5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • With health care dead, Trump and GOP turn to taxes, shutdown threat

  • U.S. State Department condemns Russian protests crackdown

  • South Korean prosecutors reportedly seek arrest warrant for former president

  • Students feared dead after avalanche north of Tokyo

  • Final Four set for NCAA men's basketball tournament

This week, the Trump White House and Republican-led Congress plan to dust themselves off from a bruising self-defeat on a GOP health-care bill and begin work on reforming the tax code, something that hasn't been done in about 30 years. The failure of the health-care plan will likely curb the ambition of the tax overhaul, for both political and logistical-legislative reasons, but Republican deficit hawks in the Freedom Caucus have expressed flexibility in accepting tax cuts that are not offset by spending cuts or some rise in revenue. Before they embark on tax reform, however, Republicans have to pass a new spending bill, or risk a government shutdown. The big political fight is expected to be the insistence by House conservatives to include defunding Planned Parenthood in the spending bill, a nonstarter in the Senate. The current government spending resolution expires April 28.

Source: The New York Times, Axios

Russians turned out on Sunday for anti-corruption demonstrations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and about 100 other cities throughout Russia, in the biggest show of force since a wave of anti-government demonstrations in 2011 and 2012. Anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, who called for the protests, was one of the 500-800 people arrested in Moscow alone. Russian state media largely ignored the protests, but the U.S. State Department did not. "The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Sunday evening. The department also tweeted that it "condemns detention of 100s of peaceful protesters" in Russia, calling it "an affront to democratic values."

Source: The Associated Press, The New York Times

South Korean prosecutors will ask a court to issue an arrest warrant for former President Park Geun-hye, the Yonhap news agency reported Monday. Park was impeached three months ago and removed from office by the Constitutional Court earlier this month on allegations of corruption; Park was interrogated by prosecutors last week on suspicion she let a friend covertly interfere with state affairs and worked with an imprisoned confidante to extort certain companies. Park has denied the allegations.

Source: The Associated Press

About 70 people, including children and teachers from multiple schools, are believed to have been climbing in an area of the Nasu Osen Family Ski Resort hit by an avalanche Monday morning. Rescue efforts are underway, the Kyodo news agency said, with six people showing no vital signs and three missing. The resort is in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo.

Source: BBC News

Oregon, Gonzaga, South Carolina, and North Carolina will play in the 2017 NCAA Men's Tournament Final Four Saturday in Glendale, Arizona. For the first time in program history, Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the West, will appear in the Final Four, after beating No. 11 Xavier in the Elite 8. Oregon is playing in its first Final Four since the inaugural tournament in 1939; Oregon, the No. 3 team in the Midwest, defeated No. 1 Kansas in the Elite 8. South Carolina, the No. 7 seed in the East, beat No. 4 Florida in the Elite 8, and is making the team's first Final Four appearance, while the No. 1 team in the South, North Carolina, was victorious over No. 2 Kentucky in the Elite 8.

Source: Cleveland.com
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