Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Hundreds Killed in Ecuador Quake
Ecuador's president rushed home Sunday to coordinate rescue and recovery efforts after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed at least 272 people and injured more than 2,000. The quake hit the South American country's northwest coast at 6:58 p.m. Saturday (7:58 p.m. ET), Vice President Jorge Glas said the following day. The number of casualties was expected to continue rising as authorities scour the region for a long list of missing people, he said. Ecuador's president warned the death toll would "surely rise, and in a considerable way." Read more in NEWS.
2. What Leaked ISIS Documents Reveal About Recruits
A trove of ISIS personnel records obtained by NBC News has now been analyzed by experts at West Point, who say it's the largest and "most significant" document cache of its kind, providing new insight into the terror group's grand ambitions and diverse recruits. The files reveal that the jihadists who joined the Islamic State in 2013 and 2014 were largely uninterested in suicide missions, better educated than expected and, to the alarm of those trying to stop the export of terror, very well-traveled. Read more in NEWS.
3. Sanders Campaign Claims Record-Breaking Crowd in N.Y.
Sen. Bernie Sanders drew a record-breaking crowd to Brooklyn's enormous Prospect Park on Sunday as he looks to build momentum ahead of the New York Democratic primary. Sanders attracted more than 28,300 people on the sunny afternoon, according to the campaign and a production company helping to plan the event. This total just crept higher than the campaign's previous record of 28,000 in Portland, Oregon, in August. Read more in POLITICS.
4. 'Life-Threatening' Flash Floods Hit Houston Area
Heavy rain inundated the Houston area with as much as 10 inches of rainfall in just six hours and triggered flash flooding early Monday. Authorities confirmed early Monday that 5-10 inches of rainfall dropped in six hours in Harris County and neighboring Waller County. Read more in WEATHER.
5. Brazil's Lower House Votes to Impeach President
Brazil's Chamber of Deputies voted Sunday to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, delivering a major blow to a long-embattled leader who has repeatedly argued that the push against her was a "coup." With at least 342 of 513 deputies, or two-thirds, voting in favor of impeachment, the measure passed late Sunday, sending the proceedings to the Senate for a possible trial. Read more in NEWS.
6. Ash Carter Visits Baghdad to Discuss How to Defeat ISIS
Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived in Baghdad on Monday to discuss beefing up Iraqi forces working to retake the northern city of Mosul, a critical goal in the effort to defeat ISIS. A senior U.S. official told The Associated Press that as the U.S. moves to help the Iraqis, it will also likely mean that at least a "small number" of additional American forces will go to the war zone. Read more in NEWS.
7. Amber Heard, Johnny Depp Issue Apology in Dog-Smuggling Spat
Actress Amber Heard pleaded guilty on Monday to providing a false immigration document when she entered Australia last year with her pet Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo. Two more serious charges of illegally importing the dogs were dropped, and she was slapped with a one-month good behavior bond. Read more in NEWS.
Nightly Spotlight: Muslim Refugees Find Safe Haven With Vatican
Hasan and Nour Essa arrived this weekend in Rome from the Greek island of Lesbos — three of the 12 Syrian refugees whom Pope Francis brought back with him after an emotional ecumenical visit with some of the hundreds of thousands of migrants stranded there as they desperately seek to flee their war-torn homelands. "What's happening with us, it's like a dream," Nour Essa, a microbiologist, told NBC News on Sunday. "It's like a beautiful dream."