Morning Update: Inside WWF’s Secret War

Trump’s rambling speech, the “Shallow” scam, the real lesson of the Momo Challenge. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, March 4.

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WWF’s secret war

In wildlife parks around the world, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) funds, equips, and works directly with paramilitary forces that have been accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting, and killing scores of people, a yearlong investigation by BuzzFeed News has found. This reporting blows open the untold story of collateral damage in WWF’s secret global war — you can read it all here. Make more work like this possible by becoming a BuzzFeed News member here.

Trump mocked immigrant members of Congress and said “some hate our country”

The president made the remark in a rambling two-hour speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He added, “we can name every one of them if they want.” Some in the crowd shouted the the name of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who immigrated to the US as a teenage refugee from Somalia.

Meanwhile: An anti-Muslim poster that linked Omar to the 9/11 attacks was displayed during a celebration of West Virginia’s Republican Party, and it led to chaos.


Trump promoted his Scottish golf course in a tweet about foreign policy, prompting ethics concerns. The former director of the office of government ethics called it the president’s “most explicit commingling of personal interests and public office to date.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s team is already plotting a third “meaningful vote” on her Brexit deal. Senior figures in May’s team privately fear she will lose an upcoming second vote and are gaming whether they can secure a majority at a third attempt.

A man who was trapped in the snow for five days told police he survived on taco sauce. Jeremy Taylor was trapped in his car for days after an intense snow storm. Before a snowmobiler found him, he said he survived by eating Taco Bell sauce packets he found in his car.

Two sisters, ages 5 and 8, with survival training were found alive in the wilderness after rescuers tracked their granola bar wrappers. After a 44-hour search, the girls were found dehydrated and cold but not injured. They stayed put and drank fresh water from huckleberry leaves. They were found huddled together under a bush.

Lady Gaga fans are spreading a fake Starbucks scam to get “Shallow” to #1. The scam suggests the coffee company will give customers a free beverage voucher if they send a screenshot of themselves listening to the song. Spoiler: Starbucks doesn’t care if you’re listening to “Shallow.”

Parents shouldn’t fear Momo. They should fear how little they understand YouTube.

Last week, we talked about the Momo Challenge, which is more or less a hoax that grew more realistic as parents and teachers (and yes, journalists) put it in the spotlight.

It’s unclear how many Momo videos exist, if they’ve caused kids to take action, and just how widespread the phenomenon is. But the panic Momo caused created a feedback loop where trolls circulated more videos, causing more confusion among nonsavvy users.

All of this highlights a greater point: Parents don’t understand YouTube. Here’s how one expert put it: “If you take kids to the park and you stand three feet away from them, you should stand three feet away while they’re on YouTube.”

From the opinion pages: Joan Donovan, a technology and social change expert, said Momo is a morality tale, and the target audience is parents who leave their kids alone with the algorithms.

This math professor looked after a baby when his student couldn’t find a sitter

This is one of the stories that puts an instant smile on your face.

Nathan Alexander teaches math at Morehouse College, an all-male historically black institution in Georgia.

On Friday, one of his students, Wayne Hayer, came to class with his baby girl, Assata. Hayer couldn’t find a baby sitter.

That’s when Alexander offered to hold the baby so that Hayer could “take better notes in class.” The professor then proceeded to teach the whole class while holding the baby.

A fellow classmate shared the encounter, and as you can imagine, it has gone viral and lifted so many people’s hearts. Here’s what Alexander looked like while teaching with the baby:

Student came to class today with his child due to no babysitter or anybody to watch her while he was in class. My professor NATHAN ALEXANDER said “I’ll hold her so you can take good notes!” #HBCU #morehouse #Respect

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