Good morning. Here are some of the headlines we're following this morning:
1. Hijacker Diverts EgyptAir Passenger Jet, Takes Hostages
A hijacker claiming to have an explosive belt diverted an EgyptAir Flight MS181, en route from the Egyptian city of Alexandria to Cairo, and was holding seven people hostage Tuesday over what appeared to be a "personal" matter involving a woman, authorities said. The Airbus A320 was taken to the Cypriot port city of Larnaca and landed at around 7:50 a.m. local time (12:50 a.m. ET), where negotiations got underway, EgyptAir said. Read more in NEWS.
2. Brussels Attacks 'Suspect' Freed Due to Lack of Evidence
Belgium on Monday released the sole suspect prosecutors had arrested directly in relation to the Brussels terror attacks. Belgian media had cited police sources in saying Cheffou was the "man in the hat" seen in airport surveillance footage from just before the attacks. However, a new appeal issued by police Monday seeking help identifying that suspect appeared to cast doubt on the reports saying Cheffou was the man in question. Read more in NEWS.
3. A Quarter of GOP Senators Back Meeting With Obama's SCOTUS Pick
When President Obama first nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans were united in their wall of opposition — no meetings, no hearing, no vote. But two weeks into the nomination fight, 16 Republican senators now say they will meet with Garland — over 25 percent of the GOP caucus — according to a running count by NBC News. Read more in NEWS.
4. Feds Say They Got Data Off Terrorist's iPhone Without Apple
The Justice Department has asked to drop the court order that it wanted to use to compel Apple to help unlock an iPhone used by San Bernardino, California, attacker Syed Farook, saying it has gotten data off the device without the company's help. Lawyers for the Justice Department said last week that an unnamed third party had come forward with a possible way to crack the phone without Apple's help. Read more in NEWS.
5. Suspected Gunman Charged After Chaos at U.S. Capitol
A suspected gunman in the visitor center at the U.S. Capitol Complex on Monday afternoon prompted an immediate lock down of the complex. The suspect, who was quickly shot and wounded by police, was later identified as 66-year-old Larry Russell Dawson, from Antioch, Tennessee. Sources said he had a realistic looking pistol-type pellet gun. Police said that he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed. He was listed in stable but critical condition and will be arraigned when he is released, police said. Read more in NEWS.
6. New Poll Numbers Show Closest Democratic Race of 2016
While Hillary Clinton maintains a very large lead ahead of Bernie Sanders in the delegate contest, national support in our most recent NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll shows a race that has dipped to only a 6-point difference between the candidates among registered Democrats and Democratic-leaners. This is the smallest gap since the beginning of the tracking poll in late December. Read more in POLITICS.
7. Poll: Trump Nearly at 50 Percent Support Among GOP
Donald Trump now holds 48 percent support of registered Republicans and Republican-leaners, according to the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll. The question in the Republican race, however, is no longer whether Trump is the clear front-runner, but whether he will reach the magic delegate number of 1,237 — and, if not, whether Republicans will support him as their party's nominee. Read more in POLITICS.
Nightly Spotlight: Robert De Niro Pulls Anti-Vaccine Doc From Tribeca Film Festival
After fierce criticism, the acting legend made the decision to pull ‘Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” from his festival.