The Latest: NSA knocks down WH claim of British spying
Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, is denying that the British intelligence community was ever asked to conduct electronic surveillance on President Donald Trump at the behest of former President Barack Obama. Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred to unsubstantiated allegations made by a Fox News analyst that GCHQ, the British electronic intelligence agency, had helped Obama wiretap Trump. The British intelligence agency flatly denied it happened. The ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, asked Rogers if he thought it was "utterly ridiculous" that anyone in the U.S.
GOP chairman praises Supreme Court pick as hearing opens
WASHINGTON (AP) The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee praised President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick on Monday for an "unfailing commitment" to the principle of separation of powers, as Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing got underway. "His grasp on the separation of powers including judicial independence enlivens his body of work," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in opening remarks to begin the long-awaited hearing 13 months after Justice Antonin Scalia's death created a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The court opening was never filled last year as Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, until a new president could be elected.
From bedroom to boardroom, Supreme Court is in your business
WASHINGTON (AP) Quick, name a Supreme Court justice. OK, name three. One of the current justices, Stephen Breyer, once noted wryly that their names are less well-known than those of the Three Stooges. But from the time Americans roll out of bed in the morning until they turn in, the court's rulings are woven into daily life in ways large and small. So pay attention as Congress prepares to take up the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to join the high court: The influence of the court's nine justices is hard to overstate. "From the air you breathe and the water you drink to the roof over your head and the person across from you in bed, the Supreme Court touches all of that," says Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center.
The clock begins: Britain to start EU exit on March 29
LONDON (AP) Britain will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. Britain's ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, informed European Council President Donald Tusk of the exact start date on Monday morning. "We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation," Brexit Secretary David Davis said. "The government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the U.K. and indeed for all of Europe - a new, positive partnership between the U.K.
Sharers rather than authors more important on social media
NEW YORK (AP) The person who shares a news story on social media is more important than the story's actual source in determining whether readers believe it, a study by the Media Insight Project has found. In a previous study, consumers said they paid greater heed to where the story originated. But the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute, set up an experiment that found something different. News organizations are keenly interested in research that tracks consumer habits in a rapidly changing media world. Facebook was the top non-television source for election news cited by both supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in last fall's presidential campaign, according to the Pew Research Center.
Who's happy, who's not: Norway tops list, US falls
WASHINGTON (AP) If you want to go to your happy place, you need more than cash. A winter coat helps and a sense of community. A new report shows Norway is the happiest country on Earth, Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy. Norway vaulted to the top slot in the World Happiness Report despite the plummeting price of oil, a key part of its economy. Income in the United States has gone up over the past decade, but happiness is declining. The United States was 14th in the latest ranking, down from No.
Home health aides: Minimum-wage hikes could deepen shortage
WEST CHAZY, N.Y. (AP) Only 17 snowy miles from the Canadian border, Katie Bushey's most basic needs are met by traveling health aides who come into her home to change her diapers, track her seizures, spoon-feed her fettuccine Alfredo and load her wheelchair into the shower. But that's only if someone shows up. Bushey, 32, who lost her vocal and motor skills shortly after birth, is one of more than 180,000 Medicaid patients in New York who are authorized to receive long-term, in-home care, the most in the state's history. But there are increasingly too few aides to go around, especially in remote, rural areas.
US Muslims and Jews strengthen bonds amid acts of bigotry
NEW YORK (AP) They sat on either end of the congressmen's couch, one a Jewish healthcare executive whose parents fled Germany in 1936, the other the Kashmiri Muslim chairman of a well-known American furniture chain. The men, Stanley Bergman and Farooq Kathwari, came to draw attention to an outbreak of hate crimes. But Bergman and Kathwari hoped their joint appearance would also send a broader message: that U.S. Jews and Muslims could put aside differences and work together. "What drove us was the growing prejudice that has emerged in the United States," Bergman said. "What starts small, from a historical point of view, often grows into something big."
Republicans press professors to spend more time teaching
MADISON, Wis. (AP) University of Wisconsin chemistry professor Robert Hamers has a jam-packed day ahead: an hourlong lecture, a conference call with colleagues about nanotechnology, meetings and plans to check on students in the lab. With a workweek that he estimates often extends to 65 hours, Hamers is hardly lazy, but Gov. Scott Walker wants to make sure professors like him don't neglect the classroom. The governor has joined a national conservative push to get professors to do more teaching and less research. Provisions in his state budget proposal would reward faculty who spend more time in the classroom and make state aid to universities contingent on faculty instructional hours.
AP Exclusive: Orly video shows attacker rushing soldier
PARIS (AP) Video of a suspected Islamic extremist at Paris' Orly airport shows a soldier caught by surprise when an attacker drops a shopping bag and grabs her from behind. The Associated Press has obtained security footage of Saturday's attack, which caused panic and shut down the French capital's second-biggest airport. It shows the attacker grabbing the soldier around the shoulders as her companion patrols slightly ahead. For a few moments, almost no one reacts. One passenger rolls a suitcases past the hostage soldier and the second soldier continues on his way. Then, suddenly, people start backing away in a mass as the attacker pulls his hostage toward them.