Here are seven stories from the "Nightly News" team that caught our attention as we get ready for tonight's broadcast.
Celebrity Guest Stars Spice Up "Law & Order: SVU"
Warning: spoilers ahead. In last night's “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Alec Baldwin returned to network television as a “larger than life” nosy reporter for the fictitious New York Ledger. Baldwin’s character hinders SVU’s investigation of an apparent hate crime, but he turns out to be a good guy in the end. Guest star Katie Couric played herself in the episode, and “Tonight Show” band leader Questlove appeared as a corpse lying on the coroner’s table. The episode also marked the directorial debut of Mariska Hargitay, known as Sgt. Olivia Benson to the show’s fans. Well done, Mariska.
Airbnb Might Be Worth $10 Billion
Couch surfing and home rental website Airbnb could be worth more than some major hotel chains, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company is holding talks to raise money from investors, which may lead to an eventual $10 billion valuation. That's worth more than Hyatt hotels (valued at $8.4 billion) and Wyndham hotels (valued at $9.4 billion). Private-equity firm TPG is likely to lead the first round of funding, despite recent horror stories of Airbnb renters coming home to find their apartments trashed. Be careful who you rent to.
Have Australian Satellites Located Plane Debris?
New clues suggest possible debris from Malaysia Flight 370 may be located 1400 miles southwest of Perth, Australia. Five military aircraft are searching the area where the objects were last seen as investigators race to find the jet’s “black boxes” before the batteries die. “Time is the enemy in this situation,” former American Airlines pilot Tom Casey told MSNBC.
More Than 100 People Found Stashed in Texas House
Police rescued more than 100 people, including five children, from a suspected stash house outside Houston that police said appeared to be part of human trafficking operation. Authorities say those found in the house were primarily from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico -- were crammed inside a one-story, 1,500-square-foot home in “squalid” conditions. Authorities said many of those rescued claimed to have been in the house for three or four days, though one woman said she had been there for 15 days. Five men have been arrested. Hundreds of chickens were also discovered on the property, which police believe were used in illegal cock-fighting.
Is Nothing Sacred? Ads to Adorn NBA Jerseys
Corporate logos will soon be displayed on pro-basketball jerseys, possibly within five years, according to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Silver pointed to the pro-soccer industry, where such branding is already commonplace. It's no surprise that "almost all" of the NBA’s corporate sponsors are enthusiastic about the chance to feature their logos.
New Jersey Teen Climbs 1 World Trade Center, Slips Past Security
Just when you thought 1 World Trade Center was the most protected place on Earth aside from Fort Knox, it’s not. A New Jersey teenager got past ground zero security early Sunday morning and managed to climb to the top to take pictures, according to the New York Post. The security guard on duty was allegedly sleeping and has been fired.
The Key to the Perfect Dessert
Ever wondered how Dominique Ansel managed to hit the dessert jackpot with his cronut creation? Some argue it’s the unique combination of classic American favorite meets French twist meets gourmet flourish. The secret mix inspired Grubstreet to create a virtual slot machine called the “Pastry Phenom-o-Matic” around those three qualifiers. If you give it a click, you’ll get one of 1728 possible mash-ups that could lead to the “Next Big Thing” in the dessert world. Take a spin to find your mouthwatering combo.