VICE Newshttps://news.vice.com/en_usRSS feed for https://news.vice.comenTue, 11 Dec 2018 17:28:23 +0000<![CDATA[The charges against a Brooklyn mom arrested at a food stamps office were dropped, but she’s still in jail]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/ev3q87/the-charges-against-a-brooklyn-mom-arrested-at-a-food-stamps-office-were-dropped-but-shes-still-in-jailTue, 11 Dec 2018 17:28:23 +0000 Jazmine Headley, the 23-year-old mother who was brutally arrested in a Brooklyn public services office as she clutched her one-year-old son, is still in jail at Rikers Island, five days after her arrest, according to online corrections records. And even though the Brooklyn District Attorney dropped the related charges against Headley on Tuesday, it’s still unclear when she’ll be released.

On Friday, at least seven New York City police officers tried to rip Headley’s son from her arms as she lay on the floor of a Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn, a facility for food stamp and voucher collection. At the time, she was sitting on the floor because there were no chairs available in the crowded office, where she had been waiting for hours. She was told she had to stand and grew upset, prompting a security guard at the facility to call the police. A bystander filmed the arrest, and the video quickly went viral. Almost immediately, agencies and top officials across the city began calling for a review of the incident and for the resulting charges against her to be dropped completely. The Brooklyn NAACP has also called for her immediate release.

According to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Headley is still in custody because of an outstanding warrant from Mercer County, New Jersey. The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office did not immediately return a VICE News request for comment on what that warrant concerns.

“Like everyone who watched the arrest of Jazmine Headley, I was horrified by the violence depicted in the video and immediately opened an investigation into this case,” Brooklyn’s District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement posted to Twitter. “It is clear to me that the incident should have been handled differently.”

The New York Police Department called the video of Headley’s Friday arrest “troubling” in a statement to VICE News, and New York’s Attorney General-elect Letitia James said the NYPD’s actions were “appalling and contemptible.” New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson also called the incident “unacceptable, appalling, and heart breaking.”



New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that Headley should “be reunited with her child as soon as possible.”


Scott Hechinger, attorney and director of policy at Brooklyn Defender Services, which is representing Headley, wrote on Twitter that attorneys have filed an emergency writ to demand her immediate release. A GoFundMe to cover her child care, organized by Brooklyn Defender Services, has since raised nearly $8,000.

Cover screenshot via Facebook

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ev3q87Emma OckermanPolicingJazmine Headleyfood stamps arresthuman resources administrationbrooklyn mother arrestnypd arrest video
<![CDATA[Jury recommends Charlottesville neo-Nazi James Fields be sentenced to life in prison]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/mbyx44/charlottesville-neo-nazi-james-fields-has-been-sentenced-to-life-in-prisonTue, 11 Dec 2018 17:26:57 +0000Correction 12/11 12:32 p.m.: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Judge Richard Moore handed down a life sentence to James Alex Fields. The text has been updated.

James Alex Fields, the young neo-Nazi convicted of first-degree murder for killing Heather Heyer during last year’s violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

After about four hours of deliberating, a jury on Tuesday returned their sentencing recommendations to Circuit Court Judge Richard Moore, who will now decide Fields’ fate. Jurors recommended life in prison and an additional 419 years and fines of $480,000. Judges in Virginia often accept jury's recommendations, and Moore said he'll hold a sentencing hearing for Fields on March 19.

Jurors on Monday heard more emotional testimony from people who were physically and psychologically impacted when Fields, now 21, accelerated into a crowd of protesters in downtown Charlottesville, sending bodies flying, before reversing, hitting bodies again, and speeding off.

Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, also read her victim impact statement on Monday, according to reporters in the courtroom. "Heather was full of love, justice, and fairness,” Buzzfeed reported Bro saying about her daughter, who was 32 when she was killed. “Mr. Fields tried to silence her. I refuse to allow that. I'm the type of mom where if you mess with my kid on the playground, it's on."

On Friday, the same jury found Fields, who drove from Maumee, Ohio, to attend Unite the Right, guilty on all charges, which in addition to first-degree murder included multiple counts of aggravated malicious wounding and felonious assault.

The first-degree murder charge, by itself, carried a prison sentence of 20 years to life in prison. The cumulative minimum sentence of all ten charges he was convicted on was 136 years.

