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

Good morning. Here are some of the headlines we're following this morning:

1. Monster Storm Revs to Life Over Plains

A colossal winter storm forecast to bring heavy snow to at least nine states over the weekend was taking shape over the Plains early Thursday. Meteorologists predict the storm will focus most of its power on Washington, D.C., which could see around 2 feet of snow and dangerous blizzard conditions from Friday through Sunday. Read more in NEWS.

2. Vladimir Putin 'Probably' Approved Nuclear Killing of Ex-Spy: Inquiry

The Russian president "probably approved" the nuclear murder of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, a British judge ruled Thursday. The one-time KGB agent-turned-dissident died in 2006 after drinking green tea poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in a London hotel. Litvinenko had predicted that Russia would assassinate him and claimed on his deathbed that Putin likely ordered his killing. Read more in NEWS.

Litvinenko's Widow: Inquiry Report Says Putin Approved 'Assassination' 2:24

3. Vets: Don't Blame President Obama for Son's Behavior

That was the message Wednesday from the head of a New York City-based veteran's organization that has fought for years to get Iraq and Afghanistan war vets help with their post traumatic stress disorder. He weighed in after Palin said her son Track's arrest on domestic violence charges this week stemmed from the PTSD he contracted after serving with the Army in Iraq — and because of Obama's supposed lack of "respect" for veterans. Read more in NEWS.

4. Flint Water Crisis Isn't The First — and Won't Be the Last

The lead in water crisis in Flint, Michigan comes as no surprise to Marc Edwards or to Yanna Lambrinidou. They saw almost the same thing happen in Washington, D.C. more than a decade ago, and they say many cities and towns across the United States are at the same risk. Read more in HEALTH.

5. Ted Cruz Says the GOP Is 'Unifying' Behind Trump

Ted Cruz is trying to shape the narrative of the GOP race for president, suggesting on Wednesday night that the "Washington establishment" has determined Marco Rubio "can't win this race" and is now "rushing over to support Donald Trump." Read more in POLITICS.

Meet Ted Cruz's 'secret weapon' - his wife Heidi 3:15

6. Why One School Is Launching a 'Whiteness History Month'

First comes Black History Month and then ... Whiteness History Month? A community college in Oregon has set aside April to look at "whiteness" — but not to celebrate what it's described as a social construct which leads to inequality. The project is "not a celebratory endeavor" but an "effort to change our campus climate," the school said on its website. Read more in NEWS.

7. Martin Shkreli Refuses to Give Records to Lawmakers

Shkreli, the reviled former chief executive officer at Turing Pharmaceuticals, has invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusing to produce documents subpoenaed by a Senate committee investigating drug-pricing practices, the panel's chairwoman said Wednesday. Read more in BUSINESS.

8. Force in Hibernation: Disney Postpones New 'Star Wars' Movie

"Star Wars" fans will have to wait two more years for the next installment after Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday pushed back the release of "Star Wars: Episode VIII" by seven months. "Episode VIII" will now be released on Dec. 15, 2017, rather than as previously scheduled on May 26, 2017. Read more in POP CULTURE.