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Russia trolls U.S. with April Fools' joke about 'election interference'

From Russia with troll.

The world awoke Saturday in a joking mood, but no one was as ready to unleash a joke months in the making as Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry posted a video on Facebook of the supposed new automated message for its phone system that has since been confirmed as a joke.

>> See the post here

While a voice spouts instructions on how to “use the services of Russian hackers,” you are invited to look at the silhouette of an apparent expert in “election interference.”

“To arrange a call from a Russian diplomat to your political opponent, press 1,” the recording says. “Press 2 to use the services of Russian hackers” and “Press 3 to request election interference.”

>> Check out the best April Fools' Day 2017 pranks

The joke came a couple of days after Russian President Vladimir Putin vehemently denied Russia’s involvement in the contentious 2016 election.

“Read my lips – no,” Putin said Thursday, denying Russian involvement in influencing the outcome of the U.S. election. “Do we want to completely destroy our diplomatic relations to bring the situation to how it was in the 1960s with the Cuban missile crisis?”

>> Read more trending news

According to The Guardian, a source close to the Kremlin described the Russia conversation in the U.S. as a “temporary psychosis.” The source said, “They’ll calm down.”

Who knows if Putin was directly behind the joke, but you just know that somewhere he’s reliving this moment all the same.

Check out the best April Fools' Day 2017 pranks

The beginning of April brings a slew of pranks to mark April Fools' Day. Here is a collection of some of the best pranks for 2017.

If you need ideas for your own April Fools’ Day mischief, check out the resources below.

>> Read more trending news

New picture book will show black Santa with white husband

Most depictions of Santa Claus show a hefty white man with a white beard in a red suit with a hat to match. 

But one man is advocating for black Santa in a unique way. 

>> Read more trending news

Daniel Kibblesmith, a staff writer for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” first tweeted his idea about black Santa in December, when he said he had decided he would only tell his future children about black Santa.

“If they see a white one, we’ll say, ‘That’s his husband,’” Kibblesmith wrote. 

Nearly four months later, Kibblesmith posted an update with developments of a book idea. 

The book, titled “Santa’s Husband,” is described as a “parody children’s book ... which tells the true story of black Santa and his white husband ... and their life in the North Pole,” according to a release. 

The book chronicles the men and explains that white Santa is often the face of the couple, as he’s seen out more frequently, while his husband fulfills other duties.

Cover art shows the interracial couple looking lovingly into each others’ eyes.  

Harper Design will publish the book in October. 

Kibblesmith has also authored “How to Win at Everything: Even Things You Can’t or Shouldn’t Try to Win At.”

Photos: St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Wear the green and see how the world has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.

This fact about St. Patrick may shock you

St. Patrick, celebrated today with oceans of green beer and a mountain of lively shamrock attire, was Ireland’s patron saint. He used the three-leafed shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity and is said to have driven the snakes from the land.

>> Read more trending news 

The business about snakes is folklore; snakes were never there to begin with. But there’s another fact about St. Patrick that may take you by surprise.

He wasn’t actually Irish. Not originally, anyway.

According to a confession he is said to have written, he was born in the English county of Northamptonshire and brought to Ireland in bondage.

“I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many,” begins the confession, translated from the original Latin and available here via the Royal Irish Academy. “I was taken into captivity in Ireland, along with thousands of others. We deserved this, because we had gone away from God, and did not keep his commandments.”

His faith blossomed during his time in captivity.

“After I arrived in Ireland, I tended sheep every day, and I prayed frequently during the day,” he wrote. “More and more the love of God increased and my sense of awe before God. Faith grew, and my spirit was moved, so that in one day I would pray up to one hundred times, and at night perhaps the same. I even remained in the woods and on the mountain, and I would rise to pray before dawn in snow and ice and rain. I never felt the worse for it, and I never felt lazy – as I realize now, the spirit was burning in me at that time.”

He did make it back to England, but he returned to the Emerald Isle of his own volition. He is said to have introduced Christianity to Ireland, starting about A.D. 450.

What is a shamrock and what does it have to do with St. Patrick's Day?