Separately, Fields is also facing 29 counts of federal hate crime charges, and prosecutors have not ruled out seeking the death penalty if he is convicted.

Cover image: This undated file photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr. (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP, File)

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mbyx44Tess OwenVICE NewsmurderOHIOHate CrimeJudgetrialjuryNazilife sentencewhite nationalistCharlottesvilleheather heyerJames Alex Fields Jr.Vanguard America
<![CDATA[Vermont man takes revenge on town board with a 700-pound statue of a middle finger]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/pa5xvz/vermont-man-takes-revenge-on-town-board-with-a-700-pound-statue-of-a-middle-fingerTue, 11 Dec 2018 16:21:58 +0000A Vermont man was so incensed by his town's zoning regulations that he erected a 700-pound statue giving officials the middle finger — and lit it with floodlights so they would always be reminded of his feelings toward them.

Ted Pelkey’s decade-long feud with local officials reached spiteful new heights Nov. 30, when he installed the statue on a high pole in his front yard, along Route 128, after his request to relocate his monofilament cleaning and truck repair business from a nearby town to his own property was denied. Pelkey said officials won’t let him build the garage simply because they don’t like him, and he thought a middle finger was just the right response.

“We wanted to show our appreciation,” Pelkey told VICE News.

The Westford Selectboard and Development Review Board had denied Pelkey’s requests for the large garage, asserting that his applications did not meet the town’s standards for a variety of reasons. Among them, Pelkey’s application lacked necessary information about lighting that will “likely be needed for security purposes,” and did not effectively describe the purpose of the building, officials said.

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But while Pelkey couldn’t legally build a garage, he does have the legal right to flip off town officials for all eternity. Though billboards are banned in Vermont, Pelkey’s middle finger is protected because it isn’t advertising a business or service. Furthermore, the middle finger is a gesture that is generally protected by the First Amendment, so Pelkey’s $4,000 statue seems to fall under the category of “public art.”

“He apparently can do what he’s done,” Allison Hope, chair of the Westford Selectboard, told the Burlington Free Press.

As it turns out, even though billboards are banned advertisements in Vermont, the middle finger has gotten more attention for Pelkey’s business than any roadside sign ever would have. Twitter users have expressed a growing admiration for his pettiness, and there’s even a Facebook fan page for Pelkey’s wooden finger statue.

Pelkey’s attorney appealed the board’s decision several weeks ago and is awaiting a decision, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Images courtesy of Ted Pelkey

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pa5xvzRex Santusweird newsfree speechzoningthe flying birdvermont manvermont middle fingertown boardmiddle finger sign
<![CDATA[Masha Gessen talks about Trump's strange fascination with Putin]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/wj34x9/masha-gessen-talks-about-trumps-strange-fascination-with-putinTue, 11 Dec 2018 15:18:33 +0000A series of filings on Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn suggest special counsel Robert Mueller is closing in on President Donald Trump's inner circle.

At least 14 Trump associates lied about their contacts with Russian officials, according to a Washington Post investigation — including Cohen, who continued negotiations to build Trump Tower Moscow well into the 2016 campaign, months after he told Congress, under oath, that talks had ended. This stands in stark contrast to what the president has said about his involvement.

It's clear that the Trump campaign's ties to Russia are still front and center for Mueller, so VICE News sat down with Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin to talk about the strange relationship between the two world leaders — and the disintegrating relationship between the two countries.

"Trump very much wants to be liked by Putin and I think sincerely admires him," Gessen said. "Putin doesn't know how to deal with somebody who positions himself like that."

This segment originally aired November 29, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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wj34x9Valerie KipnisVICE NewsVladimir PutinDonald TrumpVice News TonightG20 summitmasha gessenVICE News Tonight on HBO
<![CDATA[NASA’s Voyager 2 just became the second human-made object to enter interstellar space ever]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/gy7mmw/nasas-voyager-2-just-became-the-second-human-made-object-to-enter-interstellar-space-everTue, 11 Dec 2018 15:14:48 +0000 NASA’s Voyager 2 spent the better part of the last 40 years making its way through the heliosphere to become the second human-made object in history to enter interstellar space, the government agency announced Monday.

