The Sloths That Could Cure Cancer

VICE News host Thomas Morton swings from the trees with an international team of scientists in Panama that’s found a promising treatment for malaria, Chagas disease and breast cancer in the most unlikely place: The mossy fur of tree sloths. It’s yet another reason to not cut down rainforests. About half of all drugs brought to market from 1997-2006 came from plants, fungi and bacteria discovered by “bio-prospectors” in nature. And we see that sloths are just one of many new and unusual frontiers for this research.

“There is no single Islamic text or jurisprudential edict that prohibits women driving”:


From the perspective of the private prison industry it doesn’t matter who’s in their prison as long as they have bodies. The handing of prisons over to for-profit companies is a recipe for abuse, neglect and misconduct.

Canada Is Forcing Medical Marijuana Patients to Destroy Their Weed

On Friday, the ideal time for any government to release bad news, Health Canada issued a public statement outlining their new medical marijuana (or as they often refer to it,marihuana) system. In it, Health Canada explains that they do “not endorse the use of marijuana” while adding that they will be “taking the necessary steps to protect public safety while providing reasonable access to marijuana for medical purposes, as ordered by the Courts.”

When these new laws go into effect on April 1st, existing medical marijuana patients will no longer be able to grow their own weed. Instead, these roughly 40,000 registered Canadian marijuana patients will have to turn to corporate, legal grow-ops that are being built and regulated all across the country. This means that patients will have much higher costs (Canada’s new legal grows will charge these patients $5-$7.50 a gram), while also being provided with a more limited selection of cannabis.


Indigenous Canadian Women Are Suffering a Murder Epidemic 

Last week’s discovery of the body of Loretta Saunders, an Inuit student who disappeared while working on a thesis about missing and murdered Native Canadian women, sparked calls across the country for action. NGOs say violence against Aboriginal women and girls is reaching epidemic levels — and around half of the murder cases remain unsolved.

Saunders was the third young Aboriginal woman killed this year, according to the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC). Five others were found last fall.

On February 13, NWAC delivered a petition to the House of Commons, signed by over 23,000 Canadians in support of the call for a national inquiry.



Toxic Waste in the Windy City

Last fall, black dust began to blow through residential neighborhoods on the southeast side of Chicago. Only it wasn’t really dust; it was a fine black residue that clung to everything it touched, including noses and throats. Residents eventually learned that it was an oil byproduct called petroleum coke — petcoke for short — and it was being stored in massive uncovered piles at facilities owned by the Koch brothers. VICE News’s Danny Gold traveled to Chicago to see what happens when clouds of toxic oil dust blow through the Windy City.