Ukrainians Build a Militia: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 16)

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The day after Crimea’s controversial referendum, in which 97 percent of the peninsula’s population supposedly voted to join the Russian Federation, Ukraine’s newly-formed National Guard began training in anticipation of further Russian aggression.

Against the backdrop of exploding RPGs, the crackling of heavy machine guns, and the rumbling cannons of the BTRs, Ukrainian officials and the international media got a first look at the ragtag civilian force that could be on the front lines of the new cold war.

Start from the beginning and watch Dispatch 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNKsLlK52ss&list=PLw613M86o5o5zqF6WJR8zuC7Uwyv76h7R&index=2

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 20, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Venezuela’s human rights issue, sex trade in Kenya, protests in Taiwan and 16,000 Islamists detained in Egypt.

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Vigils Across Latin America for Venezuela
Hundreds of people across Latin America joined a worldwide vigil to protest alleged human rights violations in Venezuela.

Teach A Woman To Fish
Fishermen in Kisumu, Kenya say women often have sex with fishermen to get the best catch of the day, especially if they come from poverty-stricken communities.

Taiwanese Students Storm Government Building
Hundreds of student protesters stormed Taiwan’s legislature to voice opposition to a trade pact with China.

16,000 Islamists Jailed in Egypt
16,000 Islamists – supporters of political Islam – were detained in Egypt over an 8-month period that’s being described as the country’s largest arrest of its kind in decades.

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War in the Central African Republic: Part 1/5 (Documentary)

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The Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui has seen its Muslim population drop from 130,000 to under 1000 over the past few months. Over the past year, thousands across CAR have been killed and nearly a million have been displaced. The United Nations recently stated that the entire Western half of the country has now been cleansed of Muslims.

CAR has never fully recovered from France’s colonial rule, and it has only known ten years of a civilian government – from 1993 to 2003 – since achieving independence in 1960. Coup after coup, often with French military involvement, has led many to refer to the country as a phantom state. The current conflict has now completely erased the rule of law and order, and left the UN and international community looking confused and impotent.

In March 2013, the Séléka, a mostly Muslim rebel alliance, rose up and overthrew the corrupt government of François Bozizé, while bringing terror and chaos across the country – pillaging, killing and raping with impunity. In response, mostly Christian self-defense forces, called the anti-balaka, formed to defend CAR against Séléka attacks.

Clashes grew more frequent throughout 2013 as the Séléka grew more ruthless. In December 2013, French and African troops went in to disarm the Séléka and staunch the bloodshed. The anti-balaka, seizing on a weakened Séléka, then went on the offensive.

CAR had no real history of religious violence, and the current conflict is not based on any religious ideology. The fighting, however, turned increasingly sectarian in the fall of 2013, with revenge killings becoming the norm. And as the Séléka’s power waned, the anti-balaka fed their need for revenge by brutalizing Muslim civilians.

“Too few peacekeepers were deployed too late; the challenge of disarming the Séléka, containing the anti-balaka, and protecting the Muslim minority was underestimated,” Human Rights Watch said in a recent statement.

The bloodshed has not stopped. The UN is still debating whether or not to send peacekeepers. Even if a peacekeeping operation is approved, it will take six months for troops to be assembled.

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Crimean Crisis Takes Its First Life: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 15)

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Just a few days after Crimeans overwhelmingly voted in a referendum to join Russia, the crisis across the peninsula has taken its first life. In dispatch 15, VICE News’ Simon Ostrovsky attends the funeral of the young Tatar man whose body was found this week after he was beaten by Cossacks. Despite this death, residents across Crimea are hopeful that joining Russia will bring them a brighter future.

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Start from the beginning and watch Dispatch 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNKsLlK52ss&list=PLw613M86o5o5zqF6WJR8zuC7Uwyv76h7R&index=2

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Immigrant America: The High Cost of Deporting Parents

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As Barack Obama considers ways to enforce immigration laws “more humanely,” VICE News travels to Guatemala to meet a deportee named Ray Jesus, who lives apart from his American wife and 5 American children. When Ray lived in the U.S., he was the family’s breadwinner. Now they rely on welfare to get by. It turns out that deporting parents costs much more than the price of a one-way ticket home.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 19, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: North Korea’s crimes against humanity, the Street Child World Cup, Greenpeace activists arrested and 220 migrants detained in Thailand.

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Kim Jong-Un to be Liable for Crimes, Eventually
UN investigators will begin pressing for North Korea to be held liable for crimes against humanity, as documented in a UN report in February.

Street Child World Cup in Brazil
The Street Child World Cup is set to begin in Brazil next week, giving homeless kids a chance to play each other in an international tournament.

Greenpeace Activists Break into Nuclear Power Plant
20 Greenpeace activists were arrested after breaking into the Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant in eastern France.

