"Assad's Syria" - After six years of civil war, Syria's longtime dictator Bashar al-Assad is now poised to re-take full control of his country. Backed by Russian forces and a relentless bombing campaign, Assad's army rolled into Aleppo in late 2016, toppling the rebel resistance. Isobel Yeung travels through regime-controlled Syria to see how Assad prevailed and to find out what might happen next in his crippled country.
"Cost of Climate Change" - The first effects of climate change are being felt across the U.S., and projections show Trillion in damage worldwide over the next five decades. As costs begin to mount, so do allegations that powerful interests in the oil and gas industry, like ExxonMobil, denied climate science and delayed corrective measures. Now, in the face of a scientific consensus, and with the Trump administration ushering some of these very same climate deniers into the highest levels of government, Shane Smith follows the money to see the true economic stakes of decades of denial.
As the debate continues over which bathroom transgender people should use, a more complex question is emerging about how early the medical transition begins for trans kids. Families and doctors are rewriting the rules as they decide when and how to start medical intervention before transgender youth hit puberty. VICE explores this emotionally charged and rapidly evolving issue with trans youth and their parents in the midst of that intense process.
"When the Earth Melts" - VICE Correspondent Ben Anderson travels across the Arctic to examine the devastating impact of thawing permafrost - and the astonishing solution that might keep it frozen.
"Displaced" - VICE Correspondent Gianna Toboni follows the journey of refugees journeying across the Mediterranean Sea who have been left in limbo due to the tightening borders of an increasingly nationalist Europe.
"Kings of Cannabis" - VICE correspondent Hamilton Morris joins two hunters on an epic journey through the Democratic Republic of Congo in search of one of the rarest species of Cannabis, whose unique genetics could ultimately earn them millions of dollars.
"Into the Darkness" - From an abandoned gold mine that lies a mile beneath the Black Hills of South Dakota, to the world's most powerful telescope nestled into the high deserts of Chile, nuclear physicist Taylor Wilson meets the scientists working to unlock the secrets of our Universe.
"Black and Blue" - VICE correspondent Cord Jefferson reports from St. Louis, one of America's most dangerous cities, to hear from activists and police officers alike about race and policing.
"Our Bionic Future" - VICE's Wilbert L. Cooper travels to Zurich to see the first ever bionic Olympics and discovers a host of technologies that are expanding what it means to be human.
"End of Amateurism" - College athletics have seen explosive revenue growth in the last decade, fueled by media contracts and corporate sponsors. In order to enter this system, the NCAA requires players to forego profits, and are instead offers them scholarships and access to state-of-the-art facilities. But with college sports now a multi-billion dollar industry, the question now being asked in U.S. federal court remains whether that compensation is enough. Gianna Toboni travels the college sports landscape, meeting with athletic directors, coaches, sports marketing minds and the players themselves to see the role money plays in amateur athletics today.
"Life Under Sharia" - VICE co-founder Suroosh Alvi travels to Aceh and across Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, to experience Sharia up close and investigate its relationship to terrorism, as well as meet those who are fighting back against it.
"Plastic Oceans" - VICE correspondent Isobel Yeung travels to the remote shores of Hawaii and the coast of the North Sea to see the extent of our plastic addiction and the surprisingly simple ways we can solve it.
'Fast Food of Arabia' - As Americans become increasingly health-conscious and junk food sales plateau in the States, fast-food companies are spreading to new global markets, expanding their revenue - and the waistlines of their customers. Gianna Toboni travels to Kuwait, now one of the most obese countries on the planet, to witness the health effects on a country deep in the throes of an unlikely obsession with U.S. fast food.
'Nollywood' - Nigeria's film business is booming. Nollywood has quickly grown into a billion industry and is now the second biggest Ollywood, by films put out, on the planet behind only Bollywood. Hollywood is third. Thomas Morton explores the explosive productivity of Nigerian cinema, from DIY horror movies to big budget blockbusters, by becoming a Nollywood actor himself.
'Medical Détente' - Cuba's health system is one of the most efficient in the world. Despite the decades-long U.S. embargo, the country's biotech industry flourished, creating astonishing treatments for a number of diseases at costs not seen in the States. Now, with trade and travel restrictions loosening, millions of Americans may soon be able to gain access to these breakthrough medicines for cancer and diabetes. VICE correspondent Gianna Toboni travels to Cuba to see the potential treatments and cures in action.
'Bananas' - There are thousands of types of bananas but Americans have eyes for only one kind - the very marketable yellow Cavendish, which accounts for 95% of global banana exports. But this multi-billion dollar industry is under threat. A fungus called Panama Disease is rapidly infecting portions of the world's Cavendish crops and could spell disaster for the monoculture-dependent worldwide banana trade. VICE heads to the heart of banana country in Latin American and the Philippines to see the devastating effects of the disease and to investigate what the loss of the banana would really mean besides a less colorful lunchbox.
"Taliban Resurgence" - The Taliban now control more territory than they have at any point since they were overthrown in 2001. Yet the war in Afghanistan barely gets mentioned today, even as civilian and security deaths continue to rise. Ben Anderson returns to the conflict he's covered for 10 years, re-uniting with several Afghans - an Army Major, a Policeman who dismantles IEDs and a family who were forced to fight to defend their home - for a shocking report that questions what America's longest war has actually accomplished.
"Engineering Immortality" - Isobel Yeung meets the scientists and doctors leading the charge in genomics, pharmaceuticals, and stem cell research, which promises to revolutionize how our bodies age in the years to come.
"Women Behind Bars" - The number of women incarcerated in the United States has increased 700% since 1980, overwhelming prisons and jails originally designed with men in mind. The majority are nonviolent offenders and mothers, serving out their sentences in facilities often unprepared to address their most basic needs. VICE correspondent Isobel Yeung spends time in facilities across the country, discovering what it means to be an American woman behind bars.
"The Business of Making Art" - Andy Warhol's work dramatically redefined our notion of 'art' and questioned the very idea of what it means for an artist "to make" art. With Warhol's art now fetching tremendous sums in the booming modern art marketplace, Ben Anderson embarks on a journey through the art world with some of Warhol's master printers to explore not just the question "What is art- but "What is a Warhol-.
"Taking Back Iraq" - The city of Mosul has been central in the war to defeat Islamic State. In 2014, Iraqi troops surrendered Iraq's second largest city to Islamic State, who in turn declared an Islamic caliphate and used the city as a base for operations in the region. Last October, a U.S. supported coalition of Iraqi and Kurdish troops announced a long-awaited offensive to retake the city. Aris Roussinos embedded with Iraqi forces on the road to Mosul as they began their assault on Islamic State's last stronghold in Iraq.
"Lost Generation" - Iraq has one of the youngest populations of any country in the world. The majority of people living there today have grown up in the shadow of the 2003 invasion, knowing nothing but war and chaos. With Islamic State seemingly on the verge of defeat in the country, the question of what happens next is far from certain. Isobel Yeung travels to Iraq to see what the future looks like through the eyes of the youth.
"The Politics of Terror": While Donald Trump's election in the U.S. came as a surprise to many, his victory is part of a global trend. In the wake of terror attacks and the migrant crisis, a new wave of populist candidates is cropping up across Europe, and the fate of the EU hangs in the balance. VICE examines the rise of Europe's far right, and the hyper-charged climate fueling nationalist ideologies across the continent".End of the EU-: Silvio Berlusconi was in many ways Europe's original populist, shaping the mold for today's right-wing European leaders. Shane Smith travels to the home of the former Italian prime minister to discuss why this message resonates across the continent, how the left fails to grasp populist anger, and the need for a unified response to rebuild Syria.
"Future of Firearms" - The firearms industry experienced unprecedented growth in the last decade. Fear of government regulation drove much of that growth as President Obama repeatedly tried to pass gun control laws in the aftermath of numerous mass shootings. Now, with the political landscape fundamentally changed, the industry, and gun rights advocates, are looking for new ways to expand upon their 2nd amendment rights and the bottom line - with some surprising results. VICE takes a closer look at the future of firearms in America.
"Russia 'Wins' Climate Change" - Climate change is causing catastrophic changes to our planet, but it may be an economic blessing for Russia. As the Arctic ice melts, petroleum and mineral resources are more accessible, shipping lanes are opening up and the frozen Siberian tundra could become arable. In fact, the Russian government and people seem to be welcoming the warming temperatures. And with America pulling out of the Paris Agreement, perhaps this is a glimpse into our own future.
"Cyber Supremacy" - US intelligence agencies accuse Russia of hacking the 2016 presidential election, a trove of NSA documents posted to Wikileaks result in a global cyber attack, the confidential personal information of millions of private citizens circulate on the Dark Web. As independent and state-sponsored hackers wreak havoc, one nation - Israel - is revolutionizing its military and leading the way in cyber security. Ben Ferguson travels to Tel Aviv to find out how Israel is on its way to becoming the world's top cyber superpower.
"Japan Rising" - After World War II, Japan disbanded its military and adopted a policy of pacifism across its society, culture and constitution. But with China's increasing expansionism, North Korea's continued belligerence and a tide of nationalist sentiment sweeping the globe, a right-wing movement in Japan aims to revive and strengthen the country's military might for the first time in 70 years. VICE sends Gianna Toboni to Tokyo to see the consequences of Japan's rising nationalism.