The probe crossed the outer edge of the heliosphere, also known as the heliopause, which acts as a transition zone to interstellar space, on November 5. It’s now about 11 billion miles from Earth.

Voyager 1 managed the same feat in 2012, but its instrument to detect plasma particles had been busted some time during its travel in the 1980s. Voyager 2, on the other hand, has been able to beam back the plasma data from its journey through the heliopause, displaying the interactions between solar and interstellar winds that its predecessor couldn’t.

Both probes launched in 1977, but Voyager 2, which launched first, is considered NASA’s longest-running mission.

“Our studies start at the Sun and extend out to everything the solar wind touches. To have the Voyagers sending back information about the edge of the Sun’s influence gives us an unprecedented glimpse of truly uncharted territory,” said Nicola Fox, director of the heliophysics division at NASA, in a news release.

However, Voyager 2 is still well within the solar system and would require another 300 years to reach the inner boundary of the Oort Cloud that currently defines the edge of the solar system, NASA said.

“I think we’re all happy and relieved that the Voyager probes have both operated long enough to make it past this milestone,” said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “This is what we've all been waiting for. Now we’re looking forward to what we’ll be able to learn from having both probes outside the heliopause.”

Cover image: An annotated image showing the various parts and instruments of NASA's Voyager space probe design. Voyager 1 and its identical sister craft Voyager 2 were launched in 1977 to to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space. (Photo by NASA/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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gy7mmwEmma OckermanSpacenasaVoyager 2Interstellar Spacesay it to me S.A.N.T.O.S.phish is a good band
<![CDATA[These may be the two most important sentences in Mueller’s memo about Cohen]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/7xydky/these-may-be-the-two-most-important-sentences-in-muellers-memo-about-cohenTue, 11 Dec 2018 14:12:29 +0000Michael Cohen is about to find out whether he’ll spend a long time in jail for telling a litany of lies over the last few years. And on his way down, he might take a few members of Trump’s White House with him.

Especially if they knew about, and helped coordinate, his lies to Congress — which is exactly what special counsel Robert Mueller’s last legal pronouncement about Cohen appears to suggest, former prosecutors told VICE News.

Two tersely-worded lines at the end of Cohen’s recent sentencing memo appear to signal Mueller may have information concerning others in Trump’s White House who were in the loop about Cohen’s misleading statements to Congress:

Third, Cohen provided relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017–2018 time period.

Fourth, Cohen described the circumstances of preparing and circulating his response to the congressional inquiries, while continuing to accept responsibility for the false statements contained within it.


“This very clearly suggests that people within the White House knew about and facilitated the false statements that were made to Congress,” said Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor based in Washington, D.C. “I don’t know what other conclusion you could reasonably take from Mueller’s team including that language.”

“This very clearly suggests that people within the White House knew about and facilitated the false statements that were made to Congress.”

While those two lines didn’t get as much attention from the press as other parts of Mueller’s memo when it was released Friday, they should spook anyone who spoke with Cohen about his testimony, legal experts said.

“That’s the money quote,” said Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who helped take down the mobster John Gotti.

READ: Mueller just pulled some of his key findings out of Trump’s grasp

Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday by a judge in New York for crimes including bank and tax fraud, and for falsely telling Congress that his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow ended months before they really did. The White House didn’t return an email from VICE News seeking comment.

HINTS OF CONSPIRACY

Mueller Cohen memo
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Former prosecutors took special note of Mueller’s careful language appearing to suggest Cohen’s lies may have resulted from a team effort. If anyone knowingly encouraged or helped along Cohen’s false statements to Congress, they could be charged with being part of a criminal conspiracy to commit perjury or obstruct justice, legal experts said.

Read: Mueller just drew a direct line between Trump’s business and the Kremlin

“Any experienced criminal lawyer would read that passage as meaning, ‘we are very seriously looking into charging someone with being in conspiracy with him [Cohen] regarding this perjury,” Cotter said.

Trump has blasted Cohen for lying, even though his own lawyers have claimed, confusingly, that Trump’s written statements to Mueller were essentially consistent with Cohen’s corrected testimony.

