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--President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn is in discussions to testify in the congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and is seeking "assurances against unfair prosecution," Flynn's lawyer said in a statement. The news comes as the House and Senate intelligence committees investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged contacts between the Trump campaign and possible Russian officials.
--ABC's Good Morning America speaks with Russian President Putin's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov.
--A New York Times report says House Intelligence Chair GOP Congressman Devin Nunes was secretly provided with intelligence by two key figures from the White House itself including a top staffer from the national security council.  Democrats on the Hill and even some Republicans are crying foul.

Republican in-fighting hit the Twitter-sphere Thursday, as President Trump attacked the Freedom Caucus, saying he was willing to do battle against them, as well as Democrats, to forge ahead on his agenda.  Freedom Caucus member Congressman Justin Amash tweeted back: "It didn't take long for the swamp to drain drain @realDonaldTrump.  And after hearing a national interview where House Speaker Ryan indicated he had no interest on working the Democrats, influential Republican Sen. Bob Corker tweeted disappointment regarding that attitude.  

-Friday President Trump is expected to sign two executive orders on trade. One order would launch a wide-ranging review of the U-S trade deficit with the purpose of identifying forms of “trade abuse” that have contributed to the deficit. The second executive order seeks to strengthen enforcement of rules against countries that engaging in dumping, the practice of selling goods below market price. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro briefed reporters on the pending actions Thursday night.
- President Trump also meets with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and also the National Association of Manufacturers. 

NATO foreign ministers hold their first meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels Friday as the Trump administration pushes allies to spend more on defense and step up counter-terrorism efforts.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is announcing a plan to speed up the deportation of immigrants in the country illegally who have been convicted of federal crimes.  Sessions said Thursday that the Justice Department will expand an existing program aimed at holding deportation hearings for immigrants while they are still in federal prison.

--A 17-year-old charged with raping a fellow student in a Maryland high school bathroom is heading back to court. Jose Montano and another student, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez, are charged with assaulting the 14-year-old girl earlier this month at Rockville High School. Montano is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday in Montgomery County District Court. On Thursday, a judge rejected a defense request to release Montano on bail. His lawyers say the sex was consensual, and said they have text messages showing the girl agreed to have sex. Sanchez's lawyer also says the sex was consensual.
--Emotions ran high at the first school board meeting since a 14-year-old reported being raped in Rockville High School. “I would call upon everyone, no matter what their faith, or their beliefs, to really think about this student and her family in the coming days,” said Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith at Thursday night’s meeting. Smith also said the district is looking to add security and check points at schools, but he did not offer specifics.

A large fire has caused an overpass on Interstate 85 in Atlanta to collapse.  After the fire was put out, officials began investigating the cause.  No injuries were reported, but the collapse is expected to cause a massive traffic headache for commuters.   

Federal investigators are trying to figure out why a pickup truck veered head-on into a bus along a Texas highway killing the driver and 12 other seniors onboard Wednesday.  They were members of a church choir making their way home from a retreat.  The one bus passenger who survived -- a 64 year old woman - now  in critical condition.  Officials believe that pickup truck crossed the yellow line into oncoming traffic. 

Severe weather threat for 37 million Americans into Friday evening from the FL Panhandle to Ohio. Overall the severe threat is lower (less intense and more scattered in nature) than previously anticipated. The same system triggering severe thunderstorms across much of the country over the past few days will be moving into the Northeast on Friday bringing rounds of heavy rain and snow/ice for portions of upstate NY/New England.

ABC News has obtained several Shasta County Sheriff reports involving Sherri Papini starting in 2000. They are unrelated to the Northern California incident reported extensively back in November-December. Thirteen years before Sherri Papini told Shasta County detectives she was abducted and tortured for weeks by two female kidnappers, her mother called the same law enforcement agency to ask for help with her daughter.

The alleged getaway driver in a botched Oklahoma home invasion that left three teen burglary suspects dead spoke out to ABC News in a jailhouse interview, saying the resident who shot them "did what, you know, by law he could do to protect his home."

Local, state and federal agencies have stepped up operations in Arizona ahead of this weekend's Final Four NCAA College Men's Basketball Tournament's final games.
South Carolina, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Oregon are in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale ahead of two semifinal games on Saturday.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators headed to southwest Texas, where the head-on collision of a church bus and pickup truck left 12 people dead, three injured.  The crash on Highway 83 in Uvalde County involved members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, headed home from a bible study retreat.

--Thursday the Senate Intelligence Committee holds its first public hearing on Russia's meddling in the US election. While the House Intelligence Committee is embroiled in controversy, the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee asserted their independence at a rare news conference Wednesday.
--The embattled chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-CA), tells ABC's Mary Bruce: "I don't think there's anyone with any more credibility on Russia and the problems they pose than me."

"Sad and alarming" is how a compiler of new stats on pedestrian deaths characterizes the latest figures. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates an 11% increase in the number of persons on foot killed on U.S. roadways last year, compared to 2015. This would represent the largest year-to-year increase since record-keeping began, both in terms of number of deaths and percent increase.

A State Department employee with Top Secret clearance allegedly made unreported contacts with Chinese intelligence officials and accepted thousands of dollars in "gifts and benefits," the Department of Justice said Wednesday. Candace Marie Claiborne, 60, was arrested Tuesday and charged with "obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements in connection with her alleged concealment and failure to report her improper connections to foreign contacts along with the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits they provided," according to a statement from U-S Attorney Channing D. Phillips, of the District of Columbia. 

Seattle has filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump Administration for plans to crack down on sanctuary cities.  The lawsuit comes two days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the federal government will ramp up pressure on sanctuary cities and two months after President Trump signed an Executive Order on the topic.

--The President hosts the prime minister of Denmark at the White House Thursday for talks on security and acknowledging the 100 years since Denmark ceded the Virgin Islands to the US.
--President Trump will host the Chinese President at Mar-a-Lago next week. It will be the first time the two leaders meet in person since President Trump took office.


--Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets President Erdogan in Turkey, and later with US embassy staff.

--Defense Secretary James Mattis meets his British counterpart in London, and then holds a joint newser on the “enduring US-UK security relationship.”

Several former NFL players including Detroit Lions wide receiver Anquan Boldin, and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins,  speak to a House Democratic forum on minority communities and the police.


--Two ISS crew expected to perform a spacewalk to install a docking adaptor on the space station

--SpaceX has a Falcon 9 launch scheduled to deliver an SES-10 satellite into orbit.

Tornado watches were up from Texas to Missouri. Schools in part of Tennessee will be closed Thursday because of the threat of violent weather.

Elizabeth Rodriguez, the woman who allegedly drove three teenage boys to a home in Oklahoma where they were shot to death after attempting a home invasion robbery, told investigators that she planned the crime, officials said. She also told investigators that she left one of the burglars for dead, according to police. The Wagoner County Sheriff's office arrested Rodriguez on three first-degree murder and three first-degree burglary warrants and jailed her without bond after she told them that she had information about a shooting that took place at a home in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa.

Two former allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have been given prison time...a federal judge sentenced former Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni to two years in prison, and Christie's former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly to 18 months.  The two were convicted in the scheme to block traffic on the nation's busiest bridge as political payback to a mayor who refused to support Christie. Vowing to appeal, Kelly said outside court "I will not allow myself to be the scapegoat."

President Trump goes to the EPA to sign an executive order that will “initiate a review” of the Clean Power Plan, signed under President Obama, that
restricts greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fueled power plants. The President's measure also is expected to unravel a handful of other Obama-era energy orders and memorandum.  The White House argues that the Obama-era regulations have been burdensome to the American economy. Scientists and environmentalists say the Clean Power Plan.

There's a growing drumbeat of calls for House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump transition team... after his meeting with a source on the White House grounds last week. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to replace him. Ranking Democrat on the committee Adam Schiff says "It would be in the chairman's interest as well as the committee's for him to recuse himself and it's my hope that he'll do so." Nunes is said to have apologized last week to colleagues for letting the president know about evidence his own committee hadn't seen, but  Monday he defended his secret meeting with a source, telling CNN his actions were "pretty common" and "nobody was sneaking around." A Nunes spokesman says he will not be stepping down from leading the committee's investigation.
--The president's own son in law and his top White House Advisor Jared Kushner has voluntarily agreed to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee - making him the first White House staffer to face questions from Congressional investigators. During the transition Kushner met with the Russian ambassador and he also met with the head of a Russian bank, controlled by Putin's government and under US sanctions. But that man has ties to Russian intelligence. The White House says Kushner has nothing to hide.

After failing to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump is now set on tackling tax reform. He campaigned on cutting business and personal taxes so everyone spends and hires more in the US. But the same conservative Republicans that blocked the health care bill may create problems again -- they favor more business cuts. Democrats and moderate Republicans want relief for the middle class.

The President is holding a listening session with the Fraternal Order of Police, meets with his Secretary of State and DHS Secretary, and welcomes senators to the White House for an evening reception.


After months of protests and opposition from two American Indian tribes who worry about their water supply and cultural sites, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners says it has placed oil in the the Dakota Access pipeline under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, and it's prepping to put the pipeline into service.

A Maryland high school student is expected to face charges after allegedly planning to bomb her school. Authorities searched her home and found a journal containing detailed plans for a mass shooting, a shotgun and bomb-making materials. The 18-year-old honor student's father told school officials about the potential threat. Officials say she had a specific date in April picked out for the attack.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center's annual Terrorism Hate social media report card gives Facebook high grades for combating hate and terrorism. But says Google and YouTube didn't do enough until companies threatened to pull advertising.

In the fight against ISIS - the U-S Military is sending 300 additional soldiers to Iraq to *advise-and-assist* Iraqi forces in the battle for the city of Mosul. And the Pentagon is investigating whether air strikes played a role in the death of than 200 civilians there in recent days.

He's said Obamacare is "the law of the land," but House Speaker Paul Ryan signals the effort to roll back the Affordable Care Act is not over yet. "We are going to keep getting at this thing," he said, according to a recording obtained by The Washington Post. "We're not going to just all of a sudden abandon health care and move on to the rest. Meanwhile Trump's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare has spooked investors, sending the Dow sinking as many as 184 points in the first few minutes of trading Monday. But the index rebounded from those early losses, closing down by 46 points. It was the eighth day in a row of losses on the Dow, its longest losing streak since 2011. The recent market retreat is a reflection of rising fears on Wall Street that Trump's bold promises of sweeping tax reform, regulatory relief and infrastructure spending is in doubt. 

