Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:
1. Putin takes next step in bid to annex Crimea
Russian President Vladimir Putin today notified his country’s parliament and government of Crimea’s request to be annexed. Crimea held a succession referendum Sunday in which voters opted to join Russia and sever ties with Ukraine following last month’s anti-government uprising. In response to Russia’s involvement with Crimea, the U.S. announced sanctions against Russian officials. Read more in NEWS.
2. Missing plane’s first turn made using computer
Authorities say the Malaysia Airlines jet turned off course after someone entered navigational instructions into the plane’s computer — as opposed to using manual controls. That would suggest that the plane was deliberately diverted as Malaysian officials have said. Read more in NEWS.
3. Army general admits to ‘emotional harm’ against ex-lover
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair acknowledged Monday his part in mistreating a female captain whom he had an affair with, telling a judge that he “created a situation over time that caused her emotional harm.” The woman claimed that Sinclair sexually assaulted her and threatened to kill her and her family if she revealed their affair. Sinclair’s plea deal was approved Monday and his sentencing continues today. Read more in NEWS.
4. Latino veterans receive military medals decades later
President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans today, including 17 Latinos. The ceremony comes after a Congress-ordered review to determine whether soldiers were overlooked for honors because of racial biases. Read more in NEWS.
5. Neonatal organ donors offer research hope
A small but growing group of parents are agreeing to neonatal donation, which provides their deceased babies’ organs and tissues for use in transplants and research. Experts say obtaining cells from infants can help understand the start of certain diseases, such as diabetes. Read more in HEALTH.
6. Mick Jagger mourns fashion designer girlfriend
The Rolling Stones frontman has canceled the band’s next show in Australia after news that girlfriend L'Wren Scott was found dead in her Manhattan, N.Y., apartment. Law enforcement sources say the beloved fashion designer committed suicide. Read more in NEWS.
Celebrities expressed their condolences on Twitter for Scott. Among them, Jagger’s ex-wife Bianca Jagger:
… What’s trending today?
Has rock star Courtney Love helped solve the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet?
She’s the latest celebrity to sleuth around for answers, and used the online satellite imagery map Tomnod to find what she wrote were “oil” slicks and possibly a “plane” about a mile away from Pulau Perak, where the flight was detected before it disappeared.