“He’s lying, very simply, to get a reduced sentence,” Trump said after Cohen’s latest guilty plea concerning his statements about Trump’s business in Russia was announced. “He’s lying about a project that everybody knew about it. I mean, we were very open with it. I decided ultimately not to do it. There would have been nothing wrong if I did do it.”

“They do not cast aspersions lightly.”

But Mueller’s team had a different take on Cohen’s credibility. After seven meetings with Cohen, they wrote that “the information he has provided has been credible and consistent with other evidence obtained in the [special counsel’s] ongoing investigation.”

Prosecutors usually take pains to avoid dropping misleading implications into their public court filings, said Cotter, who previously worked alongside Mueller’s top lieutenant, Andrew Weissmann, in the organized crime section of the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York.

“They do not cast aspersions lightly,” Cotter said. “They go out of their way not to give false impressions. So when you’re reading what they write, and there’s a strong suggestion of something, I’m inclined to think that’s not just puffery. They haven’t engaged in any puffery so far.”

Cover image: Attorney Michael Cohen talks to a reporters as he walks in New York, Wednesday, April 11, 2018.( AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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7xydkyGreg WaltersVICE NewsMichael CohenTrump Russia scandaltrump russiamanafort muellermueller michael cohentrump muellermichael cohen hearing
<![CDATA[Theresa May is locked in Brexit hell]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/bjep5a/theresa-may-is-locked-in-brexit-hellTue, 11 Dec 2018 14:12:01 +0000British Prime Minister Theresa May held meetings with European leaders Tuesday hoping to renegotiate a disastrous Brexit deal that the EU has already said is not open for renegotiation.

The head of the European Commission confirmed bluntly Tuesday there was “no room whatsoever” to change the agreement.

May headed to The Hague, Berlin and Brussels after Monday’s political chaos in London left the Brexit process in turmoil. Adding to the circus, May was locked in her car in Germany Tuesday as Chancellor Angela Merkel waited for her on the red carpet.

Parliament had been scheduled to hold a vote on May’s EU withdrawal agreement, negotiated with the European Union, on Tuesday. But with the unpopular deal looking certain to be voted down by Parliament, May suddenly withdrew the bill Monday and said she would instead go back to Europe for concessions.

The move caused outrage among the political establishment and prompted the pound to plummet. Even more damning for May is the frank message from Europe that it is not prepared to budge.

Speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg Tuesday, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker made clear there was no chance for negotiation.

“The deal we achieved is the best deal possible, it is the only deal possible. There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation,” he said, ahead of his meeting with May in Brussels.

May acknowledged Monday that there was “widespread and deep concern” over the contentious Northern Ireland backstop — an arrangement designed to ensure there is no return to a “hard border” between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, part of the UK, after Brexit.

It would achieve this by keeping the entire U.K. in a customs union with the EU, and Northern Ireland within parts of the bloc’s single market, until an alternative is negotiated.

The delay of the parliamentary vote has loosened May’s grip on power — and fueled speculation as to whether the U.K. will ever actually leave the EU.

Britain is supposed to submit its official position on the Brexit deal to the EU, after having voted on it in Parliament, by Jan. 21, although time is running out to make that deadline.

That in turn has raised prospects of a potentially disastrous “no-deal Brexit,” where Britain would crash out of the EU on March 29 with no transitional arrangements in place.

The political chaos has fueled renewed calls from so-called Remainers for a second, do-over referendum, choosing between May’s deal and cancelling Brexit. Their hopes were buoyed by a European Court of Justice ruling Monday that the UK could unilaterally revoke Article 50 — the legal notification that it plans to leave the EU.

READ MORE: It’s not too late for Britain to pull out of Brexit, court rules

The government says it won’t revoke Article 50, but the opposition Labour party has indicated it may campaign for a second referendum if May’s Brexit deal is voted down by Parliament and a general election isn’t called.

Parliament held an emergency debate Tuesday on May’s last-minute cancellation, which opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said showed her government had “lost control of events and is in complete disarray.” Corbyn is facing growing pressure to call for a no-confidence vote in May’s leadership.

