Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: March 6, 2017

The White House urges Congress to investigate Trump's wiretap claim, North Korea fires missiles into the Sea of Japan, and more

1

White House calls for investigation of Trump wiretapping claim

The White House on Sunday called on Congress to investigate President Trump's claim that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower in New York City, the president's home and then-campaign headquarters. Trump tweeted that the bugging was like "Nixon/Watergate," although neither Trump nor the White House provided any evidence. "All we're saying is let's take a closer look," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. House and Senate intelligence committee leaders said any surveillance of candidates would be covered under their investigations of Russian election meddling. FBI Director James Comey reportedly asked the Justice Department this weekend to refute Trump's claim. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied Trump was ever the target of a wiretap.

2

North Korea fires missiles into Sea of Japan

North Korea fired four banned ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan early on Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. Three of the missiles reportedly came down in Japan's exclusive economic zone. "The launches are clearly in violation of Security Council resolutions. It is an extremely dangerous action," Abe said. The provocative move by the isolated communist state came as South Korea and the U.S. hold joint military exercises that Pyongyang has called preparations for an invasion.

3

New executive order on immigration expected Monday

President Trump on Monday is expected to issue a new version of his executive order on immigration temporarily suspending entry of all refugees into the U.S., and imposing travel restrictions on a list of predominantly Muslim nations. The first version of Trump's immigration restrictions, which was blocked by the courts, suspended the refugee program for 120 days, but blocked Syrian refugees indefinitely. It also temporarily barred visitors from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. The new version reportedly avoids singling out Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban, and removes Iraq, a key partner in the fight against the Islamic State, from the travel ban. It also is expected to exempt people who already have green cards or valid visas.

4

Marines investigated for sharing nude photos of female service members

Military officials are investigating hundreds of active-duty Marines for allegedly sharing nude photos of female service members and veterans online without their consent. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, on Sunday called for the Marine Corps to conduct a prompt inquiry, calling the alleged actions "degrading, dangerous, and completely unacceptable." Hundreds of photos featuring at least two dozen women were posted to the private Marines United Facebook page, which has 30,000 male members, all of them U.S. Marines, Navy Corpsman, or British Royal Marines.

5

North Korea expels Malaysia's ambassador

North Korea on Monday ordered Malaysia's ambassador to leave the country in retaliation for the expulsion of Pyongyang's envoy from Malaysia over the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at the Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysia on Saturday gave North Korean Ambassador Kang Chol 48 hours to leave after he criticized the country's handling of the investigation of the killing, suspected of being carried out by North Korea. Kang, preparing to leave on Monday, accused Malaysia of taking "extreme measures" that would do "great harm" to relations between the two countries.

6

Lawmaker's office gives 3 Muslim students questionnaire asking, 'Do you beat your wife?'

Three Muslim students who tried to meet with Oklahoma state Rep. John Bennett (R.) at the State Capitol were asked to fill out a questionnaire with such questions as, "Do you beat your wife?" and "Do you denounce the terrorist organization Hamas?" The questions "intentionally misinterpreted ideas [from the Koran] to try to slander Muslims," said Anna Facci, an officer with the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Bennett, who has criticized Muslims in the past, told a CNN affiliate that he had left his office when the students came by, and told his staff to have the students fill out the questionnaire and make an appointment to speak with him.

7

Iraqi forces make gains but face intensifying resistance in Mosul

Iraqi forces faced the heaviest resistance yet in their offensive to retake western Mosul, destroying six Islamic State car bombs on Sunday before they reached government troops. Maj. Gen. Haider al-Maturi of the Federal Police Commandos Division said ISIS militants were moving from house to house, and using snipers to slow down advancing Iraqi soldiers and allied militia fighters. The Federal Police are gaining ground as they try to take back the city's main government complex in the Dawasa neighborhood. U.S.-backed Iraqi forces also reportedly took control of a second bridge over the Tigris River, a key milestone.

8

GM agrees to sell European brands Opel and Vauxhall

General Motors said Monday that it had reached a deal to sell its Opel and Vauxhall brands to French auto maker PSA Groupe for $2.2 billion. The sale will end GM's presence in Europe as a major manufacturer. The sale will let GM focus resources on developing self-driving cars, and vehicles for its profitable North America and China businesses. Its European operations lost money for 16 straight years. "This was a difficult decision for General Motors," GM CEO Mary Barra said. "But we are unified in our belief that it is the right one." PSA Groupe, which already has the Peugeot and Citroen brands, will become the region's second largest auto maker with 17 percent of the market, behind only Germany's Volkswagen.

9

Bird flu detected in Tennessee commercial flock

A strain of bird flu has been detected at a Tennessee farm affiliated with Tyson Foods, the nation's largest chicken meat producer. Tyson said Sunday that it was working with state and federal officials to prevent the virus from spreading by killing 73,500 breeding birds. "Based on the limited scope known to us at this time, we don't expect disruptions to our chicken business and plan to meet our customers' needs," said a spokesman for Tyson. It is the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza in a U.S. commercial poultry flock in more than a year.

10

Logan leads weekend box office with $85.3 million debut

The X-Men spinoff Logan led the box office with a $85.3 million haul in its debut weekend. The R-rated film, starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, put a new spin on the super-hero genre with what one New York Times critic called "raw, ugly violence" that helps the 20th Century Fox film keep from feeling like a "retread" even though Jackman has been playing Wolverine for 17 years. Logan collected another $152.5 million overseas. Moonlight got a lift from its Best Picture win at the Oscars, making $2.5 million, accounting for 10 percent of its domestic total of $25 million so far.

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