Good morning. Here are some of the headlines we're following this morning:
1. Oscars 2016: Diversity Takes Center Stage
The 88th Academy Awards had been steeped in controversy over its overwhelmingly white nominees — triggering the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag and calls for a boycott. The host, Chris Rock, signaled early on that he would address the elephant in the room. Meanwhile, "Spotlight" was the surprise Best Picture winner, and Leo finally took home an Oscar. Read more in NEWS.
2. Trump: 'I Don't Know Anything About David Duke'
In an interview Sunday morning, GOP front-runner Donald Trump would not condemn former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke's support for his presidential campaign, saying that he has no knowledge of the white supremacist leader. When Trump was asked if he would unequivocally condemn and reject the white supremacists who support him, Trump said he would need to conduct research into the groups. Read more in POLITICS.
3. Polls: Trump, Clinton Ahead in Super Tuesday States
Donald Trump is leading in the Super Tuesday states of Georgia and Tennessee, while Ted Cruz is ahead in his home state of Texas, according to a trio of new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls. Hillary Clinton is topping Bernie Sanders in all three of those southern states by about a 2-to-1 margin. Read more in POLITICS.
4. Congresswoman Steps Down From DNC, Endorses Sanders
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders in his bid to become President of the United States this morning on “Meet the Press.” Just last month, she said she couldn’t take sides due to her position as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, but she resigned. Read more in POLITICS.
5. Suspect in Virginia Cop Killing ID'd as Pentagon Sergeant
The Virginia man accused of killing his wife and a rookie police officer is an active duty Army staff sergeant assigned to the Joint Staff Support Center at the Pentagon, officials told NBC News Sunday. Ronald Hamilton, 32, is accused of killing Prince William County Police Officer Ashley Guindon and injuring two other officers who were called to a domestic disturbance. Read more in NEWS.
6. Church 'Mucked Things Up' on Sex Abuse: Vatican Cardinal
Vatican treasurer George Pell admitted Sunday that the Roman Catholic Church had "mucked things up" as he became the highest-ranking church official to testify on sexual abuse. He also admitted that, in past decades, he was "very strongly inclined to accept" the word of priests who denied sex abuse. Read more in NEWS.
7. Fukushima Execs Charged With Negligence in Nuclear Meltdown
Three former executives with the operator of Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant have been charged with negligence for failing to prevent multiple meltdowns at the tsunami-struck facility. Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) at the time of the disaster, former vice presidents Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro were all indicted, public broadcaster NHK reported on Monday. Read more in NEWS.
Nightly Spotlight: You Can Sleep in a Van Gogh Painting
You can sleep in in Vincent Van Gogh’s Painting ‘The Bedroom’ for just $10 a night.