Cover image: German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to greet British Prime Minister Theresa May upon May's arrival for talks at the Chancellery on December 11, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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bjep5aTim HumePaul Valebritaineuropean unionBrexiteu referendumtheresa mayArticle 50
<![CDATA[Macron keeps folding to the yellow vest protesters — but it still might not be enough]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/59vjwn/macron-keeps-folding-to-the-yellow-vest-protesters-but-it-still-might-not-be-enoughTue, 11 Dec 2018 13:11:06 +0000French President Emmanuel Macron announced a string of emergency economic giveaways Monday in the hope of ending the monthlong yellow vest protests.

In a 13-minute televised speech, the beleaguered 40-year-old French leader declared a “state of economic and social emergency” and acknowledged the “deep, and in many ways legitimate” anger of the protesters whose violent demonstrations have created a major crisis for his government.

Macron also delivered a mea culpa to demonstrators who felt their economic plight had been ignored by his pro-business presidency.

“I may have given you the impression that this was not my concern, that I had other priorities. I take my share of responsibility. I know I have hurt some of you with my words,” said Macron, a former investment banker seen by many of the protesters as an aloof member of the elite.

In response to the protesters’ rage at rising living costs, Macron laid out a series of measures aimed at boosting consumers’ purchasing power, to kick in from Jan. 1.

These include increasing the minimum wage by 100 euros a month at no cost to employers, removing taxes on overtime payments, and scrapping a tax on pensions under 2,000 euros a month, while requesting employers give workers a tax-free bonus at the end of the year.

But Macron said he would not reinstate a tax on the wealthy that he'd scrapped — one of the central demands of the yellow vests.

READ: Macron is finally taking action to stop the “yellow vest” protesters

The key question now is whether Macron’s concessions will be enough to avert a so-called “Act V”, a repeat on Saturday of the violent protests that have roiled Paris and other major cities in recent weeks.

Macron has previously made concessions to the protesters — announcing last week he had scrapped tax hikes on fuel, another core demand of the protesters — but that failed to quell the unrest.

The sprawling yellow vests movement has no formal leadership structure and was unable to make a unified response to Macron’s concessions. But initial indications from yellow vests spokespeople were that they were underwhelmed.

Jeremy Clément, one representative for the movement, said the proposals were “crumbs,” although like many other yellow vests he saw them as a “start.”

“We can’t be content with a 100 euros rise [in minimum wage],” he said. Many other yellow vest activists vowed to keep up their roadblocks, and on Tuesday, large student strikes continued across the country.

Meanwhile, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the far-left France Insoumise party, called for a repeat of protests on Saturday. He said Macron’s measures did nothing for the unemployed, students, part-timers and other groups.

“Faced with the indignation of the people at inequality, and the refusal of some to contribute like the others, he thinks that a distribution of money can calm the citizen insurrection,” Mélenchon said, adding that he thought next Saturday would be a day of “great mobilization.”

More than 136,000 people across France took part in Saturday’s “Act IV” demonstrations, which resulted in more than 1,700 arrests and more than 260 people being injured.

Cover image: A screen grab of President Macron's speech broadcast on France 24.

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59vjwnTim HumePaul ValeFRANCEPROTESTSriotsEmmanuel MacronYellow vests
<![CDATA[China just dragged Apple into Trump’s trade war]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/3k9j5k/china-trump-trade-war-apple-qualcommTue, 11 Dec 2018 12:24:25 +0000A Beijing court revealed Monday it has banned Apple from selling some of its iPhone models in China — an unexpected decision that could be a ploy to drag the U.S. tech giant into the ongoing trade war.

The ban, which comes into force on Tuesday, means the Apple cannot sell some of its popular smartphones in a country that makes up a fifth of all iPhone sales globally.

Apple said Monday it had appealed the decision, releasing a statement that said it would continue to sell all its iPhones in China. The ban does not impact the company’s latest models — the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xr — but it does stop the sale of iPhone 8 and iPhone 7.

Both banned models were still on sale on Apple’s online store in China Tuesday morning.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by San Diego chipmaker Qualcomm, which claims Apple infringed two of its patents — one related to photo editing, one related to swiping on touch-screen devices.

Though the lawsuit was filed before the current trade war exploded, and the decision was handed down a day before Huawei’s CFO was arrested in Canada, some experts believe the court’s decision is a deliberate targeting of Apple.

