1. Days after Ariel Castro hanged himself in his prison cell, NBC News acquired police interrogation tapes that revealed just how close the convicted kidnapper and rapist came to being caught. Included are details about a call he made to one of his victims’ mothers, as well as his own suicidal thoughts written down in letters.
Ariel Castro admits close calls in interrogation tapesPlay Video
Human slingshot: Watch men flung into the sky at 100 mph
Caught on video: Thief snatches wallet out of car at gas station
New video shows gunman shot by agent on White House grounds
Mississippi gas plant explosion caught on video
2. Amanda Lindhout, the journalist who was held hostage for more than 15 months in Somalia, described to Savannah this morning how she kept her will to live through beatings, starvation and sexual assaults.
“I think it's the human spirit inside of all of us that has an enormous capacity to survive,” she said. “I went through something that was exceedingly difficult, so I had to dive pretty deep to find out what I was made of, so I had the opportunity to do that.”
Journalist describes kidnapping ordeal in SomaliaPlay Video
Best summer reads of 2016: 'Modern Lovers,' 'Girls on Fire,' more
Sebastian Junger reveals 'Tribe' will be his last book about war
Web extra: Sebastian Junger spent years writing 'Perfect Storm'
Author James Patterson talks new 'Alex Cross' project
3. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state and her husband, Daniel, gushed about their new baby daughter, a “miracle” according to health experts.
Born without kidneys, little Abigail Rose Beutler may be the first child with Potter’s Syndrome ever to survive the condition.
“She is doing amazing,” Jaime said. “She has a few challenges, but man, she’s determined.”
Parents of miracle baby recall devastating diagnosisPlay Video
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Keri Russell reveals the name of her new baby
Dad dresses daughter in overalls… but forgets her shirt!
See these stunning childbirth photos, shot by the mom herself
4. “It’s a tantalizing and provocative question: Do people with Down syndrome hold the key to the mystery of Alzheimer’s development?” Mass. General’s Dr. Brian Skotko posed the question as part of this week’s “Age of Alzheimer’s” series.
Scientists are now studying the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s in hopes of finding a cure for the disease.
Could Down syndrome provide clues to Alzheimer's?Play Video
Japan Approves Robot Suit
Attorney for OSU Crash Suspect: Toxicology Test Will Come Back Clean
Lawyer: OSU Parade Crash Suspect 'Suffers From a Mental Illness'
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5. Hoda’s phone’s blowing up! After accidentally revealing her number on air Thursday, the Fourth Hour anchor’s phone filled with voicemails and texts — more than 4,000 of them!
“There were a couple of porn ones in there, which I kind of enjoyed," she joked this morning to Savannah.
Hoda to America after phone snafu: 'Thanks for calling!'Play Video
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KLG: When my phone rang at a funeral, 'I wanted to die'
This famed actress is almost unrecognizable: Can you ID her?
Are the ladies' 'wings' as wide as Michael Phelps'?
And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!