Good morning. I'm David Greene. It's been a tradition in the Windy City for 50 years. The water in the Chicago River is dyed green for St. Patrick's Day. Only this year some residents have a question: Can you dye ice?
That might be the challenge if the river doesn't thaw in time. Organizers are optimistic - even if it means using a tug boat to break up the ice. I am tempted to believe them. The group that dyes the river and unclogs it - as needed - is the local Plumbers Union.
Wake Up and Smell the Bacon. No, we're not making breakfast in the studio. It's the name of Oscar Mayer's new app and iPhone device. It's a piece of limited edition hardware that plugs into the headphone jack. Along with your alarm, you get the signature smell and sizzle. It's a really nice way to wake up - unless, of course, you're a bacon-free family.
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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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A handful of Senate Democrats joined Republicans yesterday to defeat President Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
Debo Adegbile is a civil rights lawyer who once helped handle the appeal of a cop killer. He nomination forced a tough choice upon Democrats: Vote yes and infuriate law enforcement groups - or vote no and anger minority voters.
In Pakistan, peace talks between the government and the Taliban came to a halt last month after militants executed 23 soldiers. Pakistan's military responded with airstrikes, and that led the Pakistani Taliban to declare a cease-fire. The government has now agreed to engage in fresh negotiations - even though attacks by splinter groups continue, underscoring just how decentralized these militants are.
For all of California's troubles advertising health care to Latinos, that state has embraced the Affordable Care Act and is spending millions of dollars to get people to sign up. Florida is a different story.
Florida has a high rate of uninsured Latinos - almost 10 percent of all the country's uninsured Hispanics who are eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act live in the state.
We've all been there, out and about when nature calls. But public restrooms aren't easy to find and businesses have those customers-only signs. This is where AirPNP comes in. It's an app that connects full bladders with bathroom owners willing to share their facilities with strangers, for a small fee. Must have made Mardi Gras a much more pleasant experience this week; 29 people in New Orleans did advertise their porcelain palaces. The going rate, about three bucks.
An intense campaign is underway for the future of the United Kingdom. On Sept. 18, the people of Scotland will vote on whether to become an independent country. Here are answers to a few key questions about the issue.
1. Why would Scotland want to leave the U.K.?
There are some reasons grounded in logic and others based in emotion.
Steve Inskeep has begun a journey along the U.S.-Mexico border — from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. NPR reporters are also pursuing stories of people, goods and culture crossing the border. Over the next two weeks, the team will be sharing impressions at NPR's On The Road blog as it prepares stories to broadcast on Morning Edition and other NPR programs in late March.
From Caracas to Kiev, protesters are organizing with the help of a social media tool called Zello. The walkie-talkie-like app allows smartphone users to send short voice messages from person to person or to a small group of people. And one key factor that's making Zello the go-to app among protesters, anonymity, something they don't get from Facebook or Twitter.
BILL MOORE: We've had multiple requests from authorities for information. And one way to solve it, in fact the way we solve is we just don't, we don't retain information.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. The YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts has a new food offering. Honey Dew Donuts has been cleared to open one of their stores there. Just one restriction: No donuts, because the Y is focused on health and fitness. A spokeswoman says the donut shop's signature item is banned. Salads, fruit cups, smoothies are allowed, so are Honey Dew's low-fat muffins, which actually have more sugar and calories than the donuts. So take that to the treadmill.
Seems bad boy Danny Zuko still doesn't do his homework. The star of "Grease" had a walk-on last night in the Oscars. John Travolta introduced Idina Menzel, calling her wickedly talented. She starred in "Wicked" on Broadway. But it quickly became clear he'd never heard of her. He introduced her as Adele Dazim. The song Ms. Menzel sang, from "Frozen," won the Oscar, anyway.
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The prolific French filmmaker Alain Resnais died over the weekend, at the age of 91. Resnais' films captured international awards for over seven decades. And as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, he was making movies up until the very end.
ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Alain Resnais cemented his reputation as a filmmaker with the