Good morning, and happy Monday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Thousands expected to pay respects at Michael Brown’s funeral
The funeral for the teen who was shot and killed by a police officer will draw mourners from politicians to activists, and from family to supporters who didn't know Michael Brown personally. The 18-year-old's death sparked days of protests and sometimes violence in the Missouri town of Ferguson, but Brown's family requested that the day of the funeral remain protest-free. "We need a moment of silence on our son," father, Michael Brown Sr. said. "We need peace on his going-away." Read more in NEWS.
2. British officials identify man they think killed James Foley
British security sources said Sunday that they have identified the ISIS militant with the British accent seen beheading American journalist James Foley in a video. Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the U.S., said that intelligence agents were using "sophisticated" voice technology to pinpoint who the killer was. And a U.S. Department of Justice official told NBC News that investigators were using “all of the tools at our disposal” to bring Foley's killers to justice. Read more in NEWS.
3. More than 200 sent to hospital following California quake
A 6.0 magnitude earthquake Sunday was the worst to hit the Bay Area in 25 years. The quake struck southwest of Napa and brought 50 aftershocks in the area. More than 200 people were injured — one critically — and the quake sparked fires, damaged buildings and knocked out power for tens of thousands. Many also reported puddles of wine pooling from fallen bottles in the region famous for its vineyards. Read more from NBCBayArea.
4. American writer freed from captivity in Syria
Peter Theo Curtis was handed over to United Nations officials in Syria on Sunday, nearly two years after he was kidnapped in the region. Secretary of State John Kerry said Jabhat Al-Nusra or the Nusra Front (the al-Qaeda affiliate fighting in Syria) was holding Curtis captive, and the U.S. had been exploring many avenues to get him released. Curtis' mother released a statement saying she was relieved at her son's release but mourning with the family of slain journalist James Foley and hopeful for the release of other Americans being held in Syria. Read more in NEWS.
5. Tropical storm kills three people in Caribbean
Slow-moving Tropical Storm Cristobal lashed parts of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands with heavy rainfall, drowned one man in the Dominican Republic and swept away two people in Haiti. Continued rain and gusty winds will spread through the Caribbean during the first part of the week due to the storm, according to Weather.com. Read more in WEATHER.
6. Beyonce and family steal the spotlight at the VMAs
While the MTV VMAs are known for shockers and stunts, this year's highlight came in the form of a tot on stage, presenting an award to her mama, Beyonce. "I'm so full," Beyonce said while accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard lifetime achievement award. Other winners included Katy Perry for best female video, Ed Sheeran for best male video, and Lorde for best rock video. Read more in ENTERTAINMENT.
What’s trending today?
In more VMA news, Miley Cyrus won the video of the year award for "Wrecking Ball," but sent a homeless man up to accept the award, prompting people to check out Cyrus' Facebook page to learn about raising funds to help the homeless. The young man identified himself only as Jesse, and said, "I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving and lost and scared for their lives."