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Morning Update: Zuckerberg’s Testifying Before Congress, And I Need Popcorn

Zuckerberg will take questions today and tomorrow, Trump to decide on Syria response, the world's hottest chili pepper sent a man to the ER. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, April 10.

Posted on April 10, 2018, at 7:54 a.m. ET

Trump says “nothing is off the table” when it comes to Syria

President Donald Trump said yesterday he would announce the US response to the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria within 24–48 hours. How did we get here?

First, the background: This past weekend, a suspected chemical attack killed as many as 70 people in what was one of the last remaining footholds for opposition forces.

How did Trump respond? He placed blame for this weekend's attack at the feet of Russia and Iran — criticizing Vladimir Putin by name. He tweeted, “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad.”

What do Syrian rebels say? Rebel leaders told us they support military action by the US and its allies against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. They hope any strikes won’t be for show this time.

What happens next? Trump said Monday his administration would make a decision on Syria within 24 to 48 hours: “If it’s the Russians, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out,” he said.

Federal agents have seized the communications of Trump’s personal lawyer and Trump is very upset

Agents carried out “a series of search warrants” on President Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, according to Cohen's lawyer Stephen Ryan.

Ryan said the action was “in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”

Trump was livid. “I have this witch hunt constantly going on," the president said, adding, “It's an attack on our country, in a true sense. It's an attack on what we all stand for."

Quick brief:

Yulia Skripal, who was poisoned by a nerve agent along with her father, a former Russian spy, has reportedly been released from the hospital and taken to a secure location.

Stormy Daniels is fighting so that her lawsuit against Donald Trump doesn’t go to private arbitration — if it does, that would shield the matter from the public.

Michigan agreed to fund testing of up to 30,000 kids in Flint for developmental delays linked to the city’s lead poisoning crisis.

As Mark Zuckerberg takes the hot seat, Facebook is under more fire

Today, the founder of Facebook is set to begin two days of congressional hearings where he’ll answer questions on the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal.

Zuckerberg presented Congress with written testimony before the hearings — in it, he said that it’s “clear now” that Facebook “didn't do enough” to prevent its tools “from being used for harm.” And that’s just the pre-show.

Three stories you should know about before the hearings begin:

First of all: Facebook sent an apology letter for not preventing the spread of abusive content in Myanmar — an apology that NGOs in the country called “grossly insufficient.” Trolls used Facebook to target Myanmar’s Muslims with misinformation and threats of violence.

On top of that: Facebook has been accused of helping the Vietnamese government crack down on dissent. Activists say Facebook inappropriately suspended accounts and removed content belonging to human rights activists and journalists at the behest of the government.

And to add to all of this: Extremists in Sri Lanka also used Facebook to organize deadly violence against Muslims. The company is accused of not doing enough to prevent it.

So the stage is set:

From Zuckerberg’s written testimony to Congress: “We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here.”

This oughta be good.

Quick brief:

Tammy Duckworth just became the first US senator to give birth while in office.

People are unhappy about how The Simpsons responded to a controversy around Apu.

The world’s hottest chili pepper, the Carolina Reaper, sent a 34-year-old man to the ER after eating one triggered rare “thunderclap headaches.”

Uber has acquired Jump and officially joined the dockless bike wars

Uber is expanding beyond the four-wheel space. The company is acquiring the electric bike-share company Jump, which currently operates in San Francisco and Washington, DC.

Jump reportedly plans to expand to Sacramento and Davis, California, and Providence, Rhode Island. Uber’s expertise in pushing into new cities could help Jump expand even more rapidly.

The acquisition gives Uber access to valuable insight into a transportation trend that is popular in Europe and Asia but has only recently started to gain traction in the US.

It comes with new regulatory headaches, though: Many public officials are wary of abandoned dockless bikes littering their cities. Seattle and DC have even capped the number of dockless bikes that can be used on their streets.

Some guy roasted his mom on a reply-all email to his university and it’s something

On Friday, Southern Oregon University sent an email warning to students about cougars in the area and told them to call 911 if they spot one.

Caleb Diaz, a hero of sorts, saw the obvious joke and went in. He wrote, “That’s just my mom,” and pressed reply all, assuming it wouldn’t actually send.

He said he “figured they would have some block that would not allow students to send an email out to the whole school.”

Well, it did go to the whole school. And the response was sensational. Please enjoy, and remember to think before you reply all.

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