The shamrock is the most iconic symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, but what do you really know about the three-leafed plant you’ll probably see adorned on all things green this Friday?

>> St. Patrick's Day 2017: How did it get started; why corned beef and cabbage; who is Patrick?

What is the shamrock?

Merriam-Webster defines a shamrock as “a small plant with three leaves on each stem that is the national symbol of Ireland”—not to be confused with the lucky four-leaf clover.

The yellow-flowered Old World clover, according to the dictionary, is often regarded as the “true” shamrock.

History of the shamrock

Its history dates back to ancient Ireland when the shamrock, also called the “seamroy” by the Celts, represented the rebirth of spring.

During the 1798 Irish Rebellion when the English began to conquer Irish land and make laws against their language and practice of Catholicism, wearing the shamrock became a symbol of Irish nationalism, according to History.com.

But contrary to popular belief, Ireland’s national symbol isn’t the shamrock. It’s actually the harp, which you’ll find on Irish coins, state seals and the presidential flag.

And while green is the color most associated with Ireland today—arguably due to both the shamrock and Ireland’s lush nature—the national color of origin was actually a shade of blue used by the Order of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

Why is the shamrock linked to St. Patrick’s Day?

According to St. Patrick's Day lore, St. Patrick used the leaves of a shamrock as a metaphor for the holy trinity. Each leaf represented either the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit.

Many representations of St. Patrick depict the patron saint with shamrocks tied to his robes, the Sun reported.

Others show him in pictures alongside shamrocks.

According to academic folklorist Jack Santino, some pictures of St. Patrick even present him driving the snakes out of Ireland—a popular, debunked legend associated with the Christian figure—with a cross in one hand and a spring of shamrocks in the other.

Learn more about the holiday, its symbols, history and legends.

Feeling tired? Take a nap for National Napping Day

If you still haven't bounced back from this weekend's springing forward, here's some good news: Monday is National Napping Day.

>> Read more trending stories  

According to Days of the Year, the unofficial sleeping holiday gives anyone who is still feeling the effects of losing an hour of sleep Sunday morning the opportunity to get some quick shut-eye during a catnap.

>>Related: Who's to blame for daylight saving time? It's not who you were taught 

Dr. William Anthony, a Boston University professor, came up with National Napping Day in 1999, according to Huffington Post.

He wanted to encourage people to make naps a part of everyone’s lives to help them be healthy and productive.

Anthony said they chose the Monday after daylight saving time begins because people were already in nap mode after losing that hour of sleep, Shape reported.

March 13 also marks National Earmuff Day, National K9 Veterans Day, National Open An Umbrella Day and National Good Samaritan Day, according to National Day Calendar.

Photos: Mardi Gras celebrations

Couple goes viral with Valentine's Day love song lip sync

An Indianapolis has put their love and lip sync talents on display and their video has gone viral with more than 16 million views since they posted it on Sunday.

They started posting their comedic lip sync videos since 2015 for their kids as a way for them to see how much fun the couple had when they were younger, WXIN reported

>> Read more trending news  

Every Friday they post a new video to their YouTube page

But they did an extra special one for the day of love - a mashup of love songs including "I Will Always Love You," "Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong" and "You're the One That I Want," complete with costumes matching the song.

LOVE SONGS OF THE DECADES❤️ VALENTINE'S DAY LIP SYNC ---> Love Songs Of The Decades 🎤Thanks to Costumes By Margie for helping us bring these love songs to life!______________________NEW vid every FRIDAY!Like + Comment + Share :) CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL us on Facebook us on Instagram us on Twitter#KristinAndDannyPosted by Kristin and Danny on Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mail ordered flowers fall short on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day 2017 has come and gone, but the gifts are still here.

Some flowers hit it out of the ballpark, while others fell flat and droopy.

>> Read more trending news 

And while many said it was the thought that counted to their loved ones, they took to Twitter to complain to one mail order flower company about no deliveries, unbloomed flowers and ones that seem to be destined for a quick trip to the garbage pail.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/mail-ordered-flowers-fall-short-on-valentine-s-day/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/mail-ordered-flowers-fall-short-on-valentine-s-day.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "Mail ordered flowers fall short on Valentine's Day" on Storify]

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