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Morning Update: If My Amazon Echo Starts Randomly Laughing, I'll Leave Earth

Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, March 6.

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Sam Nunberg was subpoenaed by Robert Mueller, then went on a bizarre media tour

It just kept getting more...unusual. In a series of media appearances, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said he would not comply with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Nunberg told media outlets that he had been ordered to provide documents and to testify in Washington, DC, on March 9. He called the demands to hand over emails related to the investigation “ridiculous.” Then he told CNN “screw that.”

To CNN’s Jake Tapper, he said, “I'm objecting to it because I shouldn't have to spend that much time.” He added, “Donald Trump caused this, because he's an idiot.”

Later in the evening, talking to Ari Melber at MSNBC, Nunberg said that Trump was “the most disloyal person [you're] ever gonna meet.”

Speaking with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Nunberg also criticized White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying she “should shut her fat mouth.”

Watch some of the clips. It’s all quite odd.

A leading skeptic group has paused its ties to Lawrence Krauss after a sexual harassment scandal

The Center for Inquiry suspended its relationship with physicist Lawrence Krauss, 11 days after our investigation revealed a series of sexual harassment allegations against him.

CFI is the leading player in the US skeptic scene. Skeptics promote science and reason over superstition and quackery. CFI’s meetings attract popular speakers and have contributed to making Krauss one of the public faces of scientific atheism.

One of most serious incidents involving Krauss we reported occurred in 2006, when Melody Hensley, who was then a CFI volunteer and later the executive director of the organization’s DC branch, alleged that Krauss forcibly kissed her and tried to remove her clothing.

As we reported, CFI leaders knew about this allegation for several years. CFI declined to elaborate on what information caused it to suspend its relationship with Krauss.


Despite Trump’s warnings, Theresa May is confident of a post-Brexit deal with the US

The British prime minister says she’s sure that a post-Brexit Britain will be able to get a good trade deal with the US. This is despite President Trump announcing that he’s going to impose significant tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

For Britain, this move would be a major blow: The country’s steel industry exports £360 million (about $500 million) worth of products to the US every year — and trading with non-EU countries is going to be even more important after Brexit.

May told Trump in a phone call that she has “deep concern” over his tariff plan. Meanwhile, Trump is reportedly also planning to offer post-Brexit Britain a worse “open skies” deal, which allows airlines to operate in each other's countries.

The PM’s spokesperson played down the concerns. When asked whether May was confident of securing a good deal regardless of what Trump had said, he replied, “Yes.”

[King George from Hamilton voice] Good luck!

Amazon Alexa devices are laughing spontaneously, and it’s creepy as hell

Yeah, that’s a no from me. Nope. No, thank you.

Owners of Amazon Echo devices with the voice-enabled assistant Alexa have been creeped out of their minds recently. People are reporting that Alexa sometimes spontaneously starts laughing — which, like I said, is a capital Nope.

One person described their Echo unleashing a “chilling, witch-like laugh. ... It scared the wife and my 5-year-old so badly that we unplugged her.”

I would love to ease your mind, but Amazon did not respond to several inquiries for more information about WTF is going on. Until it does, I am going to stick with “nope” as my formal response.

Quick catch-up

Stolen Oscar: After Frances McDormand won the Best Actress award Sunday, her Oscar trophy was briefly stolen. The Oscar was allegedly swiped from her table at the Governors Ball, one of many afterparty events of the season. According to McDormand’s rep, the actor and her Oscar “celebrated their reunion with a double cheeseburger from In-N-Out.”

Yikes, Facebook: The social media company wanted to know in a survey if an adult asking a 14-year-old for nude photos was acceptable. The questionnaire gave multiple response options, like, “This content should not be allowed on Facebook, and no one should be able to see it.” One option that was absent: Inform the authorities. Facebook’s product VP Guy Rosen called the question a “mistake.”

OpenTable: An employee at the online restaurant reservation service was fired after he made 300 fake reservations at 45 restaurants to hurt a rival company. The employee used Reserve to make bookings that led to no-shows equivalent to 1,200 to 1,300 diners.

Thad Cochran: The Mississippi Republican senator announced he will resign effective April 1, due to health issues. “I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge," Cochran said in a statement.

The West Virginia teachers’ strike offers a new model for the left

Their strike is illegal. It’s led by women. And it’s taking place in a state that the national Democratic Party has all but totally written off.

In West Virginia, thousands of teachers have shuttered every public school in the state for more than a week while demanding more pay — they’re paid more than 20% below the national average for teacher salaries. And they organized for this strike from the ground up.

As Cora Lewis reports, the teachers in West Virginia are demonstrating that workers can organize and take action even in states where such strikes are illegal, and wield leverage over a state employer the old-fashioned way.

Tiffany Haddish is the antidote to all sadness ever

The breakout star of Girls Trip is having a phenomenal year, which she capped off this past weekend with her much-talked-about onstage banter with Maya Rudolph at the Oscars. (People loved the two of them together.)

Right after the awards show, she had an emotional interview with BuzzFeed News about her success, and it’ll make you tear up with both happiness and laughter. “I think I'm ovulating, I'm so emotional!” she told us. Read the whole thing — it’ll make you feel like anything is possible.

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Elamin Abdelmahmoud is a Social Media Editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto

Contact Elamin Abdelmahmoud at

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