WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats today have been pushing for a special prosecutor to examine the Trump administration's possible ties to Russia. At a confirmation hearing, they urged the nominee for the number-two post at the Justice Department to consider handing over any such investigation to an independent overseer. Rod Rosenstein wouldn't commit to appointing a special prosecutor, and said he wasn't aware of a basis to do so.
WASHINGTON (AP) — WikiLeaks claims Samsung smart TVs are among the CIA's weapons for surveillance. The anti-secrecy group says the documents it's obtained show that the CIA worked with U.K. intelligence officials to turn microphones in TVs into listening devices. Samsung smart TVs have microphones so viewers can make voice commands, such as requests for movie recommendations. The commands typically aren't transmitted outside the home unless users activate the feature. If the TV is off, there's no listening being done. But WikiLeaks claims that documents it obtained show that through a program called Weeping Angel, the target TV appears to be off when it is actually on — and listening. It says the audio goes to a covert CIA server rather than a party authorized by Samsung.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A spokesman for the White House is denouncing the bomb threats against Jewish institutions across the nation. Sean Spicer says President Donald Trump's administration rejects what he calls "these latest anti-Semitic and hateful threats in the strongest terms." The JCC of North America and the Anti-Defamation League reported receiving threats today. Since Jan. 9, federal officials have been investigating more than 120 threats against Jewish organizations in three dozen states and a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries. On Friday, they arrested a Missouri man accused of making at least eight of the threats nationwide.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The son and ex-wife of the late boxing champ Muhammad Ali are declaring a "showdown" over religious freedom against President Donald Trump. Muhammad Ali Junior and his mother, who were both born in the United States, were returning from a Black History Month event in Jamaica last month when they were detained and questioned at a Florida airport. They say they were asked if they were Muslim -- and that they repeatedly explained their relationship to the former heavyweight champ. They are headed to Washington later this week to meet with lawmakers to discuss their experience. They are also calling for an end to Trump's travel ban.
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Emergency crews are struggling to contain wildfires that have scorched hundreds of square miles of land in four states. The fires killed five people and forced thousands of others to flee their homes. Fires are burning in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado. And forecasters are warning that conditions are ripe for fires in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. This, even after powerful thunderstorms moved through the middle of the country overnight, spawning dozens of tornadoes.