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-NJ); and Sen. Kamala Harris, (D-CA), hold a news conference with the National Council of La Raza and U.S. citizen children of deported parents to call on the administration to "stop separating American families."
--12 attorneys general, from mainly conservative leaning states, along with the Gov. of Mississippi, have filed a court brief in support of President Trump's immigration ban...currently on hold in the courts.

Postoned until next initial committee vote on President Trump's Supreme Court pick. Democrats used rules in the Senate Judiciary Committee to force a delay in considering Neil Gorsuch, and two other top nominations to the Justice Department.

Large hail was again the worry Monday night from a storm system that has pummeled parts of the South...the system moving east, threatening states from Mississippi to Kentucky.

Cyclone Debbie slammed into Australia's tropical northeast coast Tuesday. The Category 4 storm made landfall in a resort area of the Queensland coast. Debbie is packing wind gusts up to 160 miles per hour, and has damaged homes and knocked out power to 50,000 homes. 

Top execs of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services about the proposed budget cuts that would hurt public broadcasting.

Republicans are trying to regroup after last week's failure to pass health care reform. Congressman Ted Poe says he's leaving the conservative Freedom Caucus; he wanted to vote in favor of the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. There have been calls for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to step down - although the White House maintains that it is working together with Ryan.
Meanwhile, ABC News has confirmed that the White House is expected to announce the establishment of a new White House Office of American Innovation and that President Trump intends to tap his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to lead it. 

EPA chief Scott Pruitt says President Trump will sign a new executive order that aims to dismantle the Obama administration's sweeping strategy to curb global warming. The Clean Power Plan is an environmental regulation that would restrict greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants; the rule is on hold while a federal appeals court considers challenges from coal-friendly states and more than 100 companies Pruitt says the focus is on restoring jobs in the coal industry.  The Union of Concerned Scientists calls the pending executive order a "short sighted" measure that will not bring back those jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is threatening to 'go nuclear' if Democrats won't support Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch needs 60 votes in the Senate to be confirmed, but McConnell says if he doesn't get them, he'll change the rules of the game, requiring a simple 51-vote majority to confirm any Supreme Court nominee (there are 52 Republicans in the Senate right now). Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threatens a Senate talkathon. 

Hundreds of anti-corruption protesters have been arrested in Russia after mass demonstrations Sunday in the nation's capital and dozens of cities across the country. Huge crowds in Moscow's Pushkin Square protested Saturday against the Russian government.The State Department has called the arrest of protesters - including at least one American journalist - "an affront to democratic values." The largest unauthorized protest in years were led by anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, himself detained at the demonstrations. 

The search is on for multiple gunmen after a deadly shooting inside a nightclub early Sunday in Cincinnati. Authorities say several local men got into some type of dispute and it escalated to violence. Shots were fired, 15 people were injured and a 27-year-old man was killed.

The family members of Kurt Cochran, are speaking for the first time in London. Sunday, dozens of friends and musicians in Bountiful, Utah, remembered London attack victim Kurt Cochran at a memorial service. The 54-year-old was killed during last week's terror attack on Westminster Bridge outside of the UK Parliament. He was with his wife celebrating their 25th anniversary. A memorial fund has been set-up for the Cochrans.

Clean-up crews are working in Texas and Oklahoma today, after strong storms with baseball-size hail and at least one tornado swept through the area on Sunday.

Eight Japanese high school students are feared dead after an avalanche struck a ski resort north of Tokyo. Forty people have been injured. Rescue workers in the town of Nasu in Tochigi prefecture are searching for others who may still be buried under the snow. Bad weather and heavy snowfall are hampering the operation. Those involved are among a group of sixty students and teachers from taking part in a mountain climbing workshop. An avalanche warning had been in effect at the time of the disaster. 

The Finall Four is set: The first semi-finals game of the NCAA tournament next Saturday will featues South Carolina and Gonzaga. After that, Oregon and North Carolina will go at it. To win their trip to Phoenix, North Carolina beat Kentucky 75-73 on Sunday and South Carolina topped Florida 77-70.  On Saturday, Gonzaga clobbered Xavier, 83-59 and Oregon eliminated Kansas, 74-60

A Norman, Oklahoma city councilwoman says she wants to see a street named after a former Ku Klux Klan member changed.

The NTSB and FAA are on the scene of Saturday's crash of a small plane in Hayden, Alabama that killed a family of four aboard. Officials say there are five debris sites, and the debris field is about a mile long.

For a second weekend, Disney's live action reboot of "Beauty And The Beast" was tops at the box office...pulling in 88.3-million dollars...the film has earned 317-million to date from North American theaters.

March 24--  The Christian talk show "Change 4 That" is Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on NewsTalk WVOP, AM 970 and FM 105.3 and on Your Favorite, 98Q (97.7).

changelogo"Coming up this Sunday morning on Change 4 That, Sedrick and Curt get put on the spot and answer questions sent specifically to them. Plus, Chester joins them as they tackle the question from a Facebook Insider, "did Jesus actually drink the wine?"  

March 24--  The Christian talk show "Change 4 That" is Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on NewsTalk WVOP, AM 970 and FM 105.3 and on Your Favorite, 98Q (97.7).

changelogo"Coming up this Sunday morning on Change 4 That, Sedrick and Curt get put on the spot and answer questions sent specifically to them. Plus, Chester joins them as they tackle the question from a Facebook Insider, "did Jesus actually drink the wine?"  

March 24--  The Christian talk show "Change 4 That" is Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on NewsTalk WVOP, AM 970 and FM 105.3 and on Your Favorite, 98Q (97.7).

changelogo"Coming up this Sunday morning on Change 4 That, Sedrick and Curt get put on the spot and answer questions sent specifically to them. Plus, Chester joins them as they tackle the question from a Facebook Insider, "did Jesus actually drink the wine?"  

Sources in a Thursday night meeting tell ABC News that Budget Director Mick Mulvaney delivered a blunt message from the President to lawmakers: he wants an up-or-down vote on the American Health Care Act Friday, regardless of where the vote count stands. A GOP aide confirms reports that Mulvaney said if the bill fails, the president is prepared to leave Obamacare in place and move on to other items. Despite President Trump's efforts, House Republicans still lacked enough votes to pass their health care reform bill, so Thursday's vote was postponed. Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus that has been pushing for changes to the Republican plan to replace Obamacare, says  "I am still a 'no' at this time. I am desperately trying to get to 'yes.' 
--The House is expected to have procedural votes on the legislation Friday morning with a final vote on the measure expected Friday afternoon.

--The man police say was responsible for the Westminster attack has been formally identified as 52-year-old Khalid Masood. He was born as Adrian Russell Ajao in Kent and most recently lived in the West Midlands. Masood, who was killed by police, was a father of three and was known to authorities as a radicalized Muslim. The Metropolitan Police says he was also known by a number of aliases.
--The death toll is up to four in Wednesday's car attack on London's Westminster Bridge. Police say a 75-year-old man who was among those struck by the attacker's SUV has died.  ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

--The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know "for sure" whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications now being cited as partial vindication for the president's wiretapping claims against the Obama administration, according to a spokesperson. "He said he'll have to get all the documents he requested from the [intelligence community] about this before he knows for sure," a spokesperson for Nunes said Thursday. Nunes was a member of the Trump transition team executive committee.
--Two colleagues say the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee apologized for going to the President first...and not the committee... with new information on surveillance intercepts. Later to reporters Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) called his move a "judgment call."

An obstacle to the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court -  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer now saying he'll join Democrats in filibustering the vote --  requiring at least 60 senators to end debate. Republicans have promised to change the rules if this happens - the so-called 'nuclear option '

The man who went on a deadly shooting rampage in northern Wisconsin Wednesday killed two women in their 60s - both bank employees - before going to a law office and killing a 43-year-old woman there - officials released details of the incident Thursday. After leaving the law office - the gunman, identified as a 45-year-old resident of Weston,  barricaded himself in an apartment - where after an hours-long standoff - exchanged gunfire with police - killing one before being shot himself and taken into custody.

Two children who were in a vehicle stolen in the Palm Springs-area have been found. Police issued an AMBER alert after someone drove away in a vehicle that had been left running in Cathedral City with the boys ages 2 and 1 inside. 

Black members of Congress are calling for the Justice Department to help police investigate a large number of missing children in Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia logged 501 cases of missing juveniles, many of them black or Latino, in the first three months of this year, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, the city's police force. Twenty-two were unsolved as of March 22, police said. The letter, dated Tuesday and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, was sent by Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District in Congress.

As police in Texas and Alabama followed-up Thursday on leads to locate Elizabeth Thomas -- the Tennessee high school student allegedly kidnapped by former teacher Tad Cummins -- her family issued a lengthy statement saying they are "desperate" for additional information to find the 15-year-old. She has been missing since March 13.

We've all heard the advice: if someone calls *claiming* to be with the I-R-S -- they must be a scam artist. But this year for the first time old Uncle Sam.... is dialing up some people who owe the government back taxes.  The I-R-S... saying its employing collections agencies to make the calls. A word of warning from the feds? They say they'll never ask you to *pay up* or share any personal information.. over the phone.

A survey by the website InsuranceQuotes says 39 percent of drivers have never looked for a better rate on auto insurance...because of that, they're probably paying more than they should.

--British Prime Minister Theresa May calls it a "sick and depraved" attack on the heart of London. Early this morning, Scotland Yard revised the number of those dead after Wednesday's attack in London. Acting Deputy Commissioner and Head of Counter Terrorism, Mark Rowley said that four people have died. "Tragically the deaths included PC Keith Palmer who was protecting Parliament, and two members of the public - a woman aged in her mid 40's and a man aged in his mid 50's. The fourth man of course was the terrorist who was shot dead by armed police at the scene," Rowley said. Police have not publicly identified the attacker, but believe the incident was ISIS-related.
--Authorities in Britain believe the attacker was inspired by international terrorism: “It is still our belief - which continues to be born out by our investigation - that this attacker acted alone yesterday," acting Deputy Commissioner and Head of Counter Terrorism, Mark Rowley said. “To be explicit - at this stage, we have no specific information about further threats to the public. Clearly our investigation is ongoing - developing all the time - and is focused on his motivation, his preparation and associates.”
--Many police departments in the U-S say they're watching what's going on and are remaining vigilant.  Los Angeles Airport Police say at LAX they have deployed more uniformed officers.  In New York, police are now beefing up security around British buildings like the consulate.

