Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

March 06, 2017 - 12:50 am


Congress to add wiretapping claim to probes of Russia's election actions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says Congress should expand its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election to include President Donald Trump's claim of wiretapping at Trump Tower by the Obama administration. And lawmakers appear to be heeding that request.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes says Trump's allegation will become part of his panel's investigation. The California Republican says in a statement his committee "will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party's campaign officials or surrogates."

The committee was already investigating Russian interference in the presidential election.

A Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee also said he believes the wiretapping allegation will become part of that committee's investigation into Russian actions during the election. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton told "Fox News Sunday" that "We're going to follow the facts wherever they lead us. And I'm sure that this matter will be a part of that inquiry."


Dems seek details of communications about Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Democrats are seeking details about reports of contacts between the White House and the Justice Department concerning the FBI's ongoing review of efforts by the Russian government to unlawfully influence the U.S. presidential election.

House Judiciary Committee Democrats plan a letter to White House counsel Donald McGahn noting the contacts were inappropriate. Judiciary Democrats will also send a similar letter to FBI Director James Comey.

The Democrats cited reports of the White House contacting the Justice Department and FBI asking them to knock down reports of communications between Trump associates and Russians during the campaign. Comey hasn't done so, and Democrats want to know details of those communications.


Official says FBI wants Trump claim rejected

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official tells The Associated Press that the FBI has asked the Justice Department to dispute allegations made on Twitter by President Donald Trump that Barack Obama as president ordered the tapping of Trump's phones during the presidential campaign

The official isn't authorized to discuss the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores has declined to comment on the matter, and an FBI spokesman also isn't commenting.

The New York Times reports that FBI Director James Comey has argued that the claim is false and has to be corrected.

The Justice Department has not issued any statement in an effort to refute Trump's assertion.


Trump expected to sign new travel ban order

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is preparing to sign a revised executive order barring the entry of people from certain Muslim-majority countries and halting the nation's refugee program.

A White House official says plans to roll out the order are on track for Monday.

The official insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the order ahead of the official announcement.

The revised order is expected to remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary U.S. travel ban. The original ban was halted by the courts following a wave of legal challenges.

The new version was written in an effort to address problems raised by the courts and clear confusions, like explicitly exempting green card holders.

Nonetheless, it is expected to spark a new round of lawsuits and protests.


Seoul: North Korea fires 4 ballistic missiles into ocean

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) —South Korean and Japanese officials say North Korea on Monday fired four banned ballistic missiles that flew about 620 miles, with three of them landing in Japan's exclusive economic zone, in an apparent reaction to huge military drills by Washington and Seoul that Pyongyang insists are an invasion rehearsal.

It's not yet clear the exact type of missile fired; Pyongyang has staged a series of missile test-launches of various ranges in recent months, including a new intermediate-range missile in February. The ramped-up tests come as leader Kim Jong Un pushes for a nuclear and missile program that can deter what he calls U.S. and South Korean hostility toward the North.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the firing shows that North Korea has become "a new kind of threat." Japanese officials say three of the four missiles landed in the 200-nautical-mile offshore area where Tokyo has sovereign rights for exploring and exploiting resources.


N.Korean ambassador faces deadline to leave Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia is facing a deadline to leave the country Monday after authorities there declared him "persona non grata" and accused Pyongyang of trying to manipulate the investigation into the poisoning of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader's half brother, at a Kuala Lumpur airport.

The Malaysian government on Saturday gave Ambassador Kang Chol 48 hours to leave the country after he refused to apologize for his strong accusations over Malaysia's handling of the investigation into the Feb. 13 killing.

The death of Kim, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has unleashed a diplomatic battle between Malaysia and North Korea. Malaysian authorities said Kim died within 20 minutes after two women smeared his face with VX, a banned nerve agent considered a weapon of mass destruction.

North Korea has rejected Malaysia's autopsy finding that VX killed Kim.

Two women — one Indonesian, one Vietnamese — have been charged with murder in the case, although both reportedly say they were duped into thinking they were playing a harmless prank.


Lawyer for Vietnamese woman in Kim's death wants 2nd autopsy

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A lawyer for one of the women accused of poisoning the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader says there are serious holes in the case.

In an interview with Vietnam's state-run online newspaper Zing, attorney Selvam Shanmugam says allegations that the North Korean man had existing health problems should be cause for a new autopsy.

