Ann Coulter Is “Not Going To Complain” Trump Shut Down The Government Over Immigration (HBO)

In 2015, Bill Maher’s audience erupted in laughter when Ann Coulter predicted that Donald Trump would win the 2016 general election. Coulter would become one of Trump’s biggest supporters, writing a book subtly titled In Trump We Trust, and calling the president an “emperor god.” But that was then.

In December, Coulter unloaded on Trump, branding him a “gutless president” and “a vulgar publicity hound.” Within hours, the president’s Twitter follower count conspicuously went from 46 to 45.

He unfollowed Coulter.

“If you had promised to build a wall every single day for 18 months of your winning campaign — the day after your election wouldn’t you have started meeting with, you know, members of — of the Seabees, and — and military types, and allies in Congress to figure out how to get it going so that the day you’re sworn in you’d be down at the border, you’d be talkin’ to the rebar guys, and start building the wall?,” Coulter told VICE News. “Well, Trump didn’t do that.”

With the government shutdown now in its 24th day — and with criticism mounting even from his own party — President Trump has been immoveable on the border wall, after having previously softened on his demand for $5 billion in funding.

“It is self-preservation,” Coulter said. “Because he is dead in the water if he doesn’t build that wall. Dead, dead, dead. Dead.”

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Federal Workers Tell Us How It Feels To Be Shut Down (HBO)

The president’s chief economic adviser is trying to spin the government shutdown as a kind of extended Christmas vacation for federal workers.

“Huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days, say between Christmas and New Year’s. And then we have a shutdown and so they can’t go to work, and so then they have the vacation. But they don’t have to use their vacation days,” Kevin Hassett said in a January 10th interview with PBS NewsHour. “And then they come back. And they get their back pay. Then they’re, in some sense, they’re better off.”

But not all government employees are home on furloughs. Many are still in the office, working without pay. Some expect to receive back pay when the government reopens. But many government workers, like contractors, don’t expect back pay.

Charities in the U.S. are now organizing food donations specifically for people impacted by the shutdown.

On January 12th in the Washington, D.C. area, Capitol Area Food Bank set up five locations where government workers could collect food boxes and produce. At one location, more than four hundred people lined up to pick up food.

VICE News asked some of them to what it feels like to be shut down.

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This Is Why Teachers In Los Angeles Are On Strike (HBO)

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest public school system in the United States, there are fewer than 400 nurses serving over a thousand schools distributed across roughly 900 campuses. That means many schools have a nurse on-site only once a week.

“We have no confidentiality in many of our offices,” said Stephanie Yellin-Mednick, a school nurse in the San Fernando Valley. “At one of our schools, the nurse works in a hallway. Or under the stairwell. A closet.” This makes it impossible for nurses to perform basic duties like helping students cope with possible pregnancies, neglect, or child abuse. “It’s very difficult to deal with child abuse when you have an office full, to try to close the door to talk to a child — let alone if you don’t have a door,” Yellin-Mednick said.

Yellin-Mednick is one of more than 30,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles who walked off the job on Monday to demand better funding for LA’s public schools. In addition to more nurses, counselors, and librarians, UTLA is asking for better pay and smaller class sizes, along with several non-economic demands such as stronger regulations for charter schools.

The school district says meeting all of these demands would force it into bankruptcy, and while it has offered some improvements in funding, UTLA has rejected them as insufficient.

The walkout in L.A. is the latest in a wave of teachers’ strikes across the country. But whereas most of last year’s strikes hit Republican-controlled states, this one is taking place in the largest city in one of the bluest states of all.

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This Is Why Teachers In Los Angeles Are On Strike (HBO)

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest public school system in the United States, there are fewer than 400 nurses serving over a thousand schools distributed across roughly 900 campuses. That means many schools have a nurse on-site only once a week.

“We have no confidentiality in many of our offices,” said Stephanie Yellin-Mednick, a school nurse in the San Fernando Valley. “At one of our schools, the nurse works in a hallway. Or under the stairwell. A closet.” This makes it impossible for nurses to perform basic duties like helping students cope with possible pregnancies, neglect, or child abuse. “It’s very difficult to deal with child abuse when you have an office full, to try to close the door to talk to a child — let alone if you don’t have a door,” Yellin-Mednick said.

