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Netanyahu may have upper hand, Trump worries GOP and NBA era ends: The Morning Rundown

And the fate of Brexit is now in the hands of 27 E.U. leaders.
Image: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to his supporters after polls for Israel's general elections closed in Tel Aviv
A victory for Netanyahu would affirm Israel's continued tilt to the right and further dim hopes of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ariel Schalit / AP

Good morning, NBC News readers.

It looks like Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have squeezed out yet another win and extended his decades-long political career.

Here's more on that and what else we're watching today.

Netanyahu claims 'colossal victory' in tight election

"King Bibi" may have done it again.

With 96 percent of the votes counted Wednesday morning, Netanyahu appeared to be better placed than his main competitor in a tight race that was seen as a referendum on his leadership.

Netanyahu's Likud party and former military chief of staff Benny Gantz's rival Blue and White party had each won 35 seats.

But Netanyahu is in a stronger position to form a coalition government with the anticipated support of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties.

If his party succeeds in forming a parliamentary majority and Netanyahu again serves as prime minister, it would be his fourth consecutive and fifth overall term, making him the longest-serving leader in the country's history.

After latest police shooting, residents of California city declare police force 'rotten'

Residents, activists and attorneys say police in Vallejo, California, have displayed a pattern of excessive force and overly aggressive tactics in their Bay Area community of 122,000 people. That feeds into a belief that there is a lack of transparency of and accountability for officers' conduct.

Now, after the February fatal shooting of a young black rapper by six officers, some are calling for an outside agency or civil rights group to review the Vallejo Police Department.

"Can we not use the O.K. Corral tactics?" one resident asked. "We've become the wild, Wild West. That has to change. We're losing too many lives."

GOP worried over Trump purge of Homeland Security

President Donald Trump is getting blowback from his own party for his shake-up of the leadership at the Department of Homeland Security.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has urged Trump not to fire the head of Citizen and Immigration Services and criticized the influence of White House adviser and immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller. Senate Homeland Security Committee Chair Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., said he's concerned about the "void" at DHS.

Meantime, the White House is already working on plans to make it harder for immigrants at the border to receive asylum by putting border agents in charge of the interview process, according to multiple senior administration officials.

Miller has argued that Customs and Border Protection agents would be tougher on asylum-seekers and would pass fewer of them on the initial screening, known as a credible fear interview, the sources said.

A high-stakes meeting will decide Brexit's fate — but the U.K. won't be at the table

For a country that voted to "take back control" in June 2016, the United Kingdom's future is now in the hands of the very European leaders it wanted to divorce.

Tonight 27 prime ministers and presidents from across the European Union will gather to choose between two broad options that will determine the U.K.'s fate. Both could have dramatic consequences for Britain and beyond.

The European leaders may offer the U.K. a long extension, postponing the date by up to one year when Brexit is set to finally happen.

But if just one European leader disagrees with such an approach, Britain will crash out of Europe without a deal on Friday.

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Basketball legend Magic Johnson during his impromptu and tear-filled 40-minute press conference on Tuesday. Mark J. Terrill / AP

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THINK about it

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Quote of the day

"Secretary Nielsen deserved better from her colleagues, when her colleagues for whatever reason decided to gut her like a fish that was a disservice to Secretary Nielsen, to the people of America, and to the president."

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on ousted Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen

One fun thing

This one could have ended badly.

Flight attendant Maddie Peters, 28, spilled a tray of drinks on American Airlines CEO Doug Parker.

"I wanted to drop dead right there," Peters later wrote in an Instagram post.

But thankfully Parker laughed it off and then visited the galley to reassure Peters.

"I asked him, 'Am I fired?' and he said, 'Of course not."

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and flight attendant Maddie Peters and after their messy midair meeting. Maddie Peters

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Thanks, Petra