Live Coverage

Today's News: March 4, 2017

Malaysia expels the North Korean ambassador over the killing of Kim Jong-nam, and President Donald Trump accuses his predecessor of tapping his phones.


—President Donald Trump, in a tweet, accused former president Barack Obama of tapping the phones at Trump Tower headquarters, but offered no evidence.

—Malaysia has expelled the North Korean ambassador over the death of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother to Kim Jong-un.

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


This live blog has concluded

More Than 100 Somalis Die in the Past Two Days From Severe Drought

Feisal Omar / Reuters

The prime minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Haire, said Saturday that in the past two days some 110 people have died in the country’s south because of severe drought. Livestock throughout the region have died and agriculture fields dried up, partially caused by a strong El Niño. About 3 million people in the country face food insecurity, and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund has said that more than half a million children this year suffer from severe acute malnutrition. Last month, South Sudan declared a famine, and Somalia is feared to be at risk of famine as well, as are Nigeria, and Yemen. The last famine was declared in 2011, in Somalia. It’s a technical term, and can only be applied when 20 percent of households face food shortages; when acute malnutrition exceeds 30 percent; and when more than two people for every 10,000 die of malnutrition each day.

Malaysia Expels the North Korean Ambassador


Malaysia said it has expelled the North Korean ambassador over the death of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader. Malaysia has not explicitly blamed North Korea for the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, who was killed three weeks ago in an attack at the Kuala Lumpur airport, but the death has still stirred contention among the two countries. Malaysia is one of North Korea’s few allies, but it has refused to let Pyongyang head the investigation into Kim Jong-nam’s death. That led North Korea’s ambassador, Kang Chol, to say his country “could not trust” Malaysia to handle the investigation. Malaysia’s prime minister called the remarks ts "diplomatically rude" and asked for an apology. After that did not come, the country declared Kang "persona non grata" and gave him 48 hours to leave.

Trump Accuses Obama of a 'Nixon/Watergate' Wiretapping Scheme


Early morning Saturday President Donald Trump made several tweets that accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of  conducting a “Nixon/Watergate” wiretapping scheme on Trump Tower during the election. This weekend the president is at his private Mar-a-Lago resort, and he offered no evidence of his wiretapping claims. It’s not clear what Trump may be referencing, but media reports have widely detailed how the FBI sought a warrant last summer to monitor members of the Trump team suspected of talking with Russian officials. The warrant was initially turned down, but was later approved in October by a federal judge, which is standard procedure any time the FBI seeks a wiretap. Conservative radio host Mark Levin had also made comments Thursday on what he called Obama’s efforts to undermine the Trump campaign through eavesdropping, calling the former president’s administration a “police state.” On his show Levin demanded a Congressional investigation, and his comments were picked up by Breitbart, the website founded by Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist. According to The Washington Post, the Breitbart story was circulating among Trump’s senior staff. During the campaign, it was a frequent Trump tactic to raise new controversy while under scrutinization. And most recently, Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who was a Trump surrogate during the campaign, was found to have met with the Russian ambassador during the election, which he failed to disclose in his confirmation hearing after being asked about any connections to Russian leaders. Sessions has since recused himself from an investigation into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 election.