Authorities Detain 220 Migrants Hiding in a Jungle Camp
Thai authorities detained 200 migrants they believe are victims of a human trafficking ring.

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VICE on HBO Debrief: Afghan Money Pit

Shane Smith visited Afghanistan to see just how $100 billion of US funds have been put to use. This is his debrief from Season 2 Episode 1 of VICE on HBO.

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VICE on HBO Debrief: The Pacification of Rio

Ben Anderson went to Rio and reported on the efforts the city is taking to reduce its crime rate ahead of the World Cup and the Olympics. This is his debrief from Season 2 Episode 1 of VICE on HBO.

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The Day Crimea Rejoined Russia: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 14)

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The day after Crimea’s referendum, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky tried to figure out what country he’s in, and what – if anything – has changed.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 18, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Myanmar’s war on opium, the Taliban destroyed Pakistan’s silk industry, the UK pulls out of Afghanistan and serious starvation risk among Syrian refugee children.

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Myanmar Opium Fight Failing
Despite Myanmar’s attempts to eradicate the farming of opium poppies, production is picking up again.

Pakistani Taliban Destroys Silk Industry
The silk industry in northwest Pakistan’s Swat Valley collapsed when the Taliban took control of the area. Five years later, the industry hasn’t bounced back, leaving thousands unemployed.

Britain Pulls Troops Out Of Afghanistan
British troops have pulled out of all but one frontline outpost, marking one of the last steps of its 13-year mission in Afghanistan.

Severe Starvation Risk Among Syrian Children
About 10,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are suffering from severe malnutrition.

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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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Meet the Crimeans Who Voted to Join Russia: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 13)

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Some people might say that two weeks isn’t enough time to prepare for referendum to separating from the country that you’ve been a part of for the last 70 years. But that’s not what a reported 95.5 percent of Crimeans think, according to the official vote count. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky visits the polling stations in Simferopol, including predominantly Tartar areas where the pro-Russian fervor is seemingly absent.

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Funeral For Former Ukrainian Nationalist Party Press Secretary: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 12)

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On March 13, two people were killed during clashes between pro-Russian & pro-Ukraine groups in the eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk. Two days later, friends and family gathered for the funeral of Dmytro Cherniavsky — a former press secretary for the Ukrainian Nationalist party, Svoboda.

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Russian Commandos Attempt to Intimidate Press: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 11)

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Russian commandos stormed the Moskva Hotel in Simferopol, and nobody really knows why. It was the eve of the referendum and the hotel is where many of the international journalists covering the situation in Crimea are staying. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky tries to figure out if the troops were sent on a manhunt, or on a mission to intimidate members of the press.

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Ukraine: Defending the Homeland

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Last week the Ukrainian government announced the formation of the National Guard, after it was revealed that the army only had 6,000 combat ready troops compared to Russia’s 200,000. The volunteer force will bolster the under-strength military and protect Ukraine’s borders after Crimea having been effectively annexed and Russian forces now building up along Ukraine’s eastern border.

The first to answer the call were the self defense groups who fought on the barricades during last month’s revolution. So we headed down to the Maidan to hopefully tag along with them to the training grounds outside of Kiev for their induction day.

Check out all of our Ukraine coverage here: https://news.vice.com/topic/ukraine

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Ukranian Troops Speak Out: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 10)

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As the whole world waits to see what impact the referendum has on Crimea, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky spends time with new recruits of the Crimean Self Defense Army.

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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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Permanently Temporary: The Truth About Temp Labor (Full Length)

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Temp labor is one of the fastest growing industries in the US. Increasingly, temp workers are part of a business strategy to keep costs down and profits high. From mega-retailers to mom-and-pop shops, temps are hired to do some of the hardest and most dangerous jobs. While more and more of the American workforce is comprised of temporary workers, they’re largely hidden from public view. Many of these workers stay silent, often having their livelihoods threatened if they speak out. Wanting to get a glimpse of this invisible workforce, VICE News traveled across the country, scouring warehouses, temp agencies, and temp towns in search of the people, who make our world of same day delivery possible.

For more from VICE News on the plight of temp labor in the US, read “A Modern Day Harvest of Shame” here: https://news.vice.com/articles/the-modern-day-harvest-of-shame

This story was developed in collaboration with reporting by Propublica — http://www.propublica.org/series/temp-land.

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Protests in Turkey: Dispatch 2

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On March 12th more than 100,000 people gathered in Istanbul to march in a funeral procession for a teenage boy killed by a police tear gas canister. The burial itself was peaceful, but, as night fell, violent clashes between police and groups of protesters broke out across the city. The latest unrest has raised tensions in a deeply divided society ahead of local elections scheduled for later this month.

