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5 things for March 6: Nunberg, Korea talks, teacher strikes, Syria, net neutrality
Insane. Jaw-dropping. Mystifying. Just a few of the adjectives people used to try to describe what former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg did yesterday. Nunberg is refusing to comply with a grand jury subpoena in the Russia investigation. "Screw that," he told CNN's Gloria Borger. So, while he doesn't want to talk with investigators, he had no problems talking with journalists.
If a TV was on Monday afternoon, Nunberg was on it, appearing on news shows daring special counsel Robert Mueller to arrest him. He also said he believes Mueller has "something" on Trump. White House staffers, who try their best to tune out the Russia probe, were reportedly transfixed by Nunberg's performance. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said he was misguided. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin reminded everyone that a subpoena is a not a birthday party invitation and can't be ignored.
So, why is Nunberg doing this? CNN's Chris Cillizza theorizes that he likes the attention but doesn't understand the damage he's doing to himself. And if you want to watch Erin Burnett's bonkers interview with Nunberg -- in which she tells him straight-up she smells alcohol on his breath -- click here.
South Korea wants to continue talks with North Korea while at the same time bolstering its military defenses. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said this while a high-level delegation from the South was in Pyongyang talking with the North, including a historic four-hour meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim told the delegation that he wants to "write a new history of national reunification." Despite the good vibes, many observers don't think any of this will lead to a breakthrough but instead is just two sides trying to play the best hands they've been dealt amid talk of military action by Washington.
West Virginia's teacher strike hits its ninth day today, after lawmakers failed to agree on a proposed pay raise for educators. Teachers say they won't go back to work until they get a 5% raise. GOP Gov. Jim Justice gave his blessing to that, and the state House OK'd it, but the state Senate only passed a 4% raise, thus the impasse. A legislative conference committee will meet today to try to iron out the differences between the House and Senate bills.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, teachers are also thinking about going on strike, after state lawmakers shot down a bill that would have given them a $5,000 raise. Oklahoma ranks 49th in teacher salaries, and educators say a pay increase is needed to keep teachers from fleeing to other higher-paying states.
Russia's offering Syrian rebels and their families safe passage out of Eastern Ghouta, even as the Syrian government continues to pummel the area with shelling. Russia -- the Syrian government's most powerful ally -- has accused the rebels of preventing civilians from leaving the besieged Damascus suburb. A 46-truck aid convoy entered Eastern Ghouta yesterday for the first time with much needed food and medicine. Almost 600 people have been killed since Syria last month launched an air and ground offensive on the rebel-held area.
Washington state moved to protect net neutrality as DC aims to get rid of it. Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed a law that safeguards net neutrality protections. It bars internet service providers in Washington from blocking content, applications or services on the basis of content or whether they got paid to favor certain traffic. The federal Obama-era rules on net neutrality were repealed by the FCC and will officially end on April 23, though more than 20 states have filed suit to stop that.
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Oscars, Part 1
Adam West, Robert Guillaume, Della Reese and others were left out of the Oscars' "In Memoriam" segment, and Twitter (surprise) is fit to be tied about it.
Oscars, Part 2
Some dip thought it was a good idea to take off with Frances McDormand's Oscar after the ceremony. The guy was arrested and the prize returned.
The seven adult Turpin children -- recovering from the horrific abuse they endured -- had a special treat: a private concert from cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
The wreckage of a US aircraft carrier -- the USS Lexington -- that was sunk during WWII has been found 500 miles off the Australian coast.
The number of viewers of ABC's Oscars telecast, the lowest rating in history
Also, we need to correct something we reported about the Oscars in Monday's newsletter. We misspelled the name of Daniela Vega, the first openly transgender person to present at the Academy Awards. We are sorry for the error, and thanks to all of you who pointed it out to us.
The amount of a lottery prize that United Airlines wanted to offer employees in lieu of a quarterly bonus. Workers blasted that; United backtracked, saying it had "misjudged" how employees would feel about it. No kidding.
20 takes on 'Take On Me'
It's a pillar of classic '80s music -- A-ha's "Take On Me." Here, a pair of crafty musicians perform the tune as if Cher, Elvis Presley and even Snoop Dogg had gotten their hands on it. (Click to view.)