Tag: VICE News Tonight

No One Knows How Theresa May Has Survived Brexit This Long (HBO)



After more than two years of negotiating Brexit, the British Parliament still has absolutely no idea what it wants.

On Wednesday lawmakers in London backed an amended motion to take a “no deal” Brexit off the table. Prime Minister Theresa May had hoped to retain control of the Brexit process by keeping “no deal” as an option, but she suffered yet another humiliation as members of her own party — including some of her Cabinet — openly defied her and voted for the motion.

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After Jussie Smollett, Politicians May Stop Tweeting For Free Woke Points (HBO)



When Empire actor Jussie Smollett said last month that he’d been the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime, a lot of politicians immediately tweeted out their support of the actor.

Particularly for Democrats, the story of Smollett being attacked by two white men who put a noose around his neck, called him racist and homophobic slurs, and hailed “MAGA country” was a perfect encapsulation of the Trump-influenced hatred they stood against, and an opportunity to reiterate their own values.

Over the past few years, politicians, both liberal and conservative, have used public outrage tweets as a low-effort way to play to their base.

But that strategy may no longer be viewed as a safe one.

Thursday morning, Smollett turned himself in to Chicago police, who say he orchestrated the whole thing, and filed a false police report. In Illinois, this is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. Smollett’s lawyers maintain his innocence.

Donald Trump, who initially showed sympathy for Smollett, saying that the alleged attack was “horrible” and “doesn’t get worse”, has now gone on the offensive, tweeting that Smollett had insulted “tens of millions of people” with “racist and dangerous comments.”

But pivoting hasn’t been so easy for Democrats who had tweeted support for Smollett, and many have begun to walk back their statements. Right-wing commentators have had a field day bashing initial supporters such as Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris, who tweeted that the alleged attack was a “modern day lynching,” and Nancy Pelosi, who called it an “affront to our humanity” (Pelosi has since deleted her tweet).

Despite clear evidence that hate crimes are on the rise, conservative commentators often insist that reports of hate crimes are either exaggerated or false.

For them, this incident has been a lucky break.

Smollett has not been found guilty of anything, and it is entirely possible that he will be exonerated. But the doubt surrounding this case doesn’t only affect Democrats — it will likely have serious implications for politics in general.

In recent years, victims of hate crimes could often count on politicians to publicly support them. For the politician, it may have been a selfish PR move, but it did have the positive effect of helping to put those issues into the national conversation.

But after Jussie Smollett’s arrest, politicians will likely be much more reluctant to step forward and support movements for social justice.

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This School District In Texas May Create Its Own Police Force (HBO)



JJ Strong has been a cop at Round Rock High, near Austin, for the past four years. His job involves roaming the halls on the lookout for kids causing trouble, whether it be getting in fights, smoking weed, or just generally being up to no good. And all the while, he’s constantly thinking about what he’d do if someone burst into the school with a gun.

“That’s always in the back of your mind,” Strong told VICE News, during his rounds one day last month. “Because if you’re not prepared, if you haven’t thought of a game plan, you’re not going to know what to do.”

In the year since the shooting at Parkland’s Stoneman Douglas High, schools around the country have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep their students safe. Some have installed hi-tech equipment and bulletproof windows. Others have encouraged their teachers to carry their own firearms. But the most fundamental aspect of school safety remains the most traditional: School police.

And now, some changes are coming.

Officer Strong is what’s known as a school resource officer, or SRO, a part of a program that dates to the 1950s, which has grown rapidly over the past few years. These days, it’s getting an overhaul: The Round Rock school district is among those considering trading their SRO program in for a self-contained, in-house police department, something 248 other districts in the state have already done — 34 in the last year alone.

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How Theresa May Survived The Threat Of Political Extinction (HBO)



British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a mutiny by members of her own Conservative party Wednesday — but the result brings her government no closer to fixing the turmoil over Brexit.

May comfortably won the no-confidence vote in her leadership triggered by Brexit hardliners, with 200 Conservative MPs voting in her support and 117 against.

But with more than one-third of her MPs voting against her, it underscored the significant opposition to her draft EU withdrawal deal within her party — and highlighted the battle she still faces to get the agreement approved by Parliament ahead of a fast approaching deadline.

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Nazis May Have Founded Sweden’s Rising Political Party (HBO)



Sweden’s far-right populists won their biggest ever share of the vote in Sunday’s general elections, underlining how immigration has reshaped politics even in one of Europe’s most tolerant democracies.

Although the Sweden Democrats largely set the agenda during the campaign, the far-right party made more modest gains than once feared, coming in third behind the two mainstream parties who are now scrambling to form the next government.

But while the populists may consider their 17.6 percent disappointing, after earlier polls had predicted they would finish in at least second place, analysts say the nationalist surge represents an alarming change in Sweden’s political landscape.

The populist party still won their largest ever share of the vote – up from 12.9 percent in 2014 – and successfully shifted both mainstream parties closer to their position on key issues of immigration, integration and identity.

“The mainstream has certainly moved closer to their positions,” Matthew Goodwin, visiting senior fellow in the Europe programme at the Chatham House think tank told VICE News.

Both the governing center-left Social Democrats and the center-right Moderates recorded among their worst results in modern history, with the rival blocs led by both parties left in virtually a dead heat.

With nearly all votes counted Monday, the Social Democrats, together with their allies the Greens and the Left Party, had won 40.6 percent of the vote, while the opposition centre-right Alliance was on 40.3 percent. With overseas votes yet to be counted, the center-left bloc holds 144 seats, and the center-right 143.

The country now faces weeks of uncertainty as both blocs engage in frantic horse-trading to try to form the next government.

Both of the main blocs have said they will not work with the Sweden Democrats, a party with roots in fascism and neo-Nazism, as part of a tactic to isolate the group and its populist politics.

The far-right party commanded strong polling numbers during the campaign as it hammered home its core issues of immigration, crime and integration to a voting public anxious over the arrival of 163,000 asylum seekers during the height of the migration crisis.

But after surging to first-equal in polls in mid-July, support for the populists slackened in recent weeks, as other issues gained attention — including climate change, following a summer of record high temperatures and raging wildfires.

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