Live Coverage

Today's News: March 27, 2017

Trump and the GOP turn to tax reform, South Korean prosecutors seek a warrant for the ousted president’s arrest, and more from the United States and around the world.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

—President Trump and congressional Republicans will seek to overhaul the U.S. tax code, just days after they abandoned their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. More here

—South Korean prosecutors have sought an arrest warrant for Park Geun-hye in connection with the former president’s role in a corruption scandal. More here

—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).


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Trump Revokes an Order Meant to Force Companies to Treat Workers Fairly

Carlos Barria / Reuters

President Donald Trump signed a measure on Monday to repeal the Obama administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, which forced companies with a federal contract to comply with labor laws, like maintaining a safe workplace and paying fair wages. Obama’s order did this by requiring companies with more than $500,000 worth of labor violations to disclose this on federal contractor applications. Republicans in the Senate used the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to strike down recently passed rules, earlier this month and voted on party lines, then sent it to Trump. The original rule was pushed by labor unions, which pointed to a 2013 Senate report that found 30 percent of the top labor law violators were also federal contractors. The original order’s focus—federal contracts—may seem narrow, but it was intended to have a much larger impact. This is because by aiming to bring an entire company into compliance when it applied for a contract, it potentially impacted the corporation’s full labor force. As a result, the original order impacted as much as 18 percent of American workers.

NFL Approves Oakland Raiders's Move to Las Vegas

It wasn’t enough. ( Kirby Lee / USA Today / Reuters)

Update at 3:51 p.m.

The NFL has approved the Raiders’s application to move from its longtime home in Oakland to Las Vegas. The 31-1 vote by the league’s team owners was widely expected. The team will play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2017 and 2018. After that, they will likely play at a yet-to-be-named venue until their new stadium in Las Vegas is done—a project that’s expected to be completed in 2020.  The Raiders were established in 1960 and have spent much of the time since then in Oakland—though there were 12 years (1982-94) the team played in Los Angeles. Mark Davis, the Raiders owner, said in a statement:

The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff. We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.

The sole no vote came from the Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, who said:

The Raiders are the third NFL team to move cities in a little more than a year: Last year, the Rams said they’d move from St. Louis back to Los Angeles; the Chargers said in January they too would move to Los Angeles from San Diego.

An Avalanche in Japan's Highlands Kills 7 Students and Their Teacher


An avalanche at a Japanese ski resort killed at least seven students and one teacher who were part of a mountaineering class on a field trip. Heavy snow fell overnight, with more than a foot piling up near the highlands of Nasu, about 90 miles north of Tokyo. Some 60 students and 10 teachers from seven different rural high schools made the trip, part of a three-day expedition to a closed ski resort. About 40 people were injured. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government would do all it could to help with rescue efforts, and helicopters, as well as Japan’s Self Defense Forces, were sent to the area to help. The class had originally planned to climb to the top of Mount Chausu, but because of the risk posed by the new snow, teachers decided to climb at a lower elevation. The region had been under an avalanche advisory, with an unusual amount of snow falling this late in the spring, making for dangerous conditions. Police are now investigating if there was negligence on part of the school.

Alexei Navalny, Russian Opposition Leader, Is Jailed for 15 Days, Fined $350 Over Protests

(Tatyana Makeyeva / Reuters)

A court in Moscow has jailed Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, for 15 days for resisting police orders during Sunday’s anti-government protests, and fined him the equivalent of about $350 for organizing the protests. Navalny was among hundreds of protesters arrested Sunday in connection with the nationwide demonstrations. Navalny was found guilty last month of embezzlement and handed a five-year suspended sentence—a verdict that could bar him from seeking the presidency in next year’s election. He has denied the charges against him. My colleague Julia Ioffe, who is in Moscow, reported on why Sunday’s protests were different:

What was most remarkable, though, was that the protests happened not just in protest-loving Moscow, but in over 90 cities across the country. People came out by the hundreds in Vladivostok, in the Far East; in Siberian Tomsk; in Krasnodar, in the south; and in Kaliningrad, a tiny Russian enclave in the middle of Poland. They came out in cities like Chelyabinsk, in the Ural Mountains; southern Samara; and in Novosibirsk. (Meduza, an independent Russian news outlet, has a compelling photo essay here.) This is significant because “the regions,” as everything outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg is known, are significantly more conservative and Putin-friendly than the two biggest cities. They are much poorer, much less developed, and people living there are often more dependent on the state to make their living. There is almost no independent media there, except what can be found online, and information critical of the government can be hard to come by. Going against the authorities can result in serious repercussions, both economically and in terms of personal safety, sometimes more so than in Moscow, where people have more money, political connections, and the savviness to solve their problems.

Read her piece here.

Senate Panel to Reportedly Question Jared Kushner Over Meetings With Russians

(Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

Senate investigators will question Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, over his meetings, including one that was previously unreported, with Russian officials, The New York Times is reporting Monday. More from the Times:

The White House Counsel’s Office was informed this month that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, wanted to question Mr. Kushner about meetings he arranged with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, according to the government officials. The meetings included a previously unreported sit-down with the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank.

Until now, the White House had acknowledged only an early December meeting between Mr. Kislyak and Mr. Kushner, which occurred at Trump Tower and was also attended by Michael T. Flynn, who would briefly serve as the national security adviser.

Later that month, though, Mr. Kislyak requested a second meeting, which Mr. Kushner asked a deputy to attend in his stead, officials said. At Mr. Kislyak’s request, Mr. Kushner later met with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, which drew sanctions from the Obama administration after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia annexed Crimea and began meddling in Ukraine.

Hope Hicks, a White House spokeswoman, acknowledged the meetings occurred, but denied anything of consequence was discussed, the newspaper said. The FBI and congressional investigators are examining links between Trump’s aides and Russian officials during the election. There is nothing to indicate that Kushner is a focus of any of those investigations.


South Korean Prosecutors Seek a Warrant to Arrest Ex-President Park Geun Hye

(Damir Sagolj / Reuters)

South Korean prosecutors have applied for a warrant to arrest Park Geun Hye, the recently ousted president, for her role in a widening corruption scandal. Earlier this month, South Korea’s Constitutional Court upheld a December parliamentary vote to remove her from office amid the scandal that has brought down politicians and business leaders. Park’s removal from office was coupled with a loss of immunity, paving the way for her prosecution. Prosecutors had previously recommended 13 charges against her for alleged bribery. Park, who was questioned over the allegations lat week, has denied any wrongdoing.

Trump, Republicans to Focus Their Attention on Tax Reform

(Carlos Barria / Reuters)

President Trump and congressional Republicans are likely to focus their legislative effort on overhauling the U.S. tax code, days after the White House and the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives abandoned a long-promised effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. That measure failed because of opposition from Tea Party-allied Republicans; Democrats universally opposed it, as well. An overhaul of the tax code was a Trump campaign pledge, and when it looked as if the health-care legislation would fail, news reports said Trump had wanted to make tax reform his first legislative achievement, but was persuaded by House Speaker Paul Ryan to go with the American Health Care Act. The New York Times reports this morning the first overhaul of the tax code in three decades “may have to be scaled back to a big corporate tax cut and possibly an individual tax cut” because of the failure to repeal Obamacare. Trump had wanted a more sweeping change, including lower taxes, a reduction in tax loopholes, and tax imports. On Sunday, Reince Preibus, the White House chief of staff, said Republicans should support Trump’s legislative efforts or face the prospect of the president reaching out to Democrats to achieve his legislative goals. Kevin Brady, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo his panel had been working on a tax measure that he planned to move on in the spring. He said he hoped the measure would be a blueprint of the version the White House uses.