Good morning, and happy Monday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:
1. Still no signs of Malaysia Airlines jet
The whereabouts of the jumbo jet that disappeared over the weekend remain a mystery. A Vietnamese rescue team thought it saw something in the Gulf of Thailand that might have belonged to the plane, but when it got close enough to inspect the object, it said it was not connected with the plane. Meanwhile U.S. investigators said that no "chatter" pointed to terrorism after suspicions rose about two people on board flying with stolen passports. Read more in NEWS.
2. Earthquake rattles Northern California
Northern California rumbled under an quake that was originally classified at 6.9 on the 10-point Richter scale. One of at least six aftershocks registered at a magnitude of 4.6 on its own. People reported feeling the quake but no damages or injuries were reported. However, authorities warned of a 90 percent chance of powerful aftershocks within the next week. Read more in NEWS.
3. Dramatic turn in Pistorius murder trial
Graphic testimony from the pathologist who performed Reeva Steenkamp's autopsy prompted accused sprinter Oscar Pistorius to retch in court, leading to a delay in the proceedings. A bucket was placed in the dock before Professor Gert Saayman, who carried out an autopsy on the Olympian's slain girlfriend, took the stand. NBC News' Aliza Nadi reported that Pistorius was seen "breaking down, loudly gagging, retching" as Saayman spoke, adding that he appeared to have thrown up. Read more in NEWS.
4. SXSW reaches out to Latinos, Snowden to make an"appearance"
South by Américas at the South by Southwest music and technology festival in Austin will highlight Latino culture and the breadth of Latinos' contributions to film, tech and music. Meanwhile, NSA leaker Edward Snowden will appear to an audience through a live video stream on Monday. Read more in NEWS.
5. U.S. nuclear agency downplayed risk after 2011 Japan devastation
After a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan and caused it to release radioactive material, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission purposefully downplayed the risks similar natural disasters might have on America's power plants. While experts raised concerns about safety, a campaign was launched to assure a low level of possible danger. Read more in INVESTIGATIONS.
6. Al Qaeda announces English-language magazine
Al Qaeda’s media wing, as-Sahab, released an 80-second video on the internet announcing the launch of "Resurgence,” the first al Qaeda English-language magazine. Inspire, the magazine that already exists under the terror organization, was allegedly the source of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Boston Marathon bombing plot. Read more in INVESTIGATIONS.
... What's trending today?
The common assumption is that teens can't put down their phones, but parents suffer from too much tech time, too. A study found that parents are distracted by their devices and their children suffer because kids, especially babies, rely on face-time (the literal kind) to learn about the world and develop social skills.