Good morning and happy Monday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:
1. Jet search gets its 'most promising lead'
The signals consistent with the missing Boeing 777's black box detected by Australian and Chinese ships were the "most promising lead and probably, so far, the best information that we have had," the search coordinator said Monday. Meanwhile, Malaysia's transport minister said, "Miracles do happen. We continue to hope and pray for survivors." Read more in NEWS.
2. Pistorius takes the stand and apologizes
The "Blade Runner" took the stand Monday for the first time in his murder trial, beginning by saying he was sorry for the "pain, sorrow and emptiness" he had caused slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's family. Earlier, as more photos of the bathroom where he killed his girlfriend were displayed to the court, Pistorius wept, holding his head in his hands. Read more in NEWS.
NBC News' Rohit Kachroo is the court room in Pretoria:
3. Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney dies at 93
Mickey Rooney, who acted in more than 300 movies throughout his 80-plus-year career, died in North Hollywood on Sunday night. Rooney's star shined the brightest in the peak of his career in the 1940s, and through the years he was awarded four Academy Award nominations and two special Oscars. Rooney was married eight times and had 11 children. Read more in Pop-Culture.
4. Kentucky takes on Connecticut in NCAA final
UConn and Kentucky go head to head to finish up a college basketball season that has had its fair share of surprises, right down to the end. Who could have predicted that Nos. 7 and 8 seeds would end up going all the way? Connecticut's women's team has also made it to the championship and will face fellow unbeaten Notre Dame. Read more in SPORTS.
5. 'Dear Boston' marathon bombing memorial exhibit opens
As the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing approaches, an exhibit featuring mementos left in the aftermath of the devastation opens Monday. Notes and messages of hope on sneakers, T-shirts and the like that were left at Copley Square as a memorial will be displayed at Boston Public Library until May. Four crosses left at Copley Square to honor those who died will also be on view. Read more at NIGHTLY NEWS.
6. South under tornado watches
Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have already faced stormy weather early Monday, and more could be on the way. Florida is also under a tornado watch, while other parts of the South have to keep an eye out for severe flooding. Read more in WEATHER.
... What's trending today?
Remember that "Sex and the City" episode when Carrie registers for one pair of Manolos after hers are stolen at a friend's house? Might registering sans wedding or baby become the norm — for someone's birthday? On the one hand, your friends don't have to toil over what to get you. On the other hand, the email link to your wish list at Barney's may come off as a bit presumptuous. Twitter debaters, start your engines #registeringforme.