Good morning, and happy Friday. Here are six of the top stories we’re following this morning at NBC News:
1. Feds will pursue death penalty for Tsarnaev
The Justice Department announced that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will face capital punishment if a jury finds him guilty in an upcoming trial. Tsarnaev is charged with planting bombs that killed three and injured more than 260 at the finish line of the marathon last April, as well as killing an MIT campus police officer. Read more in NEWS.
2. Knox convicted of murder again
An Italian court found Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend guilty of killing British student Meredith Kercher in 2007. Knox was already found guilty and spent four years in an Italian prison before the verdict was overturned and she was sent back to her native Seattle. She was sentenced to 28 and a half additional years in prison but is certain to appeal the decision. Read more in NEWS.
3. Georgia governor takes responsibility for gridlock
When a snowstorm struck Georgia earlier this week, people flooded out of work and school at the same time and ended up stuck for hours in their cars or overnight in stores and schools. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said on Thursday that his administration reacted too late, and that he is responsible for better organization and planning, even if the state isn't accustomed to snow. Read more in NEWS.
4. Halftime show stays safe but still exciting
Who can even believe that Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" was 10 years ago? The producers of the Super Bowl have played it safer ever since, and this year, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform midgame at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Read more in ENTERTAINMENT.
Bruno's pretty excited:
5. Utah school apologizes after taking food from elementary students
A Salt Lake School District spokesman apologized after outraged parents found out their kids' lunches had been tossed when they didn't have enough money in their accounts. Read more in NEWS.
6. Vodka to blame for Russian men's shortened life expectancy
British researchers found vodka and other booze is a major cause of death in Russia. The life expectancy for men in Russia is a dozen years less than the average 76 for American men. Read more in HEALTH.
... and what's trending:
After Jerry Seinfeld was spotted with Jason Alexander in a New York diner, "Seinfeld" fans started buzzing and speculating about a possible reunion. On Thursday, Seinfeld confirmed that a kind of reunion involving character, George Costanza and writer, Larry David was in fact in the works.