May 6, 2014

Dolphins are so last month. The Chinese military revealed its "secret weapon" yesterday: monkeys. The People's Liberation Army said it has trained a small contingent of the furry creatures to protect its air forces base from birds that endanger its fleet of planes. State-run media showed videos of the impressive feats the primates are capable of, such as quickly scurrying up trees to destroy nests, leaping far distances, and scaring off birds.

The monkeys are trained to respond to "precise whistle commands" from their handlers and can destroy six to eight birds nests an hour, reports the Washington Post. Migrating birds have long threatened the base's jets, since they frequently get sucked into their engines. Chinese media didn't reveal the base the monkeys are being used at, but described it as being in the Beijing military zone.

Anyway, be afraid. --Jordan Valinsky

5:50 a.m. ET

Last week, after CNN reported that top U.S. intelligence officials had presented President-elect Donald Trump with unverified claims that Russia has compromising personal and financial material on him, Trump and his press aides attacked CNN as "fake news" and conflated its report with BuzzFeed's publication of the entire raw Russia dossier. The BuzzFeed dossier was "pretty salacious," Seth Meyers reminded CNN's Jake Tapper on Monday's Late Night, with "obviously some details that comedy shows were really happy to read," but for CNN and other news organizations, "this must be a crazy time."

Meyers noted that Tapper used to be a White House reporter like CNN's Jim Acosta, who was berated by Trump and his designated press secretary, Sean Spicer. "Do you feel as though you're under attack, being a member of the press right now?" he asked. Tapper said he's been yelled at by presidents and press secretaries from both parties, "but I've never seen the effort to delegitimize an organization for a story that you don't like that has been proven," like CNN's Trump story, 100 percent accurate. Trump "was obviously trying to get us to stop focusing on the story, and just to discredit all of us," Tapper said. "And you know, that's too bad — it's not a huge shock that he would try to do that."

Meyers asked if it is unreasonable to expect the press corps to band together to try and force Trump's administration to answer questions, and Tapper took a little walk down memory lane, to when he was a White House correspondent for ABC News. In President Obama's first term — "and I'm not saying these things are equivalent — but the Obama White House went to war against Fox News, and they tried to say that the entire organization was illegitimate," Tapper said. "And when they were doing that, I challenged them for that, specifically because it's an important principal to stand up for — we're all supposed to be in this together." If you're part of a news organization that's not CNN and Trump doesn't like your accurate story, Tapper warned, "you're next." Watch below for Tapper's impression of Obama hitting him with an Obama burn. Peter Weber

5:03 a.m. ET

If you had Martin Luther King Jr. Day off, Stephen Colbert hopes you celebrated it the traditional way — "by sleeping in so you, too, could have a dream" — he joked at the beginning of Monday's Late Show. President-elect Donald Trump spent his day canceling a visit to the National African American Museum, Colbert noted, "although I guess in a way that might be good — the last thing we need is Trump learning more about segregation."

The big Trump news, of course, comes from his Twitter account. "Trump spent the weekend attacking civil rights icon John Lewis on Twitter," Colbert said, though "to be fair, Congressman Lewis kind of started it," telling NBC's Chuck Todd he doesn't consider Trump "a legitimate president," because Russia helped get him elected. Colbert read Trump's tweets. "Yes, well said — John Lewis is 'all talk, talk, talk," he said, "unlike a real leader like Trump, who's all tweet, tweet, tweet."

"So Trump spent the Martin Luther King weekend attacking a leader who marched and was beaten with Dr. King," Colbert said. "What's he going to do on Easter?" He imagined the Trump tweet: "Loser Jesus dead for 3 days and then we're supposed to believe he just wakes up? Fake news. I like gods who don't die. Where's the rebirth certificate?" Also: "Buddha, you're fat. You're a 6 at best."

Colbert ended by noting that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down in May, after 146 years putting on "The Greatest Show on Earth" — and connecting that to Trump. "Apparently, the circus doesn't think it could compete against the Trump presidency," he said, poking Trump: "What with all the marriages, he does have three rings." Colbert noted the parallels between Trump and Barnum, including a late turn to politics and similarly titled books, then wrapped up: "And of course, though P.T. Barnum is famous for saying 'There's a sucker born every minute,' Donald Trump is famous for proving it." Watch below. Peter Weber

4:06 a.m. ET

Republicans in Congress have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times since Democrats enacted it, but this year they won't have President Obama's veto to keep the law in place. They have already started the process of repealing big parts of ObamaCare, Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, but President-elect Donald Trump promised over the weekend that the replacement plan will cover everybody "beautifully." Without specifics, Colbert wasn't reassured: "Oh, don't worry, if you're losing your ObamaCare, you will be beautifully covered, either by insurance or six feet of dirt."