Yellin-Mednick is one of more than 30,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles who walked off the job on Monday to demand better funding for LA’s public schools. In addition to more nurses, counselors, and librarians, UTLA is asking for better pay and smaller class sizes, along with several non-economic demands such as stronger regulations for charter schools.

The school district says meeting all of these demands would force it into bankruptcy, and while it has offered some improvements in funding, UTLA has rejected them as insufficient.

The walkout in L.A. is the latest in a wave of teachers’ strikes across the country. But whereas most of last year’s strikes hit Republican-controlled states, this one is taking place in the largest city in one of the bluest states of all.

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Air Traffic Controllers Swarm The Capitol To Demand The Government Reopen (HBO)

VICE News takes a look at shutdown’s impact on air traffic controllers.

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This Mexican Border City Thinks Trump’s Wall Will Be Useless (HBO)

As Trump visits McAllen on Thursday. VICE News gets the perspectives of communities in McAllen’s sister city, Reynosa.

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Meet Nyango Star: The Heavy Metal Cat Mascot Saving A Japanese Farm (HBO)

Nyango Star is one of Japan’s most popular mascots, but you might know him best as a meme.

He’s an apple that’s been inhabited by the spirit of a dead cat, and he absolutely shreds on the drums. Very cute but also very metal.

Nyango Star is what’s known in Japan as a yuru-chara — which translates loosely to “chill mascot.”

Japanese yuru-chara can represent everything from police departments to restaurants to government initiatives.

Nyango Star represents Kuroishi City — a farming community in Japan’s northern prefecture of Aomori — where the population is declining and aging. But Kuroishi’s mayor is hoping Nyango Star’s viral success will help the shrinking town maintain economic viability.

VICE News went to Japan to meet with Nyango Star and his management team and get an inside look at yuru-chara culture in Japan.

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This Activist Kept Watch Over Trump’s Camp For Immigrant Kids. Now, It’s Closing. (HBO)

Since June 2018, The Department of Health and Human Services and a private contractor called BCFS have operated a massive tent city on the edge of Tornillo, a little town on the Texas-Mexico border. Officially, it’s a migrant youth shelter for unaccompanied minors ages 13-17 who made unauthorized crossings into the U.S. Unofficially, it’s a prison for kids.

But whatever you call it, its operations have been highly secretive.

The federal government has released so little information about what goes on inside Tornillo that the best insight into the camp is a guy who has been standing watching outside its gates.

Josh Rubin is that guy. The 66-year-old New Yorker moved to Texas to protest and publicize what was happening at Tornillo. After spending three months there, Josh is going home.

In late December, weeks after it was revealed that BCFS had been neglecting to run required fingerprint checks on workers, HHS announced that it would not be renewing the Tornillo contract, And now is starting the camp down. VICE News has learned that Tornillo is housing just 850 children down from over 2800 it held at its height.

According to Josh, “There’s a reason for being out here in the middle of nowhere. They don’t want us to see. They didn’t want us to see what we saw. And now they’re closing it down.”

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The Last Days of Death Row Inmate Scott Dozier | VICE on HBO’s Original Report

“If you say you’re going to f***ing kill someone, you should f***king kill them.”

Last weekend, death row inmate Scott Dozier apparently decided he was done waiting for Nevada to kill him: Prison officials found him hanging from a bed sheet in his cell.

In 2018, Dozier was set to become the first person in the U.S. executed with fentanyl. Then his execution was postponed. Gianna Toboni reported on the case for VICE on HBO.

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We Spoke To Death Row Inmate Scott Dozier Weeks Before His Apparent Suicide (HBO)

Scott Dozier was ready to die. Not only did the Nevada death row inmate give up appealing his 2007 death sentence for the murder of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller, but Dozier had no reservations about the possibility of becoming the first person to be executed in the United States with the opioid fentanyl.

Dozier’s circumstances made him one of the country’s best-known inhabitants of death row, as more and more pharmaceutical companies refuse to let states use their products in lethal injections and force them to scramble for substitutes, like fentanyl. But this weekend, Dozier apparently decided he was done waiting for Nevada to kill him: Prison officials found him hanging from a bed sheet, tied to an air vent in his solo cell on Saturday. They pronounced him dead at 4:35 p.m.

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