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

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

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

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

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


UPDATE: Official says FBI wants Trump claim rejected

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

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

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

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

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


Clapper denies wiretap ordered

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says no wiretapping of Donald Trump or his campaign was carried out on his watch.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Clapper said nothing matching Trump's claims had taken place.

He said he would have known about any surveillance ordered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Clapper left the intelligence post when Trump took office Jan. 20.

Other representatives of the former president also denied Trump's tweeted allegation that phones at Trump Tower were tapped last October.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said without elaborating Sunday that Trump's instruction to Congress was based on "very troubling" reports "concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election." Spicer did not respond to inquiries about the reports he cited in announcing the request.

Spicer said the White House wants the congressional committees to "exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016." He said there would be no further comment until the investigations are completed.


Trump, Sessions dinner likely on executive order

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A White House spokeswoman says President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions likely discussed a new executive order over dinner on Saturday night.

But White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not specify what the new order would say. The White House is expected to soon release a new executive order replacing the one barring people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The meeting comes days after the attorney general withdrew from overseeing the FBI probe into Russian interference in the presidential election. During his confirmation proceedings, Sessions did not disclose his campaign-season contacts with a Russian ambassador.

Sanders also tells ABC's "This Week": "The president believes that Jeff Sessions is a good man and that he didn't do anything wrong."


Afghan family detained in Los Angeles are asking for release

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Attorneys have filed a petition that seeks the release of an Afghan family of five detained by immigration officials when they arrived at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lawyers say the mother and father and their three children landed at LAX on Thursday for a connecting flight to Seattle, where they planned to resettle. But they were detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the International Refugee Assistance Project filed a petition in federal court Saturday seeking their release. It argues that the family was approved for relocation after intense vetting because the father had been employed by the U.S. government in Afghanistan.

ICE officials didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.


UPDATE: Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missiles into ocean

South Korea says North Korea fired projectile into ocean

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's military says North Korea on Monday fired "several" banned ballistic missiles that flew about 620 miles into waters off its east coast, in an apparent reaction to huge military drills by Washington and Seoul that Pyongyang insists are an invasion rehearsal.

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

Seoul and Washington call their military drills on the Korean Peninsula, which remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty, defensive and routine.


Chicago almost goes full week without fatal shooting

CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago nearly went a full week without a fatal shooting.

The Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune reported the city had passed such a milestone on Sunday morning for the first time in more than five years.

However, that was before the Cook County Medical Examiner's office on Sunday afternoon reported the homicide of 22-year-old Antoine D. Watkins from multiple gunshot wounds. Police say they found him lying face down Saturday in a vacant lot about a block from where he lived in the Austin neighborhood on the city's west side.

Before that fatal shooting, the last one had occurred Feb. 26.

The newspapers report the city has recorded more than 100 homicides so far this year.


4 Bandidos gang members arrested in 2006 death of Texas man

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Four members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang have been indicted on charges they conspired to kill a man who was attempting to launch a Texas chapter of the Hell's Angels in Austin.

Federal authorities say the four include 47-year-old Johnny Romo, who holds a national position with the gang. The charges against him include murder in aid of racketeering.

Authorities say Romo and the others conspired to kill Anthony Benesh in a 2006 sniper attack as he stood outside an Austin restaurant.

Prosecutors say the Bandidos didn't want a rival gang to diminish their power and territory, and had threatened Benesh against starting a chapter.

The four men were indicted and taken into custody Thursday.

It's not known if Romo has an attorney to answer the charges.


NYPD: No evidence of vandalism at largely Jewish cemetery

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Police Department says no evidence of vandalism has been found at a predominantly Jewish cemetery where more than 40 tombstones were toppled over.

The NYPD says after consultation with the management of the Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, it was determined the 42 tombstones came down as a result of a number of factors. Those include long-term neglect or lack of maintenance, as well as environmental factors such as soil erosion.

There has been a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries and 122 bomb threats against Jewish organizations in three dozen states since early January.

Authorities said Friday that Juan Thompson, a former journalist fired for fabricating details in stories, made at least eight threats against Jewish institutions nationwide as part of a campaign against his ex-girlfriend.


97-year-old twins freeze to death after falling outside

BARRINGTON, R.I. (AP) -- Authorities say twin 97-year-old sisters apparently froze to death after falling down outside a Rhode Island home, one of them while coming to the rescue of the other.

Barrington Police say Jean Haley, of Barrington, and Martha Williams, of East Providence, died Saturday.

Police say the twins had returned to Haley's home with their 89-year-old sister, who is also from Barrington, Friday night after they had dinner together. Some time after the younger sister left, Williams was going to her car. Police say she fell in the driveway.

When Haley went to call for help, authorities say, she tripped on a rug in her garage.

The sisters were found by a neighbor Saturday morning.

They were rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later died.


Some Marines being investigated for sharing nude photos

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Defense Department is investigating reports that some Marines shared online naked photographs of female Marines, veterans and other women, some taken without their knowledge.

Gen. Robert Neller is commandant of the Marine Corps. He won't comment directly on the investigation but says in a statement that targeting Marines, online or otherwise, in an inappropriate manner is distasteful and shows an absence of respect.

The Center for Investigative Reporting says the photographs were shared on a secret Facebook page, "Marines United." The center says it learned about the secret site from a nonprofit news organization run by a Marine veteran.

The center says that along with pictures of identified female military members were photographs of unidentifiable women in various stages of undress.


Victims, Roman Catholic Church spar over NY sex abuse bill

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Victims of child sex abuse in New York say the political power of the Roman Catholic Church and other institutions is preventing lawmakers from passing a law that would relax one of the nation's tightest statutes of limitations on filing criminal charges and lawsuits.

The bill also would create a one-year window for lawsuits otherwise barred by the statute of limitations. The church says that provision would cause "catastrophic" financial harm to any institution that works with children.

Abuse victims say that's no justification for depriving thousands of victims an opportunity for justice.

Supporters lobbied for the bill at the Capitol last week. They say they're optimistic this year because Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he supports the idea of making it easier for victims of abuse to sue.