"We know Republicans are going to replace it, and they haven't told us with what, but I think they've given us a hint," Colbert said. "And that brings us to tonight's WERD." Like Colbert's old WØRD segment, most of the jokes are a combination of the host's words and the text in the box, and Colbert walked through the upsides and downsides of replacing ObamaCare before noting tartly that Republicans forbade the Congressional Budget Office from scoring the cost — estimated at 3 million jobs and $1.5 trillion — of repealing the Affordable Care Act. "That's right, the GOP is so confident that repeal will save money, that they don't want to know if that's true," Colbert said. "And if Congress can make it illegal for us to know how much it costs to repeal ObamaCare, I think they might have stumbled on the replacement: Just make it illegal for your doctor to tell you your diagnosis." Watch below. Peter Weber

2:07 a.m. ET
AFP/Getty Images

Nearly three years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the underwater search for the missing plane has been suspended.

The plane vanished over the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board. "Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft," Chinese, Australian, and Malaysian officials said in a statement. "The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness." Last July, it was decided by Australia, China, and Malaysia that if the aircraft was not found by the time 46,000 square miles had been covered, the search would be suspended. Some wreckage has been found, including three pieces off the coast of Africa.

In a statement, Voice370, a support group for relatives of those aboard the flight, said commercial airplanes "cannot just be allowed to disappear without a trace. Stopping at this stage is nothing short of irresponsible, and betrays a shocking lack of faith in the data, tools, and recommendations of an array of official experts assembled by the authorities themselves." Catherine Garcia

1:37 a.m. ET

Rob Schneider, star of The Hot Chick and that one Saturday Night Live sketch, thought it would be a good idea on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to explain to civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) how King conducted himself during the movement.

"Rep. Lewis," Schneider tweeted. "You are a great person. But Dr. King didn't give in to his anger or his hurt. That is how he accomplished & won Civil Rights." Lewis told NBC News last week that because of the evidence that Russia interfered with the presidential election to boost Donald Trump, "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president." Trump went on to claim that Lewis' district — home to the headquarters of Delta Air Lines and the Coca-Cola Company, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Emory University — is "crime infested," and he is "all talk, talk, talk — no action or results."

Not long after Schneider decided it was important he tell someone who worked alongside King how King acted, the pile-on began:

Don't feel bad for Schneider — the teasing should stop soon. Catherine Garcia

1:06 a.m. ET

As liberal America works its way through the seven stages of grief regarding President-elect Donald Trump, CNN host Van Jones has a head start on shock, he told Conan O'Brien on Monday's Conan. The first reason he suspected Trump might beat Hillary Clinton, Jones said, is because he is not like "these people — I just call them now 'data dummies,' who all they can look at in politics and talk about is the data and the polls and the numbers and that sort of stuff." He did not mention Nate Silver or Nate Cohn John or King or any other data-driven political analyst, but said that his own "life is a focus group."

And it was during his visits to college campuses — "I sing for my supper" — and his interaction with people on TV and Twitter that he had his second insight, Jones said: People weren't all that into Clinton. "If you get on stage, even now, and you say 'Barack Obama,' people go nuts," he said, and "people go nuts, usually the other way," when you say "Donald Trump." "But I would say Hillary Clinton's name and it would be crickets," Jones said. It was partly that Democrats were lulled into complacency by the data showing Clinton with a 95 percent chance of winning, he added, shaking his damn head: "It's a 5 percent chance of an asteroid destroying the Earth! You might want to get busy!" He saw Democrats work harder to defeat John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, Jones said, which he still thinks is crazy: "Why would you work so hard to stop a John McCain and then do nothing to stop Trump except to say, 'Oh, Trump is terrible'?" Watch below. Peter Weber

12:32 a.m. ET
Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump was adamant at his first press conference in months last week that "the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters," but a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 74 percent of respondents think he should release his tax records.

Of the people who said his tax returns should be made public, 40 percent are his own supporters, while 94 percent backed Hillary Clinton and 93 percent supported someone else during the election or had no preference. Overall, 41 percent say they "care a lot" about the returns being released. When it comes to ethics, 43 percent said they think Trump, his family, and advisers are complying with federal ethics laws, while 44 percent think they aren't. Overall, 52 percent say his plan to continue owning his businesses while placing them in a trust managed by his eldest sons is sufficient, and 42 percent say he should sell his businesses.

The poll was produced by Langer Research Associates, and the full results will be released Tuesday morning. It was conducted by landline and cellphone Jan. 12 to 15 among a random sampling of 1,005 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, with partisan divisions of 31-23-37 percent Democrats, Republicans, independents. Catherine Garcia

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