Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Tuesday

posted by Justice & Drew - 

1. The House GOP has released a bill replacing Obamacare

House Republicans on Monday released their long-awaited plan for unraveling former President Barack Obama's health care law, a package that would scale back the government's role in helping people afford coverage and likely leave more Americans uninsured.

House committees planned to begin voting on the 123-page legislation Wednesday, launching what could be the year's defining battle in Congress and capping seven years of Republican vows to repeal the 2010 law. Though GOP leaders expect a boost from the backing of the Trump administration, divisions remain and GOP success is not ensured.

2. Trump has issued his revised travel ban

Without fanfare, President Donald Trump signed a scaled-back version of his controversial ban on many foreign travelers Monday, hoping to avoid a new round of lawsuits and outrage while fulfilling a central campaign promise. His order still bars new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily shuts down America's refugee program.

The new one leaves Iraq off the list of banned countries — at the urging of U.S. military and diplomatic leaders — but still affects would-be visitors and immigrants from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya. It also makes clear that current visa holders will not be impacted, and it removes language that would give priority to religious minorities — a provision some interpreted as a way to help Christians get into the U.S. while excluding Muslims.

3. If Donald Trump wants to know whether he was the subject of surveillance by the U.S. government via wiretapping, he may be uniquely positioned to get an answer.

Former Justice Dept. official Todd Hinnen said, "The intelligence community works for the president, so if a president wanted to know whether surveillance had been conducted on a particular target, all he'd have to do is ask.”

If the president demands to know what happened, "the Justice Department can decide what's appropriate to share and what's not.”

4. North Korea’s missile test is adding pressure on the White House

North Korea's latest volley of missile tests put new pressure on a preoccupied Trump administration Monday to identify how it will counter leader Kim Jong Un's weapons development.

North Korea's march toward having a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland is among the pressing national security priorities President Donald Trump faces. He has vowed it "won't happen" but has yet to articulate a strategy to stop it.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Trump administration is taking steps to enhance its ability to defend against North Korea's ballistic missiles, such as through the deployment of a missile defense system. Seoul agreed with the Obama administration to place that system on its soil against the objections of China, which is concerned the system's radar will range inside its territory.

5. Traffic stop lead to the arrest of 3 St. Paul men, discovery of $1.75M worth of pot

What started as a traffic stop on Interstate 94 near here on March 1 resulted in the arrest of three St. Paul men for having nearly 600 pounds of high-grade marijuana in a truck.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Otter Tail County District Court, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper was watching eastbound traffic on I-94 when he noticed a Ford truck with obstructed license plates.

The trooper pulled the truck over near mile marker 56 and asked two of the three men to wait outside while he spoke to the driver. The driver said he and the two men, who were his brothers, had flown to California to pick up the truck from his in-laws and were driving back to Minnesota.

However, the driver’s timeline and explanation was contradictory and when the trooper spoke to the other two men, their stories did not match the driver’s timeline of the previous few days, the complaint said.

The truck was eventually towed and searched. In the truck bed, investigators found about 18 large duffle bags, each holding about 25 shrink-wrapped packages of high grade hydro marijuana.

Investigators estimated the 570 pounds of marijuana has a street value of about $1.75 million.

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