SEOUL, South Korea
N. Korea’s lawmakers meet
After weeks of war-like rhetoric, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gathered legislators Monday for an annual spring parliamentary session taking place one day after top party officials adopted a statement declaring building nuclear weapons and the economy the nation’s top priorities.
The meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly follows near-daily threats from Pyongyang, including vows of nuclear strikes on South Korea and the U.S.
Pyongyang has reacted with anger over routine U.S.-South Korean military drills and a new round of U.N. and U.S. sanctions that followed its Feb. 12 underground nuclear test, the country’s third. Analysts see a full-scale North Korean attack as unlikely and say the threats are more likely efforts to provoke softer policies toward the North, to win diplomatic talks with Washington and to solidify the young North Korean leader’s military credentials at home.
Budget office pick named
President Barack Obama has nominated one of his senior economic advisers as deputy director of the White House budget office.
Obama has chosen Brian Deese as his nominee for the number two slot at the Office of Management and Budget, a key position as Obama and Congress confront ongoing fiscal challenges.
Deese has been deputy director of Obama’s National Economic Council and was a main administration figure during auto bailout negotiations in 2009.
Last month, Obama nominated Wal-Mart’s Sylvia Mathews Burwell to lead the budget office. If confirmed by the Senate, Burwell and Deese would assume their roles as the government continues to deal with automatic spending cuts that took effect at the beginning of March.
Powerball winner to pay up
The New Jersey man who just won a $338 million Powerball jackpot has resolved a child support debt.
Pedro Quezada appeared Monday afternoon in state Superior Court in Paterson.
Authorities had said the 44-year-old Passaic resident owed about $29,000 in back support for three of his five children.
During the court hearing, officials said Quezada had paid $30,000 to settle the debt. He also told the judge in Spanish that the three children would now be living with him.
Bankruptcy can continue
The city of Stockton, Calif., can continue in bankruptcy as a federal judge Monday rejected legal challenges by Wall Street creditors.
The ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein means that the city of more than 290,000 residents can continue to seek protection from its creditors as the largest city in America to declare bankruptcy.
In his 90-minute “finding of facts,” Klein portrayed Stockton has having negotiated in good faith with creditors that insured a city pension bond and issued bonds for a downtown redevelopment, including a sports arena.