NEW YORK — Jared Kushner will face questioning by the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigations into ties between the Russian government and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign organization, the panel said Monday.

Two Senate aides confirmed that Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a close adviser, will testify, though a date hasn’t been set.

A White House official who insisted on anonymity to discuss a politically sensitive matter said Kushner volunteered to appear before the committee because of his role as the Trump campaign’s primary point of contact with foreign governments. He has not yet received confirmation that he will indeed testify, the official said.

The committee wants to question Kushner about meetings he arranged with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., including one with Sergey Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, Russia’s state-owned development bank.

—Bloomberg News


Sessions warns that sanctuary communities could be punished

WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned governments in places like Sacramento, Calif., and Miami Monday that the Justice Department will punish sanctuary communities that do not cooperate with federal immigration laws.

The Trump administration threatened to withhold millions of dollars in federal funding from communities that don’t work with immigration agents.

Sessions said cities and states that don’t comply with federal immigration laws risk losing their shares of $4.1 billion in Justice Department grants. He said the department would require cities seeking the grants to certify that they are cooperating with immigration authorities as a condition for receiving the awards.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez criticized the Justice Department requirement as undermining local law enforcement by threatening to take away money that helps keep criminals off the streets.

—McClatchy Washington Bureau


Calif. National Guard says forced bonus repayments will be resolved by midsummer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A top official for the California National Guard told state legislators Monday that he hopes lingering issues from the soldiers being forced to repay enlistment bonuses will be resolved by midsummer.

A Los Angeles Times investigation last year found that the Pentagon demanded thousands of soldiers repay enlistment bonuses up to a decade after going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The claw-back came after audits revealed vast overpayments of bonuses, due in part to mismanagement and pressure to hit enlistment targets. The Times story prompted outcry that soldiers, who were not at fault for accepting the bonuses, were now facing financial hardship.

Matthew Beevers, the deputy adjutant for the California National Guard, told a joint hearing of the Senate and Assembly Veterans Affairs committees that just over 1,000 soldiers currently hold debt due to the bonus recoupment.

—Los Angeles Times


Deal to settle Flint water lawsuit brings $87 million for new water lines

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan will allocate $87 million for the city of Flint to identify and replace at least 18,000 unsafe water lines by 2020 under a proposed settlement of a federal lawsuit that also provides the state with a road map to end free distribution of bottled water.

The proposed settlement also requires the state to pay $895,000 to the plaintiffs who brought the 2016 lawsuit, to cover their litigation costs.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson is to hold a hearing Tuesday to consider the agreement, which was the result of mediation. Lawson is expected to approve the agreement, subject to his oversight of its enforcement.

—Detroit Free Press


Korean prosecutors seek to arrest Park on graft allegations

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean prosecutors sought to arrest former President Park Geun-hye over allegations that she abused her powers and colluded with her longtime friend and former aides to get bribes from the nation’s top businesses.

Federal attorneys submitted a request at the Seoul Central District Court to issue an arrest warrant for Park, prosecutors said in a text message on Monday. It’s reasonable and lawful to detain her because there’s a risk that she will destroy evidence since she continues to deny wrongdoing, they said.

Several associates of Park are already on trial for their role in the scandal that brought down the nation’s first female president. Prosecutors questioned Park for 14 hours last Tuesday after she lost her presidential immunity following her ouster.

Park risks becoming the third former South Korean president to be put behind bars. In the 1990s, Chun Doo-hwan was sentenced to death and Roh Tae-woo received a 22 {-year term after the pair were found guilty of creating slush funds and inciting a coup. Both were later pardoned.

—Bloomberg News


After pro-Beijing leader is elected, Hong Kong arrests 9 protest leaders

BEIJING — Nine leaders of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement turned themselves in to police on Monday, the day after the territory selected a conservative, pro-Beijing politician as its next leader.

The arrests of the nine, who led months of protests in 2014, sent shock waves through the city, which has generally tolerated a level of dissent that would be unthinkable in mainland China.

Earlier Monday, police had called the activists — students, lawmakers, professors and a minister— and notified them that they would be charged with causing a “public nuisance,” which carries a maximum seven-year sentence. In the evening, all nine surrendered.

—Los Angeles Times

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