The Republican chair of the House Intelligence committee told reporters outside the White House he's briefed President Trump on information given to him indicating conversations of some transition officials and possibly Trump himself, were picked up "incidentally" during surveillance after the election. President Trump says he feels "somewhat" vindicated in his wiretapping claims, but Rep. Devin Nunes says there is no evidence President Obama ordered Trump Tower bugged.  And the committee's ranking Democrat, Adam Schiff, says Nunes' presenting the info to the President before the rest of the committee, compromises their investigation into any Trump/Russia connections.

With a Thursday vote hanging in the balance, the White House says it's open to last minute changes to the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.  Several House Republicans say they still intend to vote "no" or are undecided about the measure. According to the latest ABC News counting, at least 28 Republicans have said they will oppose the bill in its current form -- meaning Republicans are at least 7 votes short.  On the Senate side, Rand Paul says "We got the wrong bill to start with.  We got ObamaCare-lite and conservatives just don't like it, so we're going to have to start over."

Questioning of Supeme Court nominee...Judge Neil Gorsuch... before the Senate Judiciary Committee has concluded. Lawyers, advocacy groups and former colleagues get their say on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee after Judge Neil Gorsuch emerged unscathed from two days of tough questioning at his confirmation hearing. Assured of support from majority Republicans, Gorsuch received glowing GOP reviews but complaints from frustrated Democrats that he concealed his views from the American public. On Thursday, the panel will hear from the American Bar Association, which has already given him a unanimous "well qualified" rating, along with former colleagues and judges supporting him and advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign that have opposed him.

The fatal stabbing of a 66-year-old man in New York City on Monday night is being investigated as a bias crime, according to police. Authorities today identified the suspect as James Harris Jackson, 28, of Maryland, an Army veteran who'd served in Afghanistan. Aubry said that Jackson has a deep-seated hatred of black people. Police say he allegedly wrote a manifesto about attacking blacks in New York City. "It is believed that he was specifically intending to target male blacks for assault," he said. "The reason why he picked New York is because it's the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement." He is in custody and is being charged with murder, police said.

A Texas woman is getting treatment after being stranded on the Havasupai Reservation in Coconino County for five days. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Amber VanHecke ran out of gas near the south rim of the Grand Canyon last Friday. VanHecke called 911 but the call was dropped before she could provide an exact location. Despite having little information about her whereabouts, authorities determined she was likely near Indian Route 18 and Anita Road. The Air Rescue unit saw a glare which was later determined to be VanHecke's car; located near the car was a large makeshift sign spelling out "help," officials said. VanHecke was spotted shortly after "frantically waiving [sic] to get their attention," according to a DPS press release.

Arizona officials believe parents of a 9-year-old boy shot in the head deliberately delayed medical treatment to the child and are now facing first-degree murder charges. Police say the mother told them her 2-year-old fired the fatal shot, but police say there's evidence of a coverup, saying “Significant efforts were made to scrub the house clean and remove evidence while this young boy lay shot and dying.”

New information about that new emergency directive barring passengers from certain countries from carrying many electronic devices onboard planes. ABC News has learned the new security directive was prompted by new threat intelligence obtained earlier in the year indicating that associates of ISIS are working on smuggling explosive filled electronics onto US bound flights.  The US government has deemed the threat information substantial and credible according to one source familiar with the intelligence.

Wednesday the State Department is hosting a major, two-day summit of ministers from the anti-ISIS coalition. Foreign ministers from 68 countries in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS are expected to attend. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi will be at the first sessions.

House speaker Paul Ryan says lawmakers "should stand with our president and vote to end this Obamacare nightmare once and for all."  House Republicans plan to hold a vote on the American Health Care Act on Thursday evening.  Assuming all Democrats vote 'no'..... Republicans can sustain 21 'no's' among their own conference and still pass the bill. 22 Republican "no" votes would kill the bill in the House. By our count, at least 22 have not committed to supporting it. Some Republican Senators signal they are still not ready to vote for the GOP replacement plan for health care.
--Former Vice President Joe Biden returns to Capitol Hill to join House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a press conference in support of the Affordable Care Act.

Wednesday is Day Three for the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.  Defending fellow federal judge's during Tuesday's hearing, Gorsuch invoked the same words he reportedly used to describe how he feels about President Trump's attack on the US District judge who blocked his immigration executive order: "disheartening and demoralizing."

Just moments after the president's Supreme Court nominee told senators his attacks on federal judges are "disheartening" and "demoralizing," President Trump says don't ask him to stop.  President Trump made the comment at the National Republican Congressional Committee Dinner when alluding to the recent court decision regarding his revised travel ban. "The courts are not helping us, that I have to tell you," Trump said. "It’s ridiculous. Somebody said I should not criticize judges, okay, I’ll criticize judges."

President Trump Wednesday meets with the Congressional Black Caucus...The meeting comes five weeks after the President asked a reporter to set up a meeting...a request that critics saw as drawing from racial stereotypes.

Seconds after it was fired from North Korean coastline, the missile being tested exploded. The area is where the North has attempted to launch Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missiles…fired from movable launchers that potentially could pose a threat to the US. A spokesman for US Pacific Command issued this statement that read in part,  "U.S. Pacific Command detected what we assess was a failed North Korean missile launch." Last year, Pyongyang test fired 8 Musudan rockets, only one was considered a success.

A federal grand jury has returned a multi-count indictment against Philadelphia's District Attorney...on corruption charges... Seth Williams is accused of taking bribes from business owners in exchange for official favors, and he's accused of defrauding a nursing home to the tune of 20-thousand dollars.

Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Detectives ... saying they've charged a 17-year-old and 18-year-old ... in the alleged rape of a freshman girl at Rockville High School.  The girl ... telling police she was pulled into a bathroom in the school ... and that's where it happened.  Officials say both suspects -- students at the school -- entered the U-S illegally about 7-months ago from Central America. 

Tad Cummins, a 50-year-old married former high school teacher and Elizabeth Thomas, his 15-year-old former student, have been missing for more than a week -- without any sightings.  The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) says the teacher used his position of authority to shape a potential relationship with his student.

Crews are clearing streets throughout metro Atlanta after powerful storms ripped down trees, crushing cars and hitting homes. The storms are to blame for at least one death in Georgia. Authorities in Jackson County confirmed one person died Tuesday night. They said a tree fell onto a house between Braselton and Pendergrass, killing one person. Hail fell in parts of north Georgia Tuesday night as heavy rain pounded most of metro Atlanta.

Many questions about the deletion of 100-thousand police cruiser video files in Columbus, Ohio. Authorities announcing today/Tuesday that they're now trying to recover the files dating back to 2015...and find out whether the deletion was unintentional or a purposeful action.

Rapper and businessman Wyclef Jean has requested a "formal investigation into racial profiling" after slamming police this morning for detaining him in West Hollywood, California, an incident that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department described as "unfortunate." After a tweet from Jean Tuesday morning, his representative issued a full statement later asking police and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to follow up in the incident. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released a lengthy statement to ABC News, saying the officers were responding to a witness' description of an incident at a gas station, where the suspects allegedly pistol-whipped two pedestrians, took their belongings and then took off in a car similar to the one Jean was riding in.

--The FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump's campaign associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday in an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats.  In a bruising five-hour session, the FBI director also knocked down Trump's claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper, an assertion that has distracted White House officials and frustrated fellow Republicans who acknowledge they've seen no evidence to support it.  That assertion did not stop Press Secretary Sean Spicer to drop the claim during his briefing.
--At a Trump campaign-style rally in Louisville, Kentucky Monday night, the topic went completely unmentioned during the President's speech.
--The President goes to Capitol Hill Tuesday to address the Republican conference in his biggest play to convince his party membership to support the plan to replace Obamacare. House Republicans in the Ways and Means Committee announced they'd be making changes to the plan late Monday night.

Passengers travelling on certain airlines from countries in the Middle East and Africa to the United States will no longer be allowed to carry-on some electronic devices with them, according to a new Homeland Security directive. The emergency rule specifically targets nine airlines operating flights to the U.S. from 10 airports in eight countries, among them Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Fliers will be banned from bringing electronic devices larger than a cellular phone aboard the plane with them, and must instead include objects like laptops, tablets and cameras in checked luggage. "Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items," notes the Department of Homeland Security in a release explaining the order. The department did not cite a specific threat in its explanation of the decision, but did indicate that "new intelligence" led to the rule's implementation.

Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies for a second day Tuesday as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday underlined Germany's rejection of a claim by President Trump that her country owes NATO large sums for under-spending on defense. President Trump tweeted Saturday, a day after meeting Merkel in Washington, that "Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO.  Merkel pointed to Germany's history of decades of post-World War II military restraint. 

The father of the Tennessee teenager whom authorities believe was abducted by her teacher spoke out in an interview with ABC News, pleading with her, "please let us know you are all right and please come home to us." "I don't think she is responsible for what has happened, she is 15 years old, she is not responsible for this happening," Anthony Thomas, the father of Elizabeth Thomas, said. Tennessee authorities are asking for the public's help in their hunt for Elizabeth's former teacher, Tad Cummins, 50, who is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth last Monday, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.

A former Mexican newspaper executive is accused of taking Tom Brady's Super Bowl jersey from his locker -- reaching into the superstar quarterback's bag as cameras rolled and then sneaking away, officials said. The jersey, which went missing after the New England Patriots' Super Bowl 51 victory had an estimated value of $500,000, according to a complaint filed with the Houston Police Department in February.

Tips are slowly trickling in for local, state and federal investigators in the AMBER Alert case out of Maury County. There still have been no credible sightings of Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas. The lack of tips has Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland searching for the pair himself. He went to fast food restaurants, sporting goods stores and campgrounds in Decatur, Alabama. Rowland says Elizabeth's cell phone last pinged off a tower near Decatur on March 13. He believes they were passing through on nearby I-65 but wanted to try to see if he could catch them on video together.

A massive fire Monday at an apartment building under construction at a multimillion-dollar development in Overland Park sparked blazes at numerous homes blocks away. The eight-alarm fire broke out about 3:30 p.m. in a four-story unoccupied apartment building in the CityPlace development at the southeast corner of College Boulevard and Nieman Road confronting firefighters with "tremendous smoke and fire," said Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes. That building was destroyed.

The highly anticipated season 24 premiere of "Dancing With the Stars" aired Monday night on ABC.  Mr. T danced to "The A-Team" theme, and retired Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross trotted to a World Series Champion beat.