"Last Line of Defense" - Public Defenders are facing soaring caseloads, and flat-lining budgets, and with 80% of all criminal defendants in the US unable to afford a lawyer, the system is collapsing. With the Constitutional right to fair representation in a court of law in jeopardy, Cord Jefferson heads to one of the worst hit states to see how overworked and underpaid public defenders are coping with the broken legal system.
"El Rostro" - Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, indigenous tribes are doing everything they can to save their home from exploitation. VICE travels to where multinational companies have been extracting lucrative natural resources to see how these activities are decimating the land. With the native Harakmbut people as his guide, Ben Anderson goes into the forest to explore sacred landmarks they hope will prevent companies from destroying the land for a profit.
When factions of the Turkish military attempted a coup on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, he reacted with a forceful crackdown. Over 100,000 people have been detained or dismissed, including civil servants, teachers and journalists. Isobel Yeung travels to Turkey as the country heads to the polls in a nationwide referendum that grants Erdogan unprecedented power.
"Crude Reality" - Six years after winning its independence, South Sudan is already on the brink of collapse. Despite its vast oil reserves and more than Billion in aid from the United States, the country has been driven into famine and a devastating ethnic war. VICE's Isobel Yeung explores how corruption at the top is threatening to tear the world's newest country apart.
"Between Oil and Water" - Last year, thousands of Native Americans and environmental activists from across the country converged at Standing Rock in an effort to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the reservation. By winter, a lean-to encampment had grown into a massive protest site the size of a small town, and clashes between protestors and local police and corporate security flared into the nights. VICE travelled to the Sacred Stone Camp in December and followed the story over the subsequent months as the Trump Administration moved quickly to resume work on the pipeline, examining how resource extraction has affected Native American communities.
"Autism Under the Lens" - The number of children diagnosed with autism has more than doubled in the last two decades. Today, 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed with the developmental condition. VICE's Gianna Toboni explores the transformative work being done at the forefront of autism research, meets families trying out some of the newest treatments, and discovers a growing self-advocacy movement out of the autistic community that wants to refocus the science.
"Show of Force" - VICE travels to North Korea during the annual Day of the Sun celebrations as global tensions reached a fever pitch. As North Koreans celebrated the 105th birthday of their country's founder, Kim Il-sung, correspondent Charlet Duboc seeks to learn firsthand how its citizens are reacting to the escalating crisis.
"Return to Somalia" - VICE correspondent Gianna Toboni heads to Mogadishu to witness the fight to save the country during an increase of al-Shabaab attacks.
"Controlling the Narrative" - Press freedom around the world has reached its lowest point in over a decade, with many authoritarian governments imprisoning journalists in a fight to control their countries' narratives. One of the deadliest places to be a journalist is the Philippines, where the new President has openly threatened the media and silenced his critics. VICE Correspondent Gianna Toboni heads to Manila to see the dangerous work of local journalists reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal war on drugs. Back in the U.S., legendary journalist Carl Bernstein discusses the state of our own media and the importance of a free press in holding the powerful accountable.
"Power to Congo" - The War in Congo is the deadliest since World War II, killing more than 5 million people. But throughout the conflict, a remarkable group of Rangers have remained, fighting to protect Congo's Gorillas and other wildlife and natural resources. In a stunning turnaround, these rangers are saving endangered species and Congo's bio-diverse forest, and are even transforming the local economy, cutting off revenue streams to the various rebel groups operating there. Ben Anderson trained and patrolled with the rangers over 10 years ago. He returned to see the remarkable progress they're making.
In early 2017 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced moves that would change the world's most oil-rich nation from a democracy into a dictatorship. This sparked a crisis, igniting long-standing anger over inequality, misrule, hunger and crime. VICE founder Suroosh Alvi and correspondent Ben Anderson travelled to Venezuela as Maduro seized Venezuela's political institutions with an alleged 'sham election' and violently suppressed the growing opposition to his rule.
"Dirty Oil" - Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer, but the billions of dollars generated from that resource have not trickled down to the majority of the population. This disparity has led to rampant oil theft and large scale attacks on oil infrastructure by locals, who vow to continue this fight until the government allows them to profit through oil jobs and urban development. For a time, the government listened to this plea and paid these militants through an amnesty program which curbed the violence. But in 2016, a new administration terminated those contracts and suspended the payouts, leading to a violent resurgence of militancy and oil theft. VICE correspondent Gianna Toboni heads to the heart of Nigeria's oil production to witness firsthand the fight of the Niger Delta youth.
