Good morning, and happy Friday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:
1. Missing jet search area focuses on new location
The search for the missing Malasyia Airlines flight has shifted 680 miles northeast in the Indian Ocean after new radar analysis suggests the plane actually flew faster, and therefore, ran out of fuel earlier, Australian officials said today. To add to the clues: A New Zealand military plane spotted objects in the new search area, authorities later said. Read more in NEWS.
2. More mudslide victims identified amid taxing search
The number of confirmed dead rose to 17 overnight, as emergency officials have vowed to continue searching for bodies in the knee- and waist-deep muck. The latest victim has been identified as William Welsh, a Vietnam veteran who was helping to install a hot-water tank in one of the homes when the slide hit. Officials also said Thursday they found the remains of one of the youngest victims, 4-month-old Sanoah Huestis. Read more in NEWS.
3. Pistorius trial: Olympian’s testimony postponed
Oscar Pistorius didn’t get his day in court today after the judge cancelled proceedings when one of the court assessors got sick. The South African sprinting star is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in their home last year. Court won’t resume until April 7. Read more in NEWS.
4. Chris Christie became ‘visibly upset’ with staff during scandal
The New Jersey governor was prone to shouting and slamming doors when revelations that his staff were involved in closing lanes on a major bridge – possibly as political payback – became public earlier this year. The details emerged in a new report released Thursday, which found Christie didn’t orchestrate the lane closures. Meanwhile, there could be more outrage over the report after critics accused it of being whitewashed. Read more in POLITICS.
5. Autism diagnoses jump by 30 percent in children
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey finds one in every 68 children are diagnosed with autism. The number has continued to rise, although some doctors say it may not reflect a true increase in autistic children – just that more are being properly diagnosed. Read more in HEALTH.
6. Bride who pushed husband off cliff gets prison time
The Montana newlywed who admitted to pushing her husband off of a cliff in Glacier National Park last July will spend the next 30 years behind bars. The judge said Jordan Linn Graham, 22, showed no remorse during the trial. “How does a normal person kill her husband of eight days?” the judge asked. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
Taco Bell, in a bid to win the fast-food breakfast wars, is going after the Golden Arches. In a new commercial, the Mexican food chain is using real-life Ronald McDonalds who are fans of its breakfast menu.
“These Ronald McDonalds are not affiliated with McDonald’s Corporation and were individually selected as paid endorsers of Taco Bell breakfast, but man, they sure did love it,” says a disclaimer.