A much-anticipated appearance by FBI Director James Comey on Capitol Hill Monday. He will testify before the House Intelligence Committee in the first of several public hearings congressional committees are expected to hold on Russian interference in the election. Congressional and other sources familiar with Comey's thinking say he is expected to officially undercut President Trump's allegations that President Obama ordered Trump Tower wiretapped. The administration changed its claim, saying that President Trump meant surveillance in more broader terms. House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking member Adam Schiff both said they've seen no evidence to back up the president's claims.

The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch begins Monday. The Senate Judiciary Committee meets in the Hart Senate Office Building where members will deliver opening statements, then hear from the nominee himself.

Selling the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act has been "going well" according to President Trump.  But the measure still faces tough opposition from a number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Republicans. A House vote is planned for Thursday.  House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday he will seek changes to a GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people.

President Trump says North Korean leader Kim Jung Un is acting "very very badly." The president was reacting to North Korea's ground test of a rocket engine. The test came as Secretary of State Tillerson wrapped up his first Asian trip. President Trump said he had meetings on North Korea this weekend.

There was another security scare at the White House this weekend. President Trump wasn't there - he was at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida for the weekend - when an intruder apparently tried to jump over a bike rack. He didn't make it onto the grounds, but the Secret Service agents apprehended him anyway. Last week an intruder did manage to scale the fence on the South Lawn and was apprehended inside the White House grounds. New details about that fence jumper are emerging.

The president is hosting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the White House before heading to Louisville, Kentucky, for a campaign rally.
The latest Gallup Poll shows the president's approval rating at an all-time low, with just 37 percent of those surveyed saying they approve of the job he's doing, while 58 percent say they disapprove. According to another poll, the GenForward poll of adults age 18 to 30 conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, young people are even more critical of the president: Just 22 percent of young adults approve of the job he is doing as president, while 62 percent disapprove. 57 percent of young adults actually view the Trump presidency as illegitimate. That includes three-quarters of blacks surveyed and large majorities of Latinos and Asians, the GenForward poll found. A slim majority of young whites in the poll, 53 percent, consider Trump a legitimate president, but even among that group 55 percent disapprove of the job he's doing

The federal judge in Hawaii who concluded there was "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus" behind the President's revised travel ban...has rejected the Justice Department's request for clarification on his temporary order blocking the ban. The Justice Department asked US District Judge Derrick Watson to clarify that his temporary order only applies to the ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries and not a global freeze on refugees entering the United States. President Trump has said the ruling would be appealed.

The 39-year-old Frenchman who took a soldier hostage at Orly Airport in Paris had a long criminal record of drugs and robbery offences. And the Paris prosecutor's office says toxicology tests found traces of cocaine and pot in the blood of the suspect, Ziyed Ben Belgacem.

Baltimore's Police Commissioner calls it "a cowardly, heinous, cold blooded, calculated act." A manhunt is underway for man accused of firebombing a Baltimore home.  The suspect is accused of tossing molotov cocktails into a residence, igniting a blaze... and killing two teenagers. Six others were injured in the fire.. including two small children.  Authorities .. issuing a bulletin for Antonio Wright.

It's relatively small as wildfires go, but a 62-acre fire west of Boulder, Colorado has prompted authorities to evacuate hundreds of homes and put hundreds more on pre-evacuation notices.  The fire was 50-percent contained by Sunday evening. A total of 426 homes were evacuated before dawn and another 836 remained on pre-evacuation notices as a precaution. No injuries or structural damage reported.

Investigators in Tennessee say they've received hundreds of tips in multiple states in their search for a former teacher who disappeared this week with a 15-year-old girl. There's been no sign of the two since they were tracked in Decatur, Alabama on Tuesday. Authorities say 50-year-old Tad Cummins was a health science teacher at 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas' high school. Cummins accused of having an inappropriate relationship with the teen - now one of Tennessee's 10 most wanted. Authorities extending an amber alert nationwide, saying the teen is in imminent danger. 

A Texas teenager says he was just playing around with some friends on Saturday - and they wanted to see if he could fit inside the washing machine. What could go wrong? He couldn't get out, so the kid's parents called 9-1-1. Plano Fire and Rescue teams got the call for a "technical rescue"...They took the top off the washer and had the boy out shortly.     

Airlines for America issues its review of carrier performance for 2016. The industry group will also make its 2017 spring travel forecast.

Disney's live action reboot of "Beauty And The Beast" was tops at the box office...pulling in 170-million dollars on its debut weekend.

March 1--  The Vidalia Convention and Visitors Bureau is bringing an unique vocal group to the Sweet Onion City.

voiceplayAccording to the group's biographical information, "Based in Orlando, VoicePlay performs their own incredible brand of entertainment across the country and around the world. What began quite literally as a street corner barbershop act has now evolved into an internationally acclaimed touring sensation.

"VoicePlay is unlike any theatrical experience available today, recreating the orchestrated sound of an entire musical production with nothing but the human voice.

"The cast of VoicePlay has taken the timeless sound of vocal music and turned it completely on it’s head. Re-imagined as a full stage show, amazing, humorous, and vertigo-inducing harmonies pepper VoicePlay’s music-without-music sound as it ping-pongs between eras and styles, channeling the breadth of the musical landscape and lacing it with inventive and often hilarious on-stage theatrics."

The VoicePlay Concert is Tuesday, March 21 at seven p.m. at Southeastern Technical College in Vidalia.  Tickets are $15 at the door or in advance at the Vidalia Onion Museum on Commerce Drive.

- Wiretapping: 
Fireworks at the White House after Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee released a statement together saying there are no indications of any surveillance at Trump Tower.  It follows explosive allegations from President Trump claiming President Obama wiretapped him.  White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave a lengthy and exhaustive defense of President Trump's claims.  Spicer accused reporters of continuing "to perpetuate a false narrative" by not covering statements that could seem favorable to Trump and argued that the statements by the House and Senate Intelligence committees were not based on any investigative work.
- Budget:  Lawmakers of both parties are hoping for changes to President Trump's proposed 1.1 trillion-dollar budget plan, that calls for more money for defense, less money for most everything else. The 54-billion-dollar boost to military spending would be the largest since President Ronald Reagan's Pentagon buildup in the 1980s. The budget plan would slash foreign aid and funding for many domestic programs.
- Merkel: President Trump welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House first for a bilateral meeting, then for a roundtable discussion on vocational training with U.S. and German leaders, the two will then hold a joint press conference. 
- Health Care: As he left the Capitol Thursday, President Trump was asked how the health care negotiations are going. He said "Very well."  Republicans have disagreements over the legislation as it moves closer to a vote on the House floor. 
- Immigration Ban: Two federal judges have ruled against President Trump's revised travel ban, dealing another body blow to one of the president's signature domestic security initiatives.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is visiting the border between North and South Korea.  While at the Cold War remaining Demilitarized Zone, Tillerson will meet with command leaders and discuss security as well as lunching with U.S. troops.

The ABC News Weather Team is tracking another storm system that will move from the Upper Midwest to Great Lakes to Northeast Friday through Saturday.  By Friday’s morning rush, snowy and icy conditions are possible from northern Minnesota to Green Bay, Chicago, and Indianapolis.  It will mainly be a rain-snow mix for Chicago.  Friday evening, the storm moves east through the Great Lakes with snow across Michigan, Ohio, and into Pittsburgh.  By Saturday, it reaches the northeast with a mix of rain in the Mid-Atlantic and snow further north; looks like a rain/snow mix for NYC, but we could pick up a dusting or even isolated pockets of 1-3” for the area.

A Los Angeles International Airport security officer was at the right place, at the right time Tuesday afternoon as he stopped a man who apparently was trying to fall 60 feet from a pedestrian bridge, according to officials.  ABC News obtained exclusive footage of the incident.

A New York City Emergency Medical Technician was killed in the line of duty Thursday night when a man ran her over with her own ambulance.  Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro says two EMTs were alerted by a motorist that someone was riding on the back of their ambulance - and when they got out to check - the individual went around the other side and got into the driver's seat.  Authorities say the victim was Yadira Arroya, a 44-year-old mother of five, 14-year veteran of the FDNY. The suspect, 25 year-old Jose Gonzalez was caught by police shortly after the incident and has been charge with murder and grand larceny..

A letter from the chief justice of the California Supreme Court asks federal immigration agents to stop making arrests at courthouses. He writes that "stalking undocumented immigrants" at the facilities thwarts people's access to justice. There have been reports of arrests at courthouses in California, Oregon and Texas.

Day two of the college basketball tournament of 64.  Eight teams were eliminated Thursday.  Eight other teams advanced.  By the end of the weekend, the teams will be down to the Sweet 16.

A miraculous rescue amid tragedy in a large Illinois family. A passing motorist saw an SUV head into a lake, called 911, and the arriving paramedic dove into the frigid water, and rescued and revived a 3-month old. An adult died in the lake, and nearby another adult died in a house fire. Six children escaped. Authorities still piecing together what happened, but the ex-husband of the homeowner had previously been charged with domestic abuse.

Sicily's Mount Etna volcano unleashed an explosion Thursday, hurling molten rocks and steam that rained down on tourists, journalists and a scientist who scrambled to escape the barrage. Ten people were reported injured.

U.S. forces conducted a Thursday airstrike on what they call an Al Qaeda meeting in Syria that the military adds killed several terrorists.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a mosque was hit by the airstrike and that as many as 42 civilians were killed.  Military officials say the post bomb damage assessment shows the airstrike was on a building across the street from the mosque and that the mosque was unscathed. 

One man is dead and a Florida sheriff’s deputy is injured after a standoff that all started with an argument about doughnuts, according to investigators in St. Petersburg. Sheriffs says a 24 year-old man became enraged after his mother wouldn't go out to get doughnuts.  They say he shot and killed his mom's fiance - a registered sex offender - and shot a deputy in the leg before being taken in custody during the Wednesday morning standoff.

A huge five-alarm fire is burned in downtown Raleigh at a building under construction.  There are no reports of injuries, but the flames and smoke was visible for miles.

The 256th New York City St. Patrick's Day parade, marches up 5th Avenue, past the home of President Trump.

Just how successful is the weekend debut of Beauty and the Beast expected to be?  Estimates are the live-action version of the 1991 Disney animated classic will earn between 120 and 130 million dollars in North America alone. That’d make it one of the biggest March openings on record. 

