1. Entire Senate being called to White House for North Korea briefing
Fox News: The entire U.S. Senate has been invited to the White House for a briefing today on the North Korea situation, amid escalating tensions over the country’s missile tests and bellicose rhetoric.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the upcoming briefing, for all 100 senators, on Monday.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats plan to provide the update to lawmakers.
It is rare for the entire Senate to be invited to such a briefing.
Spicer clarified that while the event will take place on the White House campus, it is technically a Senate briefing and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is the one who convened it.
The briefing, first reported by Reuters, was confirmed after President Trump earlier spoke to the leaders of both China and Japan. U.S. commercial satellite images indicated increased activity around North Korea’s nuclear test site, while Kim has said that the country’s preparation for an ICBM launch is in its “final stage.”
2. Trump seeks 15 percent corporate tax rate, even if it swells the national debt
Washington post: President Trump has instructed advisers to drastically cut the corporate tax rate even though doing so will expand the deficit and grow the national debt, sticking to one of his campaign pledges but shattering another.
Trump instructed advisers last week that he wants the corporate tax rate to be lowered from 35 percent to 15 percent, a senior White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. This is the same rate that Trump pursued during his 2016 campaign, but officials had not signaled since the election whether he would stick to the pledge.
By doing so — but not committing to measures that would offset the revenue loss — Trump is making clear he is putting a priority on cutting taxes over the national debt. It also potentially creates a tension point with House Republicans, who have spent years advancing a vision for tax restructuring of their own.
3. Trump prepares executive order spree in dash to 100-day mark
Foxnews: President Trump has dismissed the end of his first 100 days in office as an “artificial” marker, but he’s packed the final stretch with a burst of executive orders and lofty legislative goals covering health care, tax reform and more.
Before Saturday’s deadline, Trump plans to sign at least four executive orders -- including one aimed at easing regulations on offshore oil and gas exploration and another to protect whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs, under a microscope for failing to provide adequate patient care. Another would direct the Interior Department to review prior national monument designations.
4. Health officials say 20 so far are sickened in Minnesota measles outbreak
Star Tribune: The Hennepin County measles outbreak grew to 20 cases Monday, after eight new infections were confirmed.
State health officials said that all of the cases have occurred within the Somali-American community, and they urged parents to get the measles vaccine for themselves and their children if they are unvaccinated.
The outbreak is expected to produce many more cases and could exceed the 2011 outbreak of 26 cases, according to Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director at the Minnesota Health Department.
So far, all of those who have caught the measles in this outbreak are 5 years old or younger. Exposure has occurred at several day care centers.
Since the first case was detected two weeks ago, health investigators have been trying to identify anyone unvaccinated who was exposed to the virus, which is highly contagious. It can take up to three weeks for measles symptoms to develop.
Children and parents who have been exposed to active cases are being asked to voluntarily remain at home if they are unvaccinated to avoid exposing others.
There is no drug or cure for the measles, so public health officials say the best way to deal with the disease is to prevent infection through immunization.
5. Former Vikings RB Adrian Peterson reportedly close to signing with Saints
Pioneer Press: Adrian Peterson might not have to wait long to face his old team.
NFL Media reported Monday that the veteran running back, a Viking for his first 10 NFL seasons, is closing in on a deal to sign with New Orleans. The Saints play Minnesota in Week 1 on Monday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium.
NFL Media reported Peterson’s one-year deal could be worth $3.25 million with about $1 million more possible with incentives. That would be a huge cut from the $12 million he made last season with the Vikings.
Since becoming a free agency March 9, Peterson has visited Seattle, New England and New Orleans. He went on Twitter to refute an ESPN report that one reason he hasn’t signed is because he was asking for more than $8 million for next season.
The Vikings announced Feb. 28 they would not pick up Peterson’s $18 million contract option for 2017. General manager Rick Spielman said then the door was still open for Peterson to return but then announced Peterson wouldn’t be back after the Vikings signed running back Latavius Murray as a free agent March 16.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said later in March at the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix that salary played a role in Peterson not being retained.