Good morning, and happy Monday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Twisters leave at least 18 dead in Plains and South
Thirty-one tornadoes ripped through the Plains and South on Sunday, flattening homes and overturning cars. Sixteen people were killed in Arkansas alone, and deaths were also reported in Iowa and Oklahoma. Tornadoes threaten more areas on Monday, mostly Mississippi, northwest Alabama and the western half of Tennessee, but forecasters warn the twisters might not be limited to those areas. Read more in WEATHER.
The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore is in Arkansas to assess the damage:
2. Investigation on into Sterling’s alleged racist comments
The Los Angeles Clippers wore their warm-up shirts inside-out on Sunday, an apparent protest against their owner, Donald Sterling, who was caught allegedly making racist comments in a recorded phone call. The recording sparked reactions from NBA players, the NAACP and President Barack Obama. The NBA is probing the phone call, and intends "to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible," Commissioner Adam Silver said. Read more in SPORTS.
Magic Johnson, a target of Sterling's alleged comments, weighed in:
3. New video shows South Korean ferry captain being rescued
Lee Joon-seok, the captain of the capsized Sewol ferry, is seen being rescued in a video newly released by the South Korean coast guard. Lee is charged with abandoning the ship, negligence, causing bodily injury and not seeking rescue from other ships. He did not order the passengers of the ship to evacuate until about a half hour after it started listing. The disaster left more than 300 people dead or missing. Watch in NEWS.
4. Search area for jet expanded
After 15 dives, the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 robotic submarine finished scouring the initial search area without finding anything related to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. A 16th mission Monday focused on an area adjacent to the original target area. "The search will be moving to a new phase in coming weeks, it certainly is not ending," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday. Read more in NEWS.
5. U.S. to impose further sanctions on Russia
Monday's sanctions will include high-tech exports to Russia's defense industry as a punishment for Russia not cooperating with an agreement to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine. Armed Russian separatists have taken control of government buildings across eastern Ukraine. Read more in NEWS.
NBC News' Ghazi Balkiz is in eastern Ukraine:
6. Father of teen stowaway says son is "a good kid"
The father of the 15-year-old Somali boy, who traveled from California to Hawaii in the wheel-well of a plane, said Sunday in a statement that his son was having trouble adjusting to life in the U.S. The boy's father said he will soon travel to Hawaii to pick up his son and was "excited to bring him back home." Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
Plane tickets, hotel accommodations, swanky outfit and a gift are all possible, and substantial, expenses when you're a guest at a wedding — and that's if your a guy. Women have to worry about makeup, hair and heels on top of all that. Wedding guests are expected to spend almost $600 per wedding this year, which is a 75 percent jump from two years ago, according to American Express. Here comes the bill.