Good morning, and happy Thursday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:
1. Residents affected by Washington mudslide knew of risk
The deadly mudslide that killed at least 25 people Saturday occurred in a part of rural Washington state beloved for being a “little piece of paradise.” But for all the land's charm, residents were well aware that the hillside wasn’t stable — although officials insist that no one could have anticipated such a slide occurring when it did. Read more in NEWS.
The search continues today for more bodies. Officials warn that they may not be able to recover all of the missing.
2. More objects spotted near suspected Malaysia jet crash site
A Thai satellite has captured images of another 300 objects near the spot in the southern Indian Ocean where investigators believe Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed earlier this month. Meanwhile, bad weather has hampered efforts to find any debris connected to the plane. Read more in NEWS.
3. President Obama has audience with Pope Francis
During his jam-packed five-day tour of Europe and the Middle East, Obama found some time this morning to meet the popular pontiff at the Vatican. Cameras captured the powerful pair’s first meeting as they shook hands. “Thank you, it’s so nice to see you, good to see ya,” Obama said. Read more in NEWS.
4. Northwestern football players can form union
The National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday that the Northwestern University players can form a union — a landmark decision that could allow more rights and even compensation for college athletes. The ruling, however, currently applies to only private universities, and not public schools, which the federal labor agency doesn’t have jurisdiction over. Read more in BUSINESS.
5. Charlotte, N.C., mayor resigns amid bribery scandal
Democratic Mayor Patrick Cannon was arrested Wednesday on federal corruption charges after he allegedly solicited and accepted cash bribes as well as gifts from undercover FBI agents. The feds began investigating him when he was a member of the City Council and the mayor pro tem. Cannon, 47, was only sworn in to his first term in December. Read more in NEWS.
6. Fatal nine-alarm fire rips through Boston brownstone
Two firefighters were killed as they tried to fight back the blaze, which gutted the building Wednesday afternoon in the city’s Back Bay. At least 18 people, including other firemen, were injured. The cause remains under investigation. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
If you drop your wallet 50 times in public, in how many of those instances do you think a stranger would return it to you?
That’s what one Polish man wanted to know when he videotaped his social experiment and uploaded the results to YouTube this month. So did people prove to be good Samaritans or callous crooks?