Good morning. Here are some of the headlines we're following this morning:
1. Sparks Fly Between Clinton, Sanders at Heated Debate
In what could have been the final Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders, the 74-year-old socialist insurgent, positioned himself as the future of the Democratic Party, while Hillary Clinton steamrolled her rival with a steady stream of facts and pragmatism. Read more in POLITICS.
2. New York Republicans Ignore Ted Cruz at GOP Gala
A stunningly distracted crowd of hundreds of Republicans almost entirely ignored Ted Cruz's speech at the New York City GOP gala on Thursday night, instead chattering at their dinner tables, standing and taking selfies. Several casually left the dinner altogether. Read more in POLITICS.
3. Manson Family Member Tentatively OK'd for Parole
Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of member of the murderous Manson Family cult, finally took the first step toward parole Thursday after having been denied 19 previous times. Read more in NEWS.
4. 'Slender Man' Stabbing Suspects Seek Release
The two Wisconsin girls charged with trying to kill a friend to appease the fictional horror character "Slender Man" return to court Friday to ask to be released pending trial. The girls, now 13 and 14, could face up to 65 years in prison if they're convicted as adults of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Read more in NEWS.
5. Defense Secretary Carter to Visit Carrier in South China Sea
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he will visit a U.S. aircraft carrier transiting the disputed South China Sea on Friday, a move bound to anger China, which has been increasingly asserting its territorial claims. Read more in NEWS.
6. John Kasich Supports 'Moving On' From Gay Marriage Debate
Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich told MSNBC's Chris Matthews "the court has ruled" on same-sex marriage and he would not advocate for any efforts to ban it, even though he supports traditional marriage. Read more in POLITICS.
7. Texas Deputy Shot 4 Times After Traffic Stop 'Ambush'
A Texas deputy who was shot four times after a late night traffic stop on Thursday is expected to survive, authorities said. Deputy Constable Alden Clopton, 48, an 11-year veteran and field training officer with the Harris County Constable Precinct 7, was the victim of an "ambush," Lt. Holland Jones told reporters. Read more in NEWS.
8. Chimp Escapes Zoo, Captured After Wild Two-Hour Chase
Chacha wasn't ready to go home. Read more in NEWS.