“I think Apple will be a hot target for China to get back at the U.S. and will be used as a leverage point,” Neil Shah, a partner at CounterPoint Research, told VICE News. “The Qualcomm injunction makes it more skewed towards the Chinese government. Apple is the most valuable mobile computing company in the world and the Chinese government can use it as the last resort if the tensions further escalate.”

Qualcomm has tried to validate 23 patents in China for about a year, but this is the first court decision in the company’s favor.

“The timing seems suspect to say the least,” Timothy Arcuri, an analyst with the investment bank UBS, told the Wall Street Journal. “This was a very convenient way to bring Apple into the fray in the same way the U.S. government did with Huawei.”

While the motivation behind the decision of the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court is unclear, Apple is facing further fallout that is directly the result of the trade war and last week’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou.

Following the detention of Huawei’s executive — the daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei — many companies across China have updated their policies to ban Apple products and stipulate that employees only buy Huawei.

Menpad, which makes LCD displays and is one of Huawei’s suppliers, posted a memo on its website warning staff that “if employees buy any iPhone for themselves, the company will impose a 100 percent penalty on the basis of the phone’s market price.”

While these actions do not stem from an official Communist Party edict, such a response typically happens when a foreign government takes action that displeases Beijing. Sales of Norwegian salmon in China took six years to recover after pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

READ: Trump claims China has agreed to “remove” tariffs on U.S. cars — but Beijing is saying nothing

An editorial this week in the government-controlled Global Times warned the U.S. that other companies could become embroiled in the trade war if Washington continues its policy of banning Huawei and urging allies to do the same.

"Some Western countries are resorting to political means to resist Huawei's attempts to enter into their markets,” the editorial said. “Failure to provide reciprocal opening-up means their companies won't get any benefits from China's digital economy.”

Along with the U.S., Huawei has been shut out of markets in New Zealand, Australia, the U.K. and Japan.

Cover image: Customers look at Apple iPads at a store in Shanghai on February 22, 2012. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

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3k9j5kDavid GilbertPaul ValeAppleDonald TrumptradeQualcommtrade war
<![CDATA[Baylor frat president was facing up to 20 years in prison for rape. He won't serve any time.]]>https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/mbyx7x/baylor-frat-president-was-facing-up-to-20-years-in-prison-for-rape-he-wont-serve-any-timeMon, 10 Dec 2018 22:55:36 +0000A former Phi Delta Theta president at Baylor University allegedly drugged a 19-year-old woman and raped her outside a party. But he won’t serve any jail time, a Texas judge ruled Monday.

Jacob Walter Anderson faced up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for four counts of sexual assault related to an incident that occurred at a frat party in February 2016. On Monday, however, Judge Ralph Strother accepted a plea of “no contest” from Anderson to avoid serving any jail time. He also won’t have to register as a sex offender. He's only getting deferred probation and a $400 fine.

"I am devastated by your decision to let my rapist Jacob Walter Anderson go free without any punishment," the woman said while addressing Judge Ralph Strother on Monday in a Waco, Texas, courtroom. “He stole my body, virginity, and power over my body and you let him keep it all for eternity.”

According to court records, the woman regained consciousness shortly afterward in the same area where she was allegedly assaulted and went inside the party to find a friend who took her to the hospital. She then underwent a sexual-assault medical exam at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, and hospital officials notified Waco police of the alleged assault, according to the Waco-Tribune Herald.

After the criminal charges surfaced, Phi Delta Theta removed Anderson from the organization, and Baylor expelled him and suspended the fraternity’s operations to investigate underage drinking and assault.

As the charges against Anderson worked their way through the system, Baylor was working to settle a 2016 lawsuit which alleged the school mishandled a female student’s complaint that 8 football players gang raped her in 2012. The settlement ultimately led to the departure of several school leaders, according to the Waco-Tribune.

Anderson joins a string of successful or well-connected male college students who have avoided serious jail or prison time for rape charges.

Most infamously, former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner served just three months of his six-month sentence after being found guilty for multiple counts of rape. Stephen Dalton Baril, a former University of Virginia student, also didn’t serve any prison time for the accused rape of a student in 2018, after his initial charges were reduced.

Cover image: Photo courtesy of Waco Police Department

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mbyx7xMiranda LevingstonVICE Newsrapejailprisonsexual assaultbaylor universityCampus sexual assault