Kim was fatally poisoned at Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13, and so far Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong and an Indonesian woman have been arrested and charged with murder.

Doan Van Thanh, Huong's father, told The Associated Press by telephone from his home that he met Shanmugam on Saturday and agreed to have him represent his daughter.


NEW: Pakistan says attack by militants kills 5 soldiers

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — The Pakistani army says militants killed five soldiers when they attacked three military posts in a tribal region along the Afghan border.

An army statement Monday says that the troops repulsed the attackers, who had crossed overnight from Afghanistan.

It says 10 of the attackers were believed to have been killed.

No group has claimed responsibility. Pakistan has long been home to local and al-Qaida linked foreign militants.

Several Pakistani military offensives have dismantled the bases and infrastructure used by the militants in country's tribal region, and Islamabad says some of the groups have shifted to sanctuaries across the border in Afghanistan.

The militants have shown capability that they can still launch large attacks, such as a string of suicide bombings last month that killed over 125.


Man fatally stabbed on Los Angeles Metro platform

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles authorities say a man was fatally stabbed on a platform of the Metro Purple Line subway in the Koreatown neighborhood and that a suspect has been detained.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says deputies were called to the station on Wilshire Boulevard Sunday afternoon. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

A suspect was arrested in the area a short time later.

KCBS reports train service between the Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/Vermont stations was shut down due to the police activity. Buses shuttled riders out of the two stations.

A motive in the killing is under investigation.


Marines being investigated for sharing nude photos

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Defense Department is investigating reports that some Marines shared naked photographs of female Marines, veterans and other women on a secret Facebook page, some of which were taken without their knowledge.

The photographs were shared on the Facebook page "Marines United," which had a membership of active-duty and retired male Marines, Navy Corpsman and British Royal Marines. Along with identified female military members were photographs of unidentifiable women in various stages of undress, and according to officials, included obscene comments about some of the women.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is now investigating. The photographs have been taken down.

Marine Corps commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller on Sunday refused to comment directly about the ongoing investigation. But in a statement. Neller said "For anyone to target one of our Marines, online or otherwise, in an inappropriate manner, is distasteful and shows an absence of respect."


Ex-Stockton, California, mayor arrested at airport

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Former Stockton, California, Mayor Anthony Silva has been arrested at the San Francisco International Airport, where he arrived from a vacation in South America.

Silva's attorney Allen Sawyer tells Sacramento television station KCRA the former mayor was arrested Sunday as he returned from Colombia.

An arrest warrant was issued for Silva on Thursday on charges of profiteering, embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds and grand theft, among other charges. He will face the charges in San Joaquin County.

Sawyer says Silva left for his vacation on Wednesday, a day before FBI agents and investigators from the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office served search warrants at Silvas' home and the Stockton Kids Club, which Silva used to run when it was known as the Boys and Girls Club.


Tree falls, kills woman at national park in California

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Officials say a 21-year-old woman was killed by a falling tree at Half Dome Village in Yosemite National Park.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman tells Sacramento television station KCRA the accident happened Sunday in the area formerly known as Curry Village. No other information about the victim was made public.

A windy, cold storm was sweeping through Northern California and dumped hail. Scattered showers are forecast for the region through Sunday.

Gediman says rangers closed the village and had visitors leave the area after the accident. Weather conditions were improving Sunday afternoon and rangers expected to reopen the area later in the day.

Park officials also closed Upper Pines and Camp 4 because of the weather conditions. Those areas are expected to reopen Monday.

In December and January, at least two people in California were killed by falling trees. In January, one woman who struck and killed by a tree while walking on a Northern California golf course. In December, a woman posing for photographs as part of a wedding party was killed and five others were injured by a falling eucalyptus tree in Southern California.


NEW: Australian trekker dies near Mount Everest base camp

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Police in Nepal say an Australian trekker has died near the Mount Everest base camp, possibly due to high-altitude sickness.

Police official Khil Raj Bhattarai said Monday that the 49-year-old man died Friday at Lobuche village, located just below the base camp, at 4,940 meters (16,200 feet).

The body was taken to Kathmandu, Nepal's capital.

Australian news reports said the man was from Melbourne.

Thousands of foreign trekkers hike up to the base camp during the spring and autumn season, when the weather is favorable. High-altitude sickness is also common for visitors to the area who are not used to the thinner level of oxygen.

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