"Rebuilding Our Reefs" - In the last 30 years the world has lost 50% of its coral reefs, and there's a consensus among marine biologists that climate change will continue to make things worse. Coral reefs are the foundation of some of the most productive ecosystems on earth - providing food, resources, and coastal protection for more than 500 million people. If nothing is done to stop their deterioration, more than 90% of the world's reefs could be gone by 2050. Ben Anderson traveled across the world's oceans to see what a few small teams of scientists are doing to keep these vital structures alive.
"Dark Web" - Child sex abuse and child pornography have always been society's darkest secrets. And the internet's growth has only made things worse. The proliferation of explicit images, live-streaming of sex shows, and online chat rooms have enabled those with salacious intent to destroy the lives of children around the world. The tide of explicit material is overwhelming, but a group of law enforcements agencies and NGOs are fighting back. VICE embeds with the officers trying to shed light on the dark corners of the web.
"Future of Appalachia" - Nowhere in America can the coal industry's hurt be seen and felt more than in Appalachia. The region's economy revolves around coal, and more miners are losing their jobs each year. The controversial industry became a focal point of the 2016 election when President Trump made the return of coal jobs a central campaign promise. But the economics behind the suffering industry go beyond policy and regulations. VICE's Isobel Yeung goes to the heart of coal country to see what it will take to save Appalachia.
"Divide and Conquer" - The maps that place voters together for statehouse and Congressional races are the building blocks of a representative democracy. But today, even though those maps are manipulated more than ever in favor of one political party, partisan gerrymandering is still technically legal. All of this could change though as the question of its constitutionality heads to the Supreme Court this fall. VICE's Gianna Toboni traveled to North Carolina to see the effects of gerrymandering on American democracy. "Crackdown in Honduras" - Created on the streets of Los Angeles in the 1980s, gangs like MS-13 and Barrio 18 were exported to Central America in a wave of deportations starting 20 years ago. Back in their home countries, these gang members found a power vacuum and only grew in strength. Without an effective judicial system, countries like Honduras struggled to deter crime or contain gang activities. But recently, the situation has begun to change and violent crimes has started to decrease. VICE visits the Honduran prison system and watches as the government tries to bring peace to the country.
"Russian Hacking" - Since the 2016 election, hacking has become synonymous with one country: Russia. From the DNC, to global ransomware attacks, to attempts to penetrate U.S. nuclear plants, analysts have found Russian fingerprints on some of the biggest digital breaches in the world. While the US is scrambling to defend itself against these cybercrimes, the hacker ecosystem in Russia continues to grow. VICE travels to Moscow to find out why these hackers are so effective.
"Contagion" - The outbreak of an infectious disease sparks worldwide panic nearly every year. And as humans cluster themselves in denser cities and encroach closer to the wildlife harboring disease, the chances of a devastating global pandemic only intensifies. But scientists are finding that diligent surveillance of these threats could help keep the next nightmare disease at bay. VICE founder Suroosh Alvi went to Uganda to see how vulnerable humans are to a new pandemic and the options there are for staving it off.
"Post-Truth News" - The U.S. is more divided across party lines than ever before in recent American history, and nowhere are these divisions more visible than in our media. With President Trump waging a war on mainstream news outlets and the rise of hyperpartisan sites spreading misinformation, trust in the traditional press has fallen to a record low of 32%. VICE Correspondent Isobel Yeung looks at what's driving the media's battle over facts and the polarization of the American public in the Trump era.
"Microbiome" - Powerful antibiotics and widespread sanitation practices have expanded lifespans across the industrialized world. But they have also come at a cost. Our microbiomes, or the trillions of microbes collectively working in our bodies to help regulate our immune system and food digestion, have lost much of its health-promoting bacteria because of our modern lifestyles and sanitation practices. Scientists across the world are now looking to the planet's few remaining pre-industrialized societies to see what industrialized guts have lost - and in doing so, could fundamentally change the way scientists think about germs. Thomas Morton heads to the Central African Republic to see this emerging field of microbiome science.
"After ISIS" The fight to retake Mosul, the biggest city in ISIS' so-called caliphate, lasted over 10 months and was the biggest urban battle to take place since World War II. As civilians of Mosul endured the impossible choice of hiding in their homes or fleeing, running the risk of being killed by ISIS, the war raged on - bombarding homes and destroying everything in its path. With unparalleled access, VICE followed the Iraqi Army as they fought the terrorist group, room to room, house to house and street to street, often fighting for days on end and suffering horrendous casualties on a slow crawl to liberation. "Cubs of the Caliphate" - Now that most of Iraq has been liberated from ISIS control, the daunting task of what to do with civilians who lived under their brutal regime remains. Nowhere is this issue more complicated than in the case of children, particularly those who were recruited to fight with the Islamic State. VICE Correspondent Isobel Yeung meets the Iraqi youth who both lived and trained under ISIS as they try to rebuild their lives while facing an uncertain future.