FBI's Comey heads to the Hill
So, did then-President Obama have then-candidate Trump's New York offices wiretapped during the 2016 election? FBI Director James Comey is expected to refute that bombshell claim when he testifies Monday on Capitol Hill before the House Intelligence Committee. President Trump made the allegation in a series of tweets March 4. He has not backed down even as House and Senate leaders briefed by Comey recently have flatly denied it in bipartisan statements. The House hearing also is looking into efforts by Russia to influence last year's election by hacking Democratic officials close to nominee Hillary Clinton, the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI.
Here comes the sun. And as it crosses over the equator Monday on its way north toward the Tropic of Cancer, it marks the vernal equinox — the official beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The precise arrival is 6:28 a.m. ET, if you're looking for a blow-the-kazoo moment. After a little bit of wild — late-winter snow surprises in the Northeast, for example — the mild could set in fairly quickly. the Climate Prediction Center calls for warmer-than-average temperatures for almost the entire nation, including Alaska, for April through June.
Democrats set to grill Gorsuch as hearing begins
Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's Supreme Court pick, goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday as his confirmation hearing begins. He's expected to face a grilling from minority-party Democrats in the wake of Republicans' refusal amid last year's election campaigns to consider then-President Obama's pick for the post, Merrick Garland. The court's seat came open back in February 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative stalwart. Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, could face several days of testimony. Republicans hope to send his nomination to the full Senate early next month.
UN report: Norway is the happiest country on earth
Norway, known for its spectacular fjords, reindeer and "Midnight Sun," ranks No. 1 among 155 countries rated for happiness in a United Nations report out Monday. It helps that the Scandinavian nation of 5 million has oil wealth. That boosted the per person annual income, as measured by economic output, to more than $100,000 — nearly double that of the United States, which ranked 14th. It also helps that it has a low unemployment rate slightly below the U.S. (4.7%) and low income inequality — the gap between the richest and poorest citizens is one-third as large as that in the U.S.
Supreme Court hears arguments in property rights case
On Monday, a Wisconsin woman and her family will be inside the U.S. Supreme Court when the court hears oral arguments in their case over whether a cottage and an extra lot they own on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border should be considered two separate parcels. The high court's decision could determine whether Donna Murr and her siblings will be able to improve and keep the cottage their late parents built in 1960, and is being watched closely by both property rights advocates and governments.