VICE is unlike any TV news program you’ve ever seen, and it’s not even remotely like anything you’ll see on the 24/7 cable news channels. Its area of interest is the world — the entire world, not just the suburb beyond where you live — and the emphasis is on international news.
'Boko Haram' - The terrorist group Boko Haram is responsible for thousands of deaths in Nigeria. Now, the government is determined to drive these militants from the country. But is the hunt for insurgents causing as much harm as it's preventing? Former Navy SEAL and new VICE correspondent Kaj Larsen travels to Nigeria to see what this cat-and-mouse game means for the people caught in the middle of the fight.
'Unnatural Selection' - For centuries, scientists have been working to change the genetic traits of plants and animals. Now, a new gene-editing method called CRISPR has made that process astonishingly simple--so simple that it could easily be used on humans. Isobel Yeung reports from Brazil, Scotland, China, and the United States on the technological advances that could reshape evolution as we know it.
‘Escape to Europe’ - With the war in Syria now in its fifth bloody year, half the country's population has been displaced, and four million have fled. Many are heading to the safety and relative prosperity of Europe, but getting there is a long, life-threatening journey. VICE follows the refugee trail from the Syrian border to Europe, meeting Syrians determined to find a better life.
‘Cycle of Terror’ - The bloody ISIS attacks in Paris stunned the world. As rumors circulated that one of the attackers may have posed as a Syrian migrant, politicians in Western countries, including the U.S., raced to declare their territory off-limits to refugees from countries like Syria and Iraq. VICE travels to France and around the U.S. to see how the global reaction to the violence in Paris is affecting the fight against terrorism.
When California enacted the End of Life Option Act amid fierce debate last October, the number of terminally ill Americans with the right to a doctor-assisted death effectively quadrupled. But in parts of Europe, euthanasia is also administered to people other than the terminally ill, including those with autism, depression and personality disorders. VICE explores the moral, political and personal questions raised by how and when we end our lives.
'Beating Blindness' - Doctors and researchers are making incredible strides in the fight against blindness. New assistive technologies and advances in surgical techniques mean that many patients who've lost sight entirely can now regain visual perception, and the independence that comes with it--a process that can be as disorienting as it is freeing. Isobel Yeung reports from the front lines of this latest medical frontier.
'White Collar Weed' - Small-scale weed farmers have been fighting to legalize marijuana for generations--but the closer they get to ending the prohibition on pot, the closer they get to a new threat: corporate takeover of their way of life. VICE's Hamilton Morris travels to California's infamous Emerald Triangle to meet struggling mom-and-pop growers, and visits with the investors and entrepreneurs eager to cash in on the next big consumer market--even if it could put the small guys out of business.
'Meathooked' - The world is addicted to meat--in developing countries around the world, diets are starting to look more like ours, incorporating more and more beef and pork. Massive factory farms are springing up to supply that demand. But industrial meat operations produce more than just cheap T-bones; they also dish out enormous environmental harm. Isobel Yeung travels to the feedlots, farms and slaughterhouses where our meat is made, to see the true costs of our burger habit.
'End of Water' - Water is the single most vital resource we have--but it's also one of the most threatened. Around the world, from the American West to China, South Asia, and the Middle East, the water we need is simply disappearing. Vikram Gandhi reports from California's once-abundant farmland and the heart of Sao Paulo's reservoir system to assess the depths of the crisis, and what can be done to reverse it.
‘Return to Yemen’ - Last year, Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a massive military campaign that overthrew the Yemeni government and sent the Arabian Peninsula into turmoil. Now, Saudi Arabia–nervous about the insurrection near its southern border–is trying to push the Houthis back with a ruthless bombing campaign. Ben Anderson returns to Yemen, where he reported ‘The Enemy of My Enemy’ for VICE S2, to witness one of the worlds most bloody and underreported conflicts.
‘Church and States’ - While many Americans cheered the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, the fight for equality is far from over. In many American states, it is still legally acceptable to refuse services, housing or employment to people because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Gianna Toboni meets some of the families who are navigating this new landscape, and hears from supporters of religious freedom laws, as VICE explores where the battle for equal rights heads from here.
'Palestine Now' - The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people has been locked in a cycle of violence for generations. But now, young people in the West Bank are growing so disillusioned with the status quo that they're turning their backs on their own government. VICE reports from Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah and East Jerusalem to explore what life is like for young Palestinians in 2016.
'Viva Cuba Libre' - On March 21, President Obama becomes the first sitting American president to visit Cuba in 88 years, advancing the campaign to prove that engagement with longtime adversaries is effective in renewing dialogue and promoting change. VICE visits the 2015 Summit of the Americas to see the political thawing of relationships between Cuba and the United States, and then Havana, Cuba to speak to Cubans about how music and culture are helping bridge the divide between two former enemies.
'Afghan Women's Rights' - When the United States invaded Afghanistan, the liberation of Afghan women was used as a rallying cry to garner public support. Now, after nearly 15 years and hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars spent, violence and oppression are still a fact of life for the country's women. With the Taliban gaining ground again, Isobel Yeung reports from Kabul on the fight for dignity and rights in Afghanistan.
'Floating Armories' - Who stops world trade from grinding to a standstill? In many cases it's private military contractors and their network of weapons storage ships afloat in lawless international waters. VICE co-founder Suroosh Alvi reports from one of these floating armories in the Gulf of Aden to take a closer look who's protecting global commerce today.
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last December, world leaders agreed that climate change is an urgent threat, cementing green energy production as a new frontier of innovation. VICE founder Shane Smith takes an in-depth look at the future of how we make and use energy, and how we can meet growing demand as we cut carbon emissions.