--Hours before President Trump's revised immigration ban was to take effect, a federal judge puts key parts of the executive order on hold. Ruling on a challenge in Hawaii, the judge rules the ban against six majority Muslim countries still is based on  "questionable evidence supporting the government's national security motivation."  Hawaii's Attorney General Doug Chin says "We truly felt it was discriminatory...and the court agreed with us."  Calling the ruling "unprecedented judicial overreach" that "makes us look weak," President Trump says "We're gonna fight this terrible ruling. We're gonna take our case as far as it needs to go including all the way to the Supreme Court." The federal judge wrote in his ruling: "The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable."
--A federal judge in Maryland also blocked a part of the President's Executive Order in a ruling early Thursday.
--Five Republican-appointed judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signaled their support for the legal underpinnings of President Donald Trump's travel ban late Wednesday in an unusual and unsolicited filing. Despite the fact that Trump has resoundingly and repeatedly criticized the 9th Circuit, five judges came to the President's defense, saying that "whatever we, as individuals, may feel about the President or the Executive Order, the President's decision was well within the powers of the presidency." The comments from the five judges do not impact the move by a federal judge in Hawaii who blocked Trump's new travel ban on Wednesday.

President Trump's budget blueprint will cut the State Department's budget by 28 percent while infusing the Defense Department with a 10 percent spending increase, according to the president’s budget director Mick Mulvaney.  A hard copy of the President’s Budget Blueprint will be officially released at 7am ET Thursday.

President Trump seemed to pivot away Wednesday from his accusations that former President Obama wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower.   "'Wiretap' covers a lot of different things," said Trump in an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson. "I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks."  The President's comments come as Reps. Devin Nunes, R-California, and Adam Schiff, D-California, the chairman and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, announced that they were provided no evidence to support the allegation.

President Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland at the White House before both head to the Capitol for the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon. Trump will make remarks at the luncheon. In the afternoon President Trump will welcome the Taoiseach of Ireland as well as Mrs. Kenny to the White House where all will participate in a St. Patrick's Day reception. 

President Trump used his campaign rally in Nashville to advocate for the Republican health care replacement plan.
But, there's also acknowledgement from the GOP that they would make changes to the legislation in hopes of gaining votes in Congress.

The U.S. government Wednesday directly accused the Russian government of conducting one of the largest cyber-attacks in the US. Two criminal hackers charged in data breaches at Yahoo! that compromised millions of user accounts acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord said were directed by two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service, successor to the KGB.  

A North Carolina-style "bathroom bill" that targets transgender people has passed the Texas Senate, but it still faces obstacles in becoming law.

Voters in the Netherlands have turned back the tide of nationalism.  Dutch voters Wednesday decided to kept center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte in charge of Parliament.  Rutte said his victory sent out a signal across Europe.   German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French Foreign Minister have welcomed the election result.  Anti-immigrant far right wing candidate Geert Wilders picked-up four seat, but it wasn't enough to gain control of Parliament.

The cold air that’s invaded the Northeast slips all the way down into the Southeast, with Freeze Warnings stretching as far south as Florida, just in time for Spring Break there.    Low temperatures will be plunging into the 20s and 30s overnight; that’s as much as 20 to 30 degrees below normal.  In the South, any vulnerable fruit crops or temperature sensitive plants could be killed; even in DC these freezing temps could cause damage to the cherry blossoms.  Temperatures will be in the teens across the Northeast. 

Closing arguments are expected Thursday in the trial of a former pharmacy executive charged in a deadly national meningitis outbreak traced to tainted steroids made by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.

The Arkansas House Education Committee has voted to separate the state holiday that simultaneously honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee. African-American activists have complained that the combined observance is insulting to a civil-rights leader who struggled to end discrimination. As a Confederate general, Lee fought to maintain a Southern way of life that included slavery.

The widow took the stand in the murder trial of one of four men charged in the killing of her husband during a 2013 carjacking at The Mall at Short Hills in Millburn, New Jersey.

March Madness kicks into high gear with the NCAA basketball tournament ramping up Thursday. Several teams have won in the first batch of games but the bulk of the action starts Thursday. With several games tipping off during normal business hours, that means lost productivity.


--President Trump Wednesday heads to Detroit to tout his agenda, including his job creation plans.
--President Donald Trump is also expected to announce a rollback of Obama-era auto emission and fuel regulations in his visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan, this morning. Trump will use his meeting with auto executives and workers to announce a restart of the review of vehicle fuel efficiency rules, or CAFE standards, that the auto industry has called for. The rules put forward by the Obama administration sought to raise the fleet average fuel efficiency to more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 from 27.5 miles per gallon in 2010. But the Trump administration review is expected to challenge the feasibility of the 2022 through 2025 vehicle emissions rules
--Later the President holds a rally in Nashville, where he may push the Republican health care overhaul.

The White House said Tuesday night that Donald Trump paid $38 million in federal taxes on income of more than $150 million in 2005 after independent journalist David Cay Johnston obtained the purported first two pages of that return and made them public. Johnston appeared on MSNBC Tuesday night to report on the documents, which he says were delivered anonymously to his mailbox. Johnston speculated that Trump, who is the first president in decades not to release his taxes, or someone close to him, may have been the source of the documents. The White House issued a response to ABC News ahead of the broadcast lauding Trump's income and taxes paid.

Border Patrol Chief Ron Vitiello, who was ceremonially sworn in on Tuesday, said that a border wall done "right" will be important and effective. Vitiello takes office at a time when Border Patrol, which is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is the face of many of the Trump administration's policies on immigration enforcement. President Trump has repeatedly called for the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border -- a pillar of his campaign promises to stem the tide of drugs and people coming into the U.S.

A group of Senate conservatives huddled at the White House with officials Tuesday to discuss health care and the GOP Obamacare replacement bill. They are said to have grappled with the CBO's report on the American Health Care Act, and the agency's projection that millions of Americans will lose health insurance under the GOP plan.  Congressional sources say the meeting included holdouts like Sens. Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz.

The Department of Justice on Wednesday will announce charges against four people with suspected ties to the Russian government in connection to hacking attacks against Yahoo!, sources tell ABC News. Four people will be charged: 3 in Russia and 1 in Canada, according to the sources. The suspect in Canada will be arrested, but officials do not have access yet to the suspects in Russia. As ABC News previously reported, the first breach, affecting 500 million user accounts, occurred in 2014 but was not disclosed by Yahoo until September 2016. In December 2016, Yahoo revealed that a separate hack of 1 billion user accounts took place in 2013.

Boston's state of emergency ends Wednesday morning (7am), but schools will be closed for a second day, after the major storm that dumped on the east and set up the city for a slippery commute.  Airlines try to get back in gear after cancelling more than 6-thousand flights Tuesday. About a quarter million homes and businesses were without power after a major late winter storm. New York and Philadelphia were spared the worst, getting about seven inches of snow and slippery, ball-bearing-like ice pellets, but some areas inland got up to 2 feet of snow.

After preliminary passage Tuesday evening, Wednesday the Texas Senate takes a final vote on a North Carolina style "bathroom bill."  The approval comes despite objections from big business, tourism officials, sports organizations and the LGBT community, that call it discriminatory. The controversial measure would require people to use bathrooms in public schools, universities and government buildings that match the “biological sex”  on their birth certificates. It would also invalidate local laws that protect a transgender person's rights to the bathroom of their choice.

TX 911
A Dallas woman says her babysitter couldn’t get through to 911 on Saturday night and that her infant son is dead as a result. The technical issue apparently was specific to T-Mobile, whose CEO says a team of engineers is being sent to Dallas today to solve the problem.

Wednesday court hearings from Maryland to Hawaii are scheduled for the challenges to President Trump's second temporary travel ban, that is set to take effect Thursday.

Juan Thompson will be in court today in St. Louis for an extradition hearing. A judge will decide if Thompson, who made some of the threats against Jewish organizations across the country, will be extradited back to NYC. On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce ruled Thompson, 32, is too much of a threat to the community to be released without any restrictions.

The US Marine Corps commandant got a grilling by senators in the scandal over a private Facebook page that shared nude photos of female service members...General Robert Neller vowed the corps' culture will change...saying "enough is enough."

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates Wednesday. Chair Janet Yellen has signaled the economy's gains have moved the central bank closer to its goals of employment and inflation

People in the Netherlands head to the polls Wednesday in a parliamentary election that is seen as a barometer of Trump-style populism in Europe. Among the front-runners far right wing candidate Geert Wilders.

March 13--  If you're up for free pizza, the new Tarantinos' Italian Grill at Hawk's Point on Loop Road in Vidalia is the place to be Tuesday.  Listen for live radio reports on What's Up at Tarantinos' from noon till two p.m. on Your Favorite, 98Q and Sweet Onion Country, 1017 FM. 


The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to weigh in on the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act as early as today. Its report on projected costs and coverage could boost or sink the bill's prospects. The White House has been pre-emptively disputing any potential negative assessments.
-- President Trump hits the road this week to promote the Republican plan.
-- Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas is among several Republicans concerned that the House GOP plan to replace Obamacare will not pass the Senate. And he says the measure as it is now "would have adverse consequences for millions of Americans." Cotton also says he fears a House vote on the current bill could put the Republican majority at risk ahead of next year's midterm elections. "Do not walk the plank," he warns colleagues.
-- Hospital systems across the country are warning of financial losses, likely job cuts, and a surge in people using emergency rooms for primary care if Obamacare is replaced. 

-- House Intelligence committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes and ranking Democrat Adam Schiff have requested evidence from the White House by today for President Trump's claim that former President Obama wiretapped the phones at Trump Tower. Senator John McCain says the president has an obligation to the American people to quote "either retract or to provide the information that the American people deserve, because, if his predecessor violated the law, President Obama violated the law, we have got a serious issue here, to say the least." In a wide ranging interview with the North Jersey Record Sunday at her home, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway didn't back down from the allegations, but suggested that the monitoring of activities at Trump’s campaign headquarters at Trump Tower in Manhattan may have involved far more than wiretapping. 
-- President Trump will convene his first cabinet meeting at the White House today. 

Spring is a week away but what may be the worst snow storm of the winter is brewing. It's moving from Illinois, across Indiana ... and an official blizzard warning has been issued for parts of the East Coast, where a major nor'easter threatens to dump up to two feet of snow from Monday night into Wednesday. Many airlines are offering travelers the chance to rebook  their flights. New York City has 440-thousand tons of salt at the ready.

About 100 protesters gathered at the Ferguson Market & Liquor Sunday night, after a new documentary about the death of Michael Brown was released, which seemed to imply there was an exchange of marijuana for store merchandise before he was fatally shot by a police officer. An attorney for the store said the documentary had been edited and he pledged to release video of the interaction in full Monday. Police were called to the scene Sunday night, eventually the market closed, and police cleared the parking lot. Shortly before midnight, 7 or 8 shots were heard from an area across the street from the market. There appeared to be no injuries.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in metro Detroit were still without power Sunday night following last Wednesday's wind storm. That's down from the more than a million without power.  The utility DTE expects to have all customers back on line by the end of Monday.

