Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following on this Monday.
1. He’s in
The 2016 presidential election has its first declared candidate: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The conservative Republican, known for his 2013 filibuster in opposition to Obamacare and the president’s executive action on immigration, announced his candidacy on Twitter just after midnight. He will speak at the late Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University later today. Read more in POLITICS.
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2. Durst back in court for bail hearing
Robert Durst is due in court in today for a bail hearing in New Orleans, where he faces felony gun and drug charges. The millionaire real-estate heir wants to go to California to fight a murder charge in the 2000 death of his confidante Susan Berman. HBO, filming a documentary on the two deaths and one disappearance linked to Durst, captured him on an open mic saying that he “killed them all, of course.” Read more in NEWS.
3. Afghan president warns on ISIS
President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan tells NBC News that ISIS is operating inside Afghanistan and eyeing it as a strategic foothold. “Fortunately, we’ve prevented them from acting,” Ghani told Andrea Mitchell. “But we have sufficient evidence that they were targeting us because to their narrative, to their story line, Afghanistan is central.” Read more in NEWS.
4. Americans falling short on retirement savings
How much do you have saved for retirement? The median amount in the American worker’s 401(k) account is $18,433, according to a recent report, and two in five employees have less than $10,000. As you might expect, older workers have more saved, but millions of people nearing retirement age don’t have enough to cover health care for their golden years, much less daily living. Read more in BUSINESS.
5. A slice of heaven for the pope
Pope Francis said in a recent interview that one of the drawbacks of the job was not being able to run out for pizza. So a pizza maker in Naples, Italy, tried to help: Francis was cruising past a crowd in the popemobile over the weekend when Enzo Cacialli stepped out and handed the Holy Father a pie. The toppings were yellow cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Read more in NEWS.
6. How sweet it is
College basketball’s Sweet 16 is set — and brackets everywhere are busted — after a frenzied first weekend at the NCAA tournament. The games resume on Thursday with the regional semifinals. Wichita State plays Notre Dame, North Carolina faces Wisconsin, West Virginia takes on overall top seed Kentucky, and Xavier gets Arizona. Read more in SPORTS.