'Trump in Dubai' - The United Arab Emirates, and Dubai in particular, are often described as paradise in the Middle East. But the five million migrant workers who live there and make up more than half the population have an entirely different experience. They live in appalling conditions, and regularly end up with nothing, even after years of hard work. Now, as correspondent Ben Anderson investigates, many of them are employed on a project bearing the name of a man who might be the next president.
'China in Africa' - China is financing more infrastructure projects and selling more goods to Africa than any other trade partner in the world, with a large share of investments linked to the extraction of resources. Correspondent Isobel Yeung heads to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya and South Africa to meet the characters behind the business deals and explore what this increasingly prominent relationship could mean for the future of global politics.
'The Deal' - Since the hostage crisis in 1979, Iran and the United States have been bitter enemies. But in 2015, the US and major world powers reached an unprecedented agreement with Iran, lifting economic sanctions in exchange for Iran's agreement to limit its nuclear capabilities. VICE travels to Tehran to gauge attitudes about America and see the reactor that started Iran's nuclear program, and meets with key dealmakers -- and critics -- in Washington, DC.
'City of Lost Children' - Global wealth disparity has reached record levels in recent years. Now it's created pockets of unimaginable affluence and huge populations who are falling farther and farther behind. Nowhere is this more apparent than in India, where the most prominent victims of poverty and inequality are children. VICE reports from Kolkata, where entire tribes of homeless children run rampant along the tracks of Howrah Station.
'The End of Polio' - Pakistan is the last battleground in the fight to eradicate polio: since the late 80s, new cases of the wild disease have dropped from hundreds of thousands per year to just hundreds. But in Pakistan's poorest areas, there is widespread distrust of vaccinators, and the Pakistani Taliban have openly condoned violence against them -- especially after the CIA used a vaccinator to help track down Osama Bin Laden. VICE travels to Karachi to meet with the health workers putting their lives on the line to finally eradicate this disease.
'Collateral Damage' - Land mines are deadly weapons of war that remain a threat for years after the fighting is over. But even as international pressure has helped limit the use of land mines, unexploded cluster munitions are still in use, killing and maiming civilians every day. VICE travels to Myanmar and Laos to see the devastating effects of unexploded ordnance and to meet the trained disposal teams working to clean up these weapons before they claim more lives.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked details of massive government surveillance programs in 2013, igniting a raging debate over digital privacy and security. That debate came to a head this year, when Apple fought an FBI court order seeking to access the iPhone of alleged San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. Meanwhile, journalists and activists are under increasing attack from foreign agents. To find out the government’s real capabilities, and investigate whether any of us can truly protect our sensitive information, founder Shane Smith heads to Moscow to meet Snowden.
'Heroin Crisis' - America is facing the worst drug epidemic this country has ever seen: more people are dying from overdoses than from car accidents-and at the center of it is an explosion in the use of heroin. Thomas Morton traces the causes and impacts of the crisis, from the poppy farms of Mexico to the hills of West Virginia, and investigates how users, first responders, and government officials are responding to the new reality of American drug use.
'New Age of Nukes' - Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, America's vast nuclear arsenal is beginning to show its age, and the government has embarked on the largest nuclear modernization effort in our history, costing American taxpayers as much as $1 trillion. Kaj Larsen goes aboard a ballistic missile submarine and visits the facilities on the front line of our nuclear weapons program to see why the military wants to upgrade the nukes we have-and why that might be a dangerous idea.
'Flint Water Crisis' - The water crisis in Flint, Michigan horrified the nation: a once-thriving industrial city had fallen on such hard times that residents couldn't even trust the water from their own taps. More shocking still were revelations that city and state officials knew about the problems with the water, but failed to take action or warn the public. VICE reports from Flint on the realities of life in a city poisoned by its own government.
'Libya on the Brink' - When the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed during the revolution of 2011, it seemed like good news for democracy in the Muslim world. But in 2012, the American ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a bloody attack in Benghazi. Today, a split between government factions has ceded large portions of the country to ISIS fighters and other extremists. VICE reports from the front lines as rival militias fight to save Libya as we know it.
The 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge raised millions of dollars for ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease, but while the social media wave gave new life to ALS research, there is still no viable treatment and access to experimental drugs is limited. Battling ALS herself, VICE editor Angelina Fanous meets with patients and top researchers across the U.S. to find out what's being done to tackle this devastating disease and the regulatory hurdles faced by ALS patients and drugmakers alike.
'Student Debt' - Americans owe $1.3 trillion in student loans --second only to home mortgages. The rise in student loan borrowing is tied to skyrocketing tuition rates, which are up 226% since 1980. VICE reports from America's college campuses to explore how a spigot of easy money from the federal government is jacking up the cost of higher education and even threatening our international competitiveness.
'Fecal Medicine' - For years, medical science was powerless against one of the most of severe intestinal infections. But a new treatment shows tremendous promise -- if patients aren't too squeamish to try it. Fecal transplants use the stool from a healthy person to repopulate life-sustaining bacteria in the colon of the patient. This technique is so effective that researchers are testing its potential to treat disorders far beyond the digestive tract, pointing to breakthrough treatments for a broad range of the most stubborn diseases. VICE reports from the labs and lavatories where this medical revolution is taking place.
'The New $pace Race' - Decades after the Apollo missions, a new era of manned spaceflight is dawning -- and this time, the destination is Mars. NASA and a growing community of private companies have set their sights on the Red Planet, and they're developing the technologies that will actually get us there. VICE reports on the preparations for humanity's next great adventure.
'Closing Gitmo' - The American prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is one of the most controversial issues of the post-9/11 era. President Obama promised to close the facility, but months from the end of his presidency the facility remains open -- and the reality of life there remains a mystery. VICE meets with ex-detainees who survived Gitmo, and the general who built it in the first place, to find out what really happens behind the camp's walls.