26-year-old Jonathan Tran of California has an appearance in Federal Court Monday, accused of scaling the fence on the south side of the White House property Friday night. President Trump was in the executive mansion at the time. The Secret Service says Tran was carrying two cans of mace when taken into custody near the South Portico entrance.

The firing of US Attorney Preet Bharara of New York is the most high profile fallout from the Attorney General's order that dozens of top federal prosecutors resign. Just two days before, Jeff Sessions reportedly gave those political appointees a pep talk.

A diplomatic dispute between two NATO allies has both fuming. Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls for international sanctions against the Netherlands, after the Dutch prevented Turkish officials from promoting a referendum to expand the Erdogan's powers. Dutch officials say they were acting out of security concerns. Turkey's president said the Netherlands was acting like a "banana republic."

An added tragedy to a Harrisburg house fire blamed on a charging hoverboard. In addition to the fire that killed a 3-year old girl, police say a driver in a stolen car struck and killed a fire lieutenant headed to the fire scene. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is ordering flags in the commonwealth to be flown at half-staff to honor the fire official.

A horror for people attending a music festival in the Haitian city of Gonaives (gun-eye-EEV'). 34 were killed after a bus plowed into the crowd. Many others were injured. Eyewitnesses told police the driver fled the scene. The cause of the crash was unclear.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is joining officials at his alma mater, the University of Delaware, for the launch of the Biden Institute. The Institute is a new research and policy center focused on domestic issues including economic reform, environmental sustainability, criminal justice and civil rights. Biden will be the founding chair of the Institute, which will be part of the university's School of Public Policy and Administration.

Time to fill out your brackets. The 2017 NCAA tournament field is set. Last year's NC-double-A men's basketball champs, Villanova, is the top overall seed, followed by Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga.

March 10-- Coming up this Sunday on "Change 4 That," join Chester, Curt and Sedrick as they discuss questions sent in by listeners. 

changelogoThe program airs at 8:30 a.m. on Your Favorite, 98Q (FM 97.7) and NewsTalk 970, WVOP AM 970 and FM 105.3

This week they discuss the issue of transgenderism in America and whether or not reaping what you sow should be taken literally. 

Become a Change 4 That Insider at and sign up for free contests, latest information, early release on shows and more.

President Trump will lead a discussion with House Committee chairmen on the new GOP healthcare bill  ... trying to quell inner party disputes. Two House committees signed off on the GOP's bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, after debates that lasted more than 24 hours in some cases, pushing it to the next round in the House.

The House Budget Committee will have to reconcile the two mark-ups before sending it to the floor for a full House vote. Rebuttals still coming from Democrats - who invited supporters of Obamacare to Capitol Hill to rally against the GOP's bill  - and from some more conservative Republicans, like Senators Tom Cotton and Rand Paul, who still say it doesn't go far enough. But the Trump Administration has been on a mission to win over that internal GOP opposition - Vice President Mike Pence will be holding a pro-health care bill rally in Paul's home state of Kentucky on Saturday.

The Congressional Budget Office has yet to "score" the new health care bill - to let us know how much it will cost and who will be affected. 

The Labor Department will release the February jobs' report - the first one of the Trump Administration. It's expected to show positive hireing gains - but analysts say it may be as much a "Trump bump" as a weather boon - because the winter has been warmer than usual. Gains on Wall Street may also have fueled hiring; economists are expecting the momentum to continue in the coming months - even if the Fed raises interest rates, which its expected to as soon as this month.

After springlike temperatures, a Nor'easter is whipping up the East Coast, bringing snow Friday morning. The snow will end from West to East starting around noon, but not before dumping anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of snow in a wide swath from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania all the way to Plymouth, Massachusetts - and some areas could easily see over a half a foot.

The Trump Administration is facing several challenges to the President's new executive order on immigration. In Washington State, the attorney general is arguing that the first injunction should also apply to the president's new executive order, because it is fundamentally the same - still banning residents of six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees. A bunch of states - Oregon and New York among them - have joined that case. And in Hawaii - they are asking a court to issue a new ruling barring enforcement of the immigration.

Police in Dusseldorf, Germany, say they believe the suspect in Thursday night's axe attack that left 7 people injured, two seriously, at a crowded train station suffers from mental health issues. Police arrested a 35-year-old man from former Yugoslavia after he tried to evade capture by jumping from an overpass in the station. Police are saying this was a lone attacker and so far there is no indication that this was terror related. The station remains closed, the scene sealed, the investigation still underway. 

FBI Director James B Comey met on Capitol Hill with the "Gang of 8" Thursday- the top party leaders on the House and Senate intel committees and in both chambers of Congress. They wanted to ask the FBI Director discuss a number of key national security issues currently dominating the news, including the Wikileaks hack, Russian interference in the 2016 election and President Trump's claim that former President Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump tower. Comey did not speak to the press after that meeting ... and has not publicly confirmed that he's asked the Justice Department to deny President Trump's accusations of illegal wiretapping at Trump Tower during the election.

After a trove of thousands of what are claimed to be secret C-I-A files was dumped by the cyber leakers --
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange pledged to help tech companies develop tighter security for smartphones and other consumer electronics. Assange held a press conference over Periscope and Facebook live from London, where's been holed up in the Embassy of Ecuador since 2012. Meanwhile the FBI says it has now narrowed the leak down to people who had special access to a secret network used by American spies and at this point, there's no indication the leak was done by Russia or any other foreign government.White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer .. responding to assertions by WikiLeaks publisher and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange that the CIA lost control of its entire cyber weapons arsenal acknowledged that the CIA needs to update its technology.

In a historic, unanimous ruling Friday, South Korea's Constitutional Court formally removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into political turmoil and worsened an already-serious national divide. The president's removal tilts the balance of power from her Conservative party, aligned with US policy and a tough line on North Korea, to a more liberal opposition that favors more negotiation with the North, coming at a time the region has been destabilized by North Korea's rocket launches towards Japan. Two people later died during protests against the court's decision.

ABC News' Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross and his team have spent the last year investigating places that many claim no longer exist, Christian ministries or camps where gay teens are sent by parents who want their children to change their sexuality.

EPA Director Scott Pruitt is raising eyebrows and causing a rep from the EPA employees union to say he is 'deeply saddened' after Pruitt said on CNBC that there is quote "tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact" of carbon dioxide on climate change and that he does not agree it's a main contributor to global warming. The EPA's website plainly states that humans have played a significant role affecting climate change.

NTSB officials say Tuesday's deadly crash of a train into a bus in Biloxi, Mississippi was the 17th collision at that same grade crossing since 1976.

Wind gusts up to 80 miles an hour are blamed for knocking out power to around a million homes and businesses from Michigan to western New York.  Five people were killed in an apartment fire in Detroit - the flames fanned by dangerous wind gusts. Freight train cars toppled over in Batavia, New York. Nobody hurt ... after a plane carrying the University of Michigan basketball team slid off the runway after an aborted take-off at Willow Run Airport near Ypsilanti, Michigan, Wednesday afternoon.  The plane was scheduled to take the team to the Big Ten tournament in Washington, D-C.  High winds again blamed.  Glass rained down from some Chicago office buildings belted by wind.

At least 32 wildfires continue to burn in several states across the southern plains and down into Florida. More than a million acres of land now scorched.

House Republicans scored a pre-dawn triumph Thursday in their effort to scuttle former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. After nearly 18 hours of debate and over two dozen party-line votes, Republicans pushed legislation through the Ways and Means Committee abolishing the tax penalty Obama's statute imposes on people who don't purchase insurance and reshaping how millions of Americans buy medical care. Ways and Means worked till nearly 4:30 a.m. EST before approving the final batch of tax provisions in a party-line 23-16 vote. The Energy and Commerce Committee panel continued working, tackling a reshaping of Medicaid
--The largest group of physicians in the country... says it can't get behind the current Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. Dr Andrew German, President of the American Medical Association, says millions of Americans would lose their insurance under the new plan, and that it goes against the core principals of A-M-A physicians.

Twp Senators...Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)... are working together from across the aisle to get to the bottom of President Donald Trump's explosive allegation that President Obama wiretapped the phones at Trump Tower during the 2016 election season.  The two formally requested information from the Department of Justice and FBI Wednesday on any action taken to listen in on calls from Trump's New York home and offices.

After a trove of thousands of what are claimed to be secret C-I-A files was dumped by the cyber leakers -- White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer --who wouldn't confirm or deny the authenticity of the leaks.

A US official confirms that a contingent of U.S. Marines has arrived in Syria to provide artillery support, presumably to the Syrian Arab Coalition fighting ISIS. The Marines will support Syrian Arab groups fighting ISIS in eastern Syria, most likely in the role of “advise and assist”.

The family of murdered Delphi teenager Liberty German will make a public statement Thursday morning at the Carroll County Courthouse. Investigators continue to comb through thousands of tips and are encouraging people to continue to submit tips. At this time there is no update on the status of the investigation but police will be on hand to answer questions. The family representative will answer questions from the media, however he will not speak about the investigation.

Former Governor of Utah Jon Huntsman has been offered the nomination of ambassador to Russia and he has accepted, ABC News has confirmed. Huntsman, a moderate Republican who was at times a vocal critic of President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, has previous diplomatic experience, having served as ambassador to Singapore in the early 1990s and to China from 2009 to 2011.

The U-S ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the U.S. is reevaluating its approach to North Korea after the country launched five ballistic missiles earlier this week.

NTSB officials say Tuesday's deadly crash of a train into a bus in Biloxi, Mississippi was the 17th collision at that same grade crossing since 1976.

The Trump administration is considering cuts to the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration, Secret Service and FEMA to help fund the president’s border wall and deportation efforts, according to a draft budget blueprint obtained by ABC News. The proposal from the Office of Management and Budget, which is circulating on Capitol Hill and within the administration, outlines a $1.3 billion overall cut to the Coast Guard’s budget, equivalent to 14 percent of the agency’s funding last year. TSA would lose more than $500 million in funding, while the Department of Homeland Security would see a $2.7 billion increase in its budget from 2016, to $43.8 billion, under the proposal.
--A new report by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General finds issues with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Orange County, California...including detainees being served meat that appeared spoiled, moldy and mildewed shower stalls.

