Here are some of the top stories we're following Monday at NBC News:
Budget battle pushes government to the brink
A conservative challenge to the president's health care law has the government teetering on the brink of a partial shutdown. Democrats say (hope?) the GOP's bravado may fade as the deadline to avert a shutdown nears. The Senate meets at 2 p.m., with the deadline for the government to shut down set for 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Read more at NBC Politics.
Obama-Netanyahu to meet
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet Tuesday at a time that the three-decade estrangement between the United States and Iran may be nearing an end. The White House says the two leaders will discuss negotiations with the Palestinians, developments in Syria and Iran when they talk Monday.
Amanda Knox retrial in absentia
American student Amanda Knox's new murder trial begins in Florence after Italy's highest court threw out her 2011 acquittal in the slaying of her British roommate. The new inquest into Meredith Kercher's death will not include Knox, however: She will not return to Italy for the trial. Read more at NBC News.
Private jet crash in Santa Monica ‘unsurvivable’
A small jet inbound from Idaho crashed into a hangar on landing at the municipal airport in Santa Monica, Calif., starting a large fire. Fire officials say the crash was "unsurvivable." No one aboard the jet, which took off from the airport that serves Sun Valley, has been identified. Read more at NBC News.
No blame assigned in death of Yarnell Hill hotshots
A new 120-page report by the Arizona State Forestry Division assigns no blame and leaves questions unanswered in the June 30 deaths of 19 hot-shot firefighters fighting an Arizona wildfire. “Nobody will ever know how the crew actually saw their situation, the options they considered, or what motivated their actions," the report said. Read more at NBC News.
‘Breaking Bad’ finale does not disappoint
Any "Breaking Bad " fan could be forgiven for concluding that Sunday's finale held no major surprises. That's because this AMC drama series has delivered surprises, shock and OMG moments dependably since its premiere five seasons ago. Just like it did on its final episode. Read more at TODAY Entertainment.
A-Rod grievance hearing gets underway
Alex Rodriguez said dealing with his 211-game suspension stemming from baseball's Biogenesis drug investigation has been a "big burden" and adds he's ready to face it "head on" when the arbitration hearing on his grievance begins Monday. He said he's excited to get the hearing started before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz and he plans to attend every day. Horowitz has set aside all five business days this week for sessions.
MLB season goes into extra innings
The Rangers and Rays entered the final day of regular season action tied for the second AL Wild Card spot and remained so at the end of the day. The Rangers and Rays will have to play a 163rd game against each other to decide who gets the privilege of matching up against the Indians in the Wild Card play-in game on Wednesday. Read more at NBC Sports.