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Libya Threatens to Bomb a North Korea-flagged Tanker
Libya’s prime minister Ali Zeidan has threatened to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker if it tries to export oil from a rebel-controlled port.

Serbian Chetniks are in Crimea Supporting Russia
Veterans from the Serbian War – who have experience fighting in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo – are now in Crimea supporting the Russian effort to annex Crimea.

Syria Getting Ready to Re-Elect Bashar al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is getting ready to be re-elected as the Syrian Civil War continues around him for its third year.

Hundreds of Immigration Detainees are on Hunger Strike
US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement confirmed that at least
550 detainees at the Northwest Detention Center are on a hunger strike.

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Kerry Goes Full Retard: “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext […]”

The US Secretary of State spoke today of the unacceptability of invading a sovereign country on phony pretexts in order to assert one’s own interests in the 21st century. But no, he was not speaking about the United States, as one might have thought.

“You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests,” John Kerry said during an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th century behaviour in the 21st century.”

Kerry has also threatened to isolate Russia economically and politically and warned of potential asset freezes and visa bans, adding to media and political hype that followed Russia authorization of sending a stabilization force in Crimea on official request from the authorities.

“There could be certainly disruption of any of the normal trade routine, there could be business drawback on investment in the country,” he said. “There could even be ultimately asset freezes, visa bans.”

Although Kerry was never challenged by the interviewer to comment in terms of that statement on Washington’s own constant threats to use force and military invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, those who watched the interview immediately smelled the hypocrisy.

“Since when does the United States government genuinely subscribe and defend the concept of sovereignty and territorial integrity? They certainly are not doing that at the moment in Syria,” Marcus Papadopoulos, commentator for ‘Politics First’ told RT. “They certainly did not do that when they attacked Libya. They certainly didn’t do that when they invaded Iraq. They certainly didn’t do that when they attacked Serbia over Kosovo and then later on recognized Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. The United States government merely pays lip service to sovereignty and territorial integrity, it picks and choses.”

Since the crisis in Ukraine escalated to a point where the lives of the Russian speaking population of Ukraine has become threatened, Kerry’s reaction comes, some believe, as the most ridiculous thus far, taking into account US own history of military actions all over the globe.

Source: http://rt.com/news/kerry-russia-us-pretext-494/

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Chemical Disarmament Inspectors Cross into Syria

The team of some 20 international inspectors who have been issued the task to ensure that Syria chemical weapons are destroyed have crossed the border into the country.

Source: http://rt.com/news/syria-inspectors-chemical-disarmament-588/

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UN Chemical Team Arrives in Syria to Finish Investigation

UN inspectors have returned to Syria to continue investigating several cases of alleged chemical attacks in a follow-up to their previous report, which prompted the international community to draw radically different conclusions.

Source: http://on.rt.com/c70u2a

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We Should be more Vigilant about US Military Adventures and Private Mercenaries

The normalization of violence by the United States in places like Syria or Iraq translates into a normalized violence that exists in the United States, independent geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser told RT.

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