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KNOW IT ALL: Monday’s Top 7 Stories at NBC News

Image: US - VOTE - DEMOCRATS - DEBATE

Democratic presidential candidates Martin O'Malley, Hillary Clinton and Sanders participate in the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP - Getty Images

Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:

1. Bernie Sanders Thrives in Last Debate Before Iowa Caucuses

Bernie Sanders drove the conversation Sunday night during a two-hour debate sponsored by NBC News and YouTube. With polls showing Hillary Clinton on the ropes in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Vermont senator's strong performance may have further imperiled Clinton's once-inevitable path to the Democratic presidential nomination. Read more in POLITICS.

2. What Were the Highlights of the Democratic Debate?

The NBC News politics team live-blogged the debate, hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, as Clinton, Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley sparred. Read more in POLITICS.

Here's What You Missed from the Democratic Debate (in 2 Minutes) 2:00

3. Sean Penn: 'El Chapo' and I Knew the Risk of Meeting

Penn said in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" that he and drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán knew that meeting up for a Rolling Stone interview was dangerous. "I was stunned that he would risk (it)," Penn said. The actor also said he thought the piece he wrote about Guzmán was a "failure" because it brought attention to the kingpin but not much to the drug epidemic. Read more in NEWS.

4. Americans Freed From Iran Reunited With Loved Ones

Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, former Marine Amir Hekmati and Christian preacher Saeed Abedini left Iran after they were freed from captivity Saturday in a prisoner swap. Hekmati reunited with his sister on Monday. An American released before the swap — Matthew Trevithick — was already home in Boston. Rezaian was expected to meet with some of his editors Monday. Read more in NEWS.

5. Missing Americans Likely Kidnapped by Iraq Militia: Source

Iraqi security forces were scrambling Monday to locate several Americans who were missing in Baghdad. Iraqi forces were looking at two scenarios: that the Americans and their Iraqi interpreter's car was stopped by militants in military uniform in the neighborhood of Dora, or that the Americans were taken from an apartment in the same part of town. Read more in NEWS.

6. Repaired GM Cars Still Have Stalling Issues: Watchlist

A safety watchlist, funded by the parents of a woman who died in a Chevrolet Cobalt, has identified complaints about stalling in GM vehicles already repaired as part of a deadly ignition switch defect recall. GM said it has found no evidence that the recalled part is to blame. Read more in NEWS.

7. How You Can Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

There are thousands of service projects, events, tributes, and marches happening in various parts of the country to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Thousands around the country use this day to give back to their communities, as King did in his lifetime. See what's happening in your city. Read more in NEWS.

Nightly Spotlight: Recess Multiplied

While some schools are packing the day with more classes, a handful are bucking that trend, trying to improve performance by adding more free time.

Study Break: School Sees Positive Difference Giving Kids More Recess 2:11