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Shutdown looms, border security & women rule the Grammys: The Morning Rundown

Trump heads to El Paso as California's governor is set to announce he's pulling National Guard troops.

Good morning, NBC News readers.

On "Meet the Press," acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that he "absolutely cannot" rule out the possibility of another shutdown if Congress doesn't come to an agreement that includes funding for a border wall.

President Donald Trump will make the case for such barriers at a rally in El Paso, Texas, later today. Meanwhile, California’s governor is expected to announce that his state’s National Guard troops will no longer participate in Trump’s “manufactured crisis.”

Here’s what we’re watching today.

Fact check: Trump claims a wall made El Paso safe. Data shows otherwise.

The president falsely claimed during last week's State of the Union that El Paso had been a hotbed of crime before a wall was built.

But local officials beg to differ. Statistics show crime in the city has been falling since 1993; a border fence wasn't completed until 2009. Read our fact check.

California governor to order National Guard troops back from Mexico border

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will announce plans Monday to pull back his state's National Guard troops who have been deployed to the border with Mexico.

He is expected to say that the border “emergency” is a manufactured crisis, and that California “will not be part of this political theater.”

Newsom's move comes a week after the governor of New Mexico withdrew most of her state's troops from the southern border, slamming what she called Trump's "charade of border fear-mongering."

Search party: Moderate Dems seek one of their own to win 2020 primary, topple Trump

The 2020 Democratic presidential primary turned left out of the gate, leaving the middle of the field wide open for... someone. But who?

"We really, really don't know yet," said Matt Bennett, a vice president of the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way.

But he's not panicking yet.

"This year will be about playing to the activists on Twitter and online donor universe. Next year will be about winning votes, and those are very different universes," he said.

One potential contender for moderate votes may be Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar who announced that she is running for president in her snowy home state of Minnesota on Sunday. Anthony Souffle / AP

Why Israel is fighting the global boycott movement

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign seeks “full equality" for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel. It also advocates for the return of millions of Palestinians to the homes their ancestors left or were forced from when Israel was established in 1948.

Israeli officials allege the BDS movement is anti-Semitic and seeks to destroy the country. And the campaign is reverberating in the United States, where the Senate recently passed a bill that would allow states to punish businesses that take part in such boycotts.

But despite vigorous efforts to quash BDS, pressure is mounting. Why do some feel so threatened by it?

'What happened to my tax refund?'

That's the question many Americans are asking this tax season.

Since the new tax law was passed, the average tax refund dropped 8.4 percent, from $2,035 to $1,865, according to new figures from the IRS.

How will the new law affect your 2018 return? Here's everything you need to know.


THINK about it

Did the National Enquirer try to extort Jeff Bezos? A legal expert explains.

One fun thing

Women ruled the Grammys on Sunday as female acts won album of the year and best new artist, while Childish Gambino's "This Is America" became the first rap song to win record and song of the year.

Former first lady Michelle Obama almost stole the show with a surprise appearance alongside a group of powerful women — Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, host Alicia Keys and Jada Pinkett Smith — describing the importance of music in their lives.

But what did they wear? Here's the red carpet roundup.

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Thanks, Petra