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Protest Turns Fatal: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 9)

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With Crimea’s referendum quickly approaching, tension has spread across Ukraine, especially in the east. Before Thursday’s protests in Donetsk escalated into violence, VICE News correspondent Robert King interviewed pro-Russia and pro-Ukraine demonstrators about their opinions on the standoff.

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Free Derry: The IRA Drug War

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In February 2014, letter bombs were sent to nine British Military recruitment offices over the course of three days. Londonderry postmarks, a coded message sent to a Northern Irish newspaper, and security forces at Downing Street all pointed to the New IRA as the main suspects.

Last Summer, VICE News visited Derry and heard from Gary Donnelly – the most prominent dissident republican in Londonderry, accused of leading operations for the Real IRA – that these attacks on Britain were to be expected as part of “strategic attacks on high profile targets,” as “it’s England that’s occupying Ireland.”

In ‘Free Derry: The IRA Drug War’, VICE News investigate how, sixteen years after the Good Friday peace agreement and on the eve of the first major loyalist parade through the city in four years, dissident republican activity in Derry is increasing thanks to the merger of the Real IRA with anti-drugs vigilantes.

VICE News reporter Alex Miller speaks to members of the Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD), who formed the coalition with the Real IRA, and meets supporters as young as thirteen who are being armed with petrol bombs to combat criminal gangs and intervening police.

For the first time, Paul Stewart, a close friend of slain Dublin Real IRA leader Alan Ryan, speaks on camera about witnessing the murder, as well as sharing insights on Ryan’s war against drug dealers.

Miller also interviews the mother of Andrew Smith, a man who she says was murdered by the Real IRA despite no affiliation with drugs related crime, before hearing from a Derry ex-drug dealer who now claims that, if the New IRA didn’t fight drugs, “this town would be filled with ecstasy and rat poison and kids would be dying.”

VICE encounter a city where kneecappings and shootings are rife, walls are branded with anti-UK slogans, and where a policeman can scarcely walk down the street – according to Gary Donnelly – “without being killed”.

In “Free Derry: The IRA Drug War”, VICE unmask the farcical veneer of the UK’s ‘City of Culture’ 2013.

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Protests in Turkey: Dispatch 1

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On March 11th Berkin Elvin, a 15-year-old Turkish boy died after spending 269 days in a coma. The teenager had been buying bread in his neighborhood last June, when a tear gas canister struck his skull during a brutal police crackdown against citywide demonstrations.

As news of the boy’s death spread, Istanbul’s streets filled with mourners and protestors shouting anti-government slogans in a massive outpouring of grief and rage against police brutality and the increasingly authoritarian government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The demonstrations, which led to violent clashes with police were the largest and angriest protests seen in Turkey since last summer.

Click here to watch “Venezuela Rising: Dispatch One” now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U6OfjxTPPQ&list=PLw613M86o5o7JMOImqZ6tGwK7kkzufe0S&index=2

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Permanently Temporary: The Truth About Temp Labor (Part 5/5)

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Temp labor is one of the fastest growing industries in the US. Increasingly, temp workers are part of a business strategy to keep costs down and profits high. From mega-retailers to mom-and-pop shops, temps are hired to do some of the hardest and most dangerous jobs. While more and more of the American workforce is comprised of temporary workers, they’re largely hidden from public view. Many of these workers stay silent, often having their livelihoods threatened if they speak out. Wanting to get a glimpse of this invisible workforce, VICE News traveled across the country, scouring warehouses, temp agencies, and temp towns in search of the people, who make our world of same day delivery possible.

For more from VICE News on the plight of temp labor in the US, read “A Modern Day Harvest of Shame” here: https://news.vice.com/articles/the-modern-day-harvest-of-shame

This story was developed in collaboration with reporting by Propublica — http://www.propublica.org/series/temp-land.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 14, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Iran outlaws online dating, NSA used Facebook to fool you, drone deaths on the rise in Afghanistan and Yemen, and controversy over Pope Francis.

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Government Outlaw Dating Sites, Creates a Match-Making Agency
Iran’s Youth Affairs Ministry banned dating websites last week, saying it’s opposed to organizations that offer match-making for young single Iranians who can’t find partners.

NSA Used Facebook as a Trojan Horse to Spy on You
The NSA disguised itself as a fake Facebook server to infect targeted computers with malware, according to a leak from Edward Snowden’s files.

Drone Deaths Rise in Afghanistan and Yemen
A UN report says civilian deaths from drone strikes are on the rise in Afghanistan and Yemen.

Controversy Over Pope Francis’s Role in Argentinean Sex Abuse
A report published yesterday, coming on the one-year anniversary of the election of Pope Francis as leader of the Catholic Church, describes the role he played during the sex abuse scandal in Argentina while he was archbishop.

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