WikiLeaks released Tuesday what the whistleblower group claimed were thousands of secret CIA files showing how U.S. spies hack smartphones, as well as exposing a major secret listening post in Germany. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment, and the CIA in a statement would not say whether the files are real. However, several current and former intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told ABC News the documents appear to be authentic, and, in fact, likely have origins at the National Security Agency where most national security hacking of overseas targets occurs. "Somebody really screwed up to let this get out," a former official familiar with the activities outlined in the WikiLeaks-released files told ABC News.

--Two House committees Wednesday begin considering the newly released GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. "We're going to act quickly," says President Trump, adding "I really believe we're going to have tremendous support."  But a number of Republicans in the GOP controlled Congress don't like the plan because it does not involve a total repeal of Obamacare.
--President Trump meets with conservative leaders in the day ahead, and has dinner with Sen. Ted Cruz.

At least three people were killed, dozens injured when a CSX freight train plowed into a bus at a grade crossing in Biloxi, Mississippi. An NTSB "go-team" was heading to the scene to begin an investigation into why the bus was on the tracks.

In the first national action since the Women's Marches a day after the inauguration, organizers urge women around the world to stay home from work Wednesday, to demonstrate their importance to the job force and demand employers pay them at the same rate as their male counterparts. The "Day Without Women" event which echoes last month's Day Without Immigrants strike is part of a larger global work strike by women in honor of International Women's Day. Organizers are asking women to wear red to signify love and sacrifice.

New VA Secretary David Shulkin tells a late Tuesday House hearing the Veterans' Administration health care system was "too complex and too difficult to maneuver."  He urges Congress to temporarily extend a troubled program aimed at widening veterans' access to private-sector health care

--At the first State Department of the new administration, acting spokesman Mark Toner, explaining why Iraq is no longer one of the countries on President Trump's executive order on immigration: "It reinforces the strong collaboration we already have with Iraq with respect to the effort to destroy ISIS on the ground in Iraq."
--Now that there's a new immigration Executive Order signed by President Trump - the fight over the old one is beginning to disappear.

Six deaths are blamed on wildfires in four states: four in Texas, one in Kansas, and one in Oklahoma...where a 63-year-old woman died from a heart attack trying to save her farm.  Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 22 counties because of several wildfires.

Gunmen stormed a military hospital in Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday, killing at least four people and wounding more than 60, setting off clashes with security forces that were still underway hours later. Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said an unknown number of gunmen entered the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital after an explosion and gunfire. Abdul Qadir, a hospital worker who witnessed the attack, said an attacker in a white coat shot at him and his colleagues.

A Tuesday night statement from the UN Security Council says members "strongly condemn" the most recent ballistic missile launches.

The House Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes says he's seen no evidence that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.  President Trump ... in a Tweet over the weekend ... accused the Obama administration of as much.  Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) saying the committee is willing to look into the issue ... and question F-B-I Director James Comey.

Poachers broke into a zoo outside Paris and shot and killed a rhinoceros before cutting off one of its horns, zoo officials said Monday. The brazen incident is believed to be the first instance of rhino poaching in Europe. The Thoiry Zoo, in the suburbs west of Paris, said in a statement that the poachers cut off part of the rhino's second horn too but appeared to have been interrupted or had defective equipment.

Retired NFL players are rushing to sign up for benefits under the concussion settlement...10-thousand so far in the first month.

President Trump meets with Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings - ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Gov't Reform, to talk about the cost of prescription drugs.

President Trump issued a new executive order on immigration - replacing his first order, which was blocked by a federal court. And there are some major rewrites: There is a ban on all refugees, not just those from Syria, but there are now just six, instead of 7 countries on the list of those barred from traveling to the US. Iraqi citizens have been taken off. Another change: this ban won't go into effect for 10 days, instead of being implemented immediately - and won't impact those who already have visas.

House Republicans have released the outlines of their plan to repeal-and-replace Obamacare. The GOP plan, released by the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, dumps the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, creates a system of tax credits to provide access to care and freezes Medicaid expansion beginning in 2020. A White House statement says the President looks forward to working with both houses of Congress to finalize a measure. Democrats immediately began trashing the plan. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi calls it a "Make America Sick Again" bill.

A developing severe weather threat is settling in from Arkansas to Minnesota, including 22 million Americans.  A line of severe thunderstorms continues to push east from Minnesota down to northeastern Kansas.  The ABC News Weather team reports at least 4 reported tornadoes along with over 40 reports of severe weather, including large hail and strong/damaging wind gusts.

Low humidity, warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 60 miles an hour...are fueling what's being called an extreme wildfire event...affecting roughly 15 counties in western Kansas. That's forced the evacuation of about 10 communities.

High winds are fanning a brush fire in Logan County, Colorado, that has burned 3 homes and one structure.  Several hundred homes were under pre-evacuation orders. The fire was at 30-thousand acres and was zero-percent contained.

-The controversial THAAD anti-missile system is being sent to South Korea to protect against the possibility of a North Korean missile attack.  The US and South Korea agreed to deploy the system last summer following a series of provocative North Korean missile tests.   In the works for weeks, the system’s arrival occurred the day after yet another round of North Korea missile launches.  China had opposed the system's deployment believing it would be a threat to its own missile systems.
-The diplomatic divide deepens between North Korea and Malaysia following the killing of Kim Jong Nam.  Pyongyang says it'sl banning Malaysians from leaving North Korea.  Malaysia's Police Chief says they won't raid North Korea's embassy in Kuala Lumpur, but will instead wait-out the remaining suspects wanted in Nam's killing. 

The Supreme Court has sent the issue of transgender bathroom rights back to lower courts across the country.  The high court turned down taking up the case of transgender Virginia high school student Gavin Grimm who sued to be able to use the boys bathroom.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined Monday to provide specific support for President Trump's recent tweets accusing former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, but defended the posts by saying "there's no question that something happened." Spicer deflected questions asking for additional detail on the president's messages at an off-camera press briefing and when asked directly if he was amending the president's tweets on wiretapping he answered, "No."  DNC Chair Thomas Perez calls the wiretap accusations a diversion away from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  Perez says Sessions should be fired for lying under oath during his Senate confirmation hearing.

A family from Afghanistan relocating to Seattle with special, hard to get visas who were detained when they landed in Los Angeles last week and had been held for days - have now been released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention and reunited.  During a court hearing, the government still did not say why the family was held despite having hard to get Special Immigration Visas.  Homeland Security can still interview them to determine if they can stay in the U.S.

Marine Corps members... allegedly sharing naked photos of their female colleagues.. to a Facebook group of 30-thousand. The Marine Corps now investigating those disturbing allegations that current and former service members solicited and shared nude photos of their fellow female Marines online.

A senior Justice Department official confirms to ABC News that FBI Director James Comey has asked the Department to publicly reject President Trump's claim that former President Obama spied on him during the campaign. The President offered no evidence, but the claim was made a day after his attorney general recused himself in any probes into Trump campaign contacts with Russia. White House Deputy Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders says there should be an investigation into the claim President Obama ordered wiretaps at Trump Tower. Sanders told ABC News: "The American people have a right to know if this happened." The House Intelligence Committee chairman says Trump's assertion will become part of his panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the election. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says "There was no such wiretap activity."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected Monday to provide amended testimony regarding his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential election. In a statement, Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr says Sessions will also respond to questions raised by Democratic senators. “In light of the letter received from Senators late this afternoon, the Attorney General will respond to their questions along with his amended testimony on Monday,” the statement reads.

North Korea on Monday fired "several" banned ballistic missiles that flew about 620 miles into waters off its east coast, South Korea's military said, an apparent reaction to huge military drills by Washington and Seoul that Pyongyang insists are an invasion rehearsal. Just last month North Korea's successfully tested a new solid fueled rocket, which raised concerns that Kim Jung Un's missile program is developing faster than had been expected. Experts here say the slew of provocations, including last month's public assassination of Kim Jung Nam, the half-brother of the North Korean leader at a busy Malaysian airport, are all part of North Korea's attempt to test where the Trump administration's policies are heading. 

The White House is set to roll out a new executive order on travel and immigration today. Trump administration officials have said that the new order aims to overcome the legal challenges that resulted in the first immigration ban being blocked by a federal court. The revised order is expected to remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a U.S. travel ban for 90 days. It would also no longer single out Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban. 

Unclear how that could impact an Afghan family of five detained by immigration officials in California since last week. Their attorneys say they still have not been told why the family was detained; the lawyers have filed a petition in federal court seeking their release, arguing that they were approved for relocation because of the father’s work with the U.S. government. The father, mother and their three children -- ages 7, 6 and 8 months -- arrived at LAX on Thursday afternoon for a connecting flight to Seattle, where they planned to resettle. They have a hearing today.

A 39-year-old Indian of the Sikh ['sick'] faith...shot in his driveway Friday night in Kent, Washington... says a gunman approached him and said "go back to your own country" before shooting him in the arm. The F-B-I now helping investigate what it calls.. a "potentially hate-motivated" crime.

Nude photos on a members-only Facebook page are at the heart of an investigation by the Marine Corps. Current and former Marines allegedly shared hundreds of nude photos of female Marines on a closed Facebook group. The Marine Commandant calls the targeting of Marines in an inappropriate manner "distasteful".

Iraqi government forces have captured Mosul's al-Hurriya (Freedom) Bridge over the River Tigris, Iraqi military and Kurdish sources say. It is the second of five bridges to be recaptured since the operation to retake the city from so-called Islamic State began in October. The news comes a day after Iraqi forces launched a new push against the western part of Mosul. The United Nations and the Red Cross say there is evidence ISIS is using chemical weapons in Mosul.  Reports say about a dozen people - including children - are being treated for symptoms consistent with exposure to chemical weapons. ISIS is known to have used chemical weapons in the past, including against Kurdish Pesh Merga forces in 2015...and the former CIA director John Brennan said that ISIS does have the capacity to make chlorine and mustard gas. The chemical attack has not yet been confirmed but the UN says that if it's confirmed it would constitute a war crime

Tops at the box office... "Logan", the latest installment of the X-Men franchise. The film pulled in an estimated 85.3-million dollars in its debut weekend.

-Attorney General Jeff Sessions will recuse himself from any existing or future probes related to any campaigns for president, he said on Thursday.  The move comes after it was reported Wednesday night that Sessions had two meetings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. in 2016 after he started supporting Donald Trump's presidential bid and then failed to disclose the contacts during his confirmation hearing.
-A growing number of Democrats say recusal isn't enough.  They want Sessions to resign saying he lied under oath.
-President Trump said that he has "total" confidence in Sessions calling it a "witch hunt."
--ABC News has confirmed a story first reported by New York Times that Michael Flynn, then Donald J. Trump’s incoming national security adviser, had a previously undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador in December to “establish a line of communication” between the new administration and the Russian government, the White House said on Thursday.  
--President Trump will leave the White House in the morning and travel to Orlando for a meet-and-greet and tour of Saint Andrew Catholic School with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. He'll also participate in a parent-teacher conference listening session.  In the afternoon, he'll fly from Orlando to Palm Beach/Mar-a-Lago, where he's spending the weekend. 
--Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was confirmed as secretary of the Department of House and Urban Development on a vote of 58-41 Thursday. The Senate also backed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be energy secretary, 62-37.
--The Indianapolis Star reports it received a cache of emails showing that Vice President Pence not only communicated about sensitive matters via his personal AOL account as governor, but was also hacked last summer. The Vice President's office released this statement: "Similar to previous governors, during his time as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account." 

- ICE officials are seen on video taking into custody a father in Highland Park, CA while he was dropping his daughters at school Turesday morning. Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez had been in the country for 20 years with four children.  Officials cite a nearly decade-old DUI conviction and an incident 20 years ago where the father said he bought a car with an incorrect registration sticker for reasons why they'll deport him.  Family attorneys are working to try and keep Avelica-Gonzalez in the U.S.
-A young woman arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Mississippi on Wednesday could be deported as early as this week, her attorney said. Daniela Vargas, 22, was taken into custody after speaking at a press conference in front of Jackson City Hall. Her attorney, Abigail Peterson, said Vargas is still being held and ICE is working to process her case without a court hearing.

-U.S. forces conducted more than 20 airstrikes in Yemen, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday. The airstrikes involved a mix of manned and unmanned aircraft, a U.S. official told ABC News. 
-Some of the valuable intelligence gleaned in the Navy SEAL raid in Yemen on January 28 included hundreds of contacts for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  SEAL William "Ryan" Owens was killed in the raid.

Federal and state health officials are investigating an outbreak of 12 cases of E. coli reported in several states.
Information collected to date indicates I. M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter products as a "likely source" of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control said in a statement Thursday.

-The company behind Snapchat is trading sharply higher in its Wall Street debut.   Snap Inc. jumped $7, or 41 percent, to $24 a share.  It priced its initial public offering of 200 million nonvoting shares at $17 each on Wednesday, above the expected range of $14 to $16.  Snap's IPO is one of the most anticipated for a technology company since Twitter's in 2013. 
-But not everyone is happy about the success of SNAP - protests gathered in Venice Beach, California outside the company's headquarters. As SNAP expands to be the next social media empire - snapping up real estate and raising rents - folks in the neighborhood are worried about a Yuppie takeover. 

A potent but brief cold blast will be targeting the Great Lakes to Northeast. Wind chills in the single digits/teens Minneapolis, Chicago, and Detroit Friday morning. It will be bitter cold by Saturday morning in the Northeast. Feeling like single digits in NYC, below zero in Boston. Scattered snow showers are expected across the Great Lakes and Northeast into Friday.

The community of Delphi, Indiana continues to rally around finding the person or persons responsible for killing two teenagers last month.  Abigail Williams and Liberty German were found dead on Valentine’s Day, in a wooded area after being reported missing a day earlier.  The picture of a suspect has been posted on police websites for weeks.   Merchants and residents have pooled resources, and many fundraisers, to get the reward money to over $216,000. 

Video of a Georgia teenager, that his parents say shows deputies killing their son after a chase, is at the center of a civil rights lawsuit. Greg and Tammy Dyskma said they want the public to see the video of what happened to their 18-year-old son Nicholas so it never happens again. 

Nintendo’s new gaming system Switch goes on sale Friday. It will replace the Wii U.  Company officials expect to sells a lot of Switch, because the game cartridges are small bite-sized.

The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period – running from sundown to sundown – and starts on the first Friday in March. The project is an outgrowth of The Sabbath Manifesto, an adaption of our ancestors’ ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.

--A record run on Wall Street.  The Dow surging past 21-thousand for the first time ... closing above 21-115.  Investors  apparently happy with President Trump's address to Congress.
--Snapchat's parent company goes public Thursday. Snap, Inc.'s IPO is valued a 24-billion dollars and is putting up 200-million shares at 17-dollarseach.

  • ABC News' Chief Business & Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis reports
  • ABC News' Mark Remillard reports
  • Actuality from analysts

Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice with Russia's ambassador to the United States during the 2016 presidential election season, the Department of Justice confirmed, at a time when he was a close adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump. Sessions later did not disclose those discussions when questioned under oath during his confirmation hearing. The revelations, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked immediate calls for Sessions' resignation as well as fierce pushback from a White House official, who called them a "attack against the Trump administration by partisan Democrats." Questions about Russia and Trump associates' alleged contacts with the country have dogged the president for months, though he has repeatedly referred to them "fake news." His former national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, resigned after misleading the vice president about his own conversations with the Russian ambassador.
--Several high ranking Democrats, including House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, have called on the Attorney General to resign, alleging he lied under oath. Pressure had been mounting for the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to look into ties between Trump officials and the Russians during the campaign.

Seven Baltimore police officers have been charged in a racketeering case where investigators say officers wrongly arrested citizens, robbed them and then filed false police reports. Court papers say the officers wrongly stopped people, stole their money, and even stole guns while part of a gun task force.

The White House has yet to release its revised immigration executive order, but sources say countries included in the blanket travel ban will -not- include Iraq.

Did a judge help an undocumented immigrant escape from a county courthouse in Oregon? Multnomah County court referee Monica Herranz is under internal review after allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant elude ICE agents in January by letting him exit the courtroom though an employee door.

Republican lawmakers huddled late Wednesday to discuss the path forward on repealing and replacing Obamacare. No details yet, but Republicans insist they will be voting on legislation to tackle health care in the coming weeks.

--Lawmakers hold a news conference Thursday morning on a bipartisan task force for combating anti-semitism.
--A statement late Wednesday from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says DHS is working closely with Jewish Community Centers in all states "to advise and support on protective measures they can put in place to help keep people in their community safe."

The storm system that spawned deadly tornadoes moves east, pushing out warm temps and bringing more wind and rain.

After imposing certain conditions, a federal judge in California allowed Noor Salman, the wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter, to be released pending trial.

Ryan Zinke was sworn in Wednesday as secretary of the Interior Department hours after the Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's nomination of Zinke.

Four children were killed, 2 adults and a teen injured in a house fire in the rural southern Oregon town of Riddle.

A 45-million-dollar museum and entertainment complex opens across from Graceland...called Elvis Presley's Memphis. It's meant tot tell the story of how Elvis became "The King."

---President Donald Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, addressing a host of familiar themes from his campaign and calling for unity to address a litany of issues that he says are plaguing the country. Trump's call for an end to the "pure unadulterated division" and "trivial fights" comes in the wake of a bruising campaign and a tumultuous start to his presidency, squaring off against critics as well as waging a pitched battle against the media. The speech also comes amid a flurry of questions about alleged contacts between Trump associates and suspected Russian officials, which the president has derided as "fake news."  
--Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear delivered the Democratic response.
---Protesters gathered outside in Washington calling on Congress to take a stand against the President.
--Vice President Pence and Democratic Senate Leader Schumer speak to ABC Chief Political Correspondent George Stephanopoulos.
--The full details of President Trump’s budget aren’t even out yet, and already the blowback against the White House is, in a word, tremendous.  Former top military leaders who served on the frontlines and congressional leaders in the president’s party are all speaking out, trying to stop the administration from slashing funds for foreign aid and American diplomacy.  "It's going nowhere," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of the likelihood that Congress would approve such a budget.

13 proved to be unlucky for Wall Street and the Dow Jones snapped its 12-day winning streak as investors waited to hear what the President would say Tuesday night. 

Several suspected tornadoes have touched down in LaSalle County, Illinois, destroying homes and taking down trees and power lines in the towns of Ottawa and Naplate. A nursing home was severely damaged but a nurse that works in the home says all the residents and staff survived the storm.  Another round of storms are expected between Little Rock, Arkansas and Chicago, Illinois late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. There are reported fatalities.

Southern California authorities on Tuesday provided more information about the victims of a fiery small plane crash that killed three people and critically injured two others in a residential area of Riverside. Among the five occupants of the Cessna 310, which slammed into a home Monday, were one female teenager, three women and one man, police said. The crash site is just northeast of Riverside Municipal Airport.  None of the deceased have been identified by authorities.

The triple shooting at a Kansas bar that killed a man who immigrated to the U.S. from India is being investigated as a hate crime, the FBI announced Tuesday.  On Feb. 22, police in Olathe responded to a 911 call of shots fired at Austin's Bar and Grill, about 20 miles southwest of Kansas City, Kansas, authorities said.

An SUV veered into a crowd at a Mardi Gras parade on the Gulf Coast of Alabama on Tuesday morning, just days after a similar incident occurred in New Orleans.  At least 12 people were injured in the accident, and four of them are in critical condition, according to police.  The driver was a 73-year-old man, police said.  Witnesses says his foot slipped off the brake pedal and onto the gas, causing the car to plow into the Gulf Shores High School marching band from behind.  Police say there is no indication the incident involved alcohol or drugs, nor is it believed to be an intentional act. 

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.

In court testimony on Tuesday, Curtis Reeves described the altercation in January 2014 that ended with his fatally shooting another moviegoer over texting, calling it at one point a "life-or-death struggle."  Reeves, 74, a former police captain and former amusement park security director, is accused of shooting and killing 43-year-old Chad Oulson on Jan. 13, 2014, in Pasco County, Florida, before a showing of "Lone Survivor," police said.  "At that point, it was his life or mine," Reeves testified, when asked by the defense why he shot Oulson that day. If Circuit Court Judge Susan Barthle rules in favor of Reeves, he will receive immunity from prosecution and will leave the court a free man, with no criminal murder charges, under Florida's "stand your ground" law.

A police sharpshooter accidentally fired his weapon during a speech by French President Francois Hollande and two people were slightly injured.  The incident occurred while Hollande was inaugurating a new fast train line in the western town of Villognon.  The regional prefect, speaking to journalists near the scene of the incident, said the gendarme, or military police officer, was located on a high spot when his weapon was fired.  Two people were slightly wounded, each in one leg.

The former president and first lady have signed with Penguin Random House, the publisher announced Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed for the books, which several publishers had competed for, although the deals are likely in the tens of millions of dollars