Good morning, and happy Monday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:
1. A mother fires back against AOL CEO
AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong used two "distressed babies" as examples of why the company planned to change some 401(k) plans. The mother of one of those babies wrote an article for Slate in which she called out Armstrong for using her premature baby's story as a reason to cut benefits. She spoke with Nightly News in her first televised interview and called the CEO's comments "completely dehumanizing." Read more in NEWS.
2. Sochi: so far, so good
Highlights over the weekend included the Russians keeping the gold at home in the first figure skating event as President Vladimir Putin watched from the stands and two out of three Dufour-Lapointe sisters topping the podium in the women's freestyle skiing moguls. On Monday, the men's moguls finals are coming up and while they might not be dressed as interestingly, the Norwegians will defend their curling status. View more in NEWS and also watch live coverage from the games at NBC OLYMPICS.
Meanwhile, Shaun White looks out over Rosa Khutor with an eye on a threepeat in the men's halfpipe Tuesday:
3. NFL hopeful comes out
University of Missouri star Michael Sam told The New York Times and ESPN that he had already told his teammates he is gay, but this is the first time he's publicly revealed his orientation. Sam is expected to be drafted by the NFL, which would make him the first openly gay NFL player. Read more in NEWS.
Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith of the Seattle Seahawks tweeted his support:
4. New Jersey paper has endorsement remorse
The Star-Ledger, one of New Jersey’s leading newspapers, regrets endorsing Gov. Chris Christie during his re-election campaign, a member of the editorial board wrote in a column Sunday. The Governor was once praised by the paper, but now its distancing itself from him as he faces a growing scandal over September closures on the George Washington Bridge. Read more in NEWS.
5. Parched California gets a downpour
Rain-deprived California finally got a dousing this weekend, allowing the state to chip — or drip — away at some of their deficit. They didn't get enough to cure the drought and floods resulted from built up debris, but the state welcomed the wet weather regardless. Meanwhile, North of California, Oregon and Washington also were happy to see rain Sunday after four days of snow and ice. Read more in WEATHER.
6. Is this a zoo or the wild?
The Copenhagen Zoo killed one of their giraffes and fed it to lions. The zoo said it euthanized the 18-month-old animal to avoid inbreeding. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today: Olympics edition
American Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir may be feeling torn between the Olympics in Sochi and New York's simultaneously running Fashion Week. He showed up dressed to the nines.
Meanwhile, Russian speed skater Olga Graf forgot that she was wearing so little and unzipped her uniform on the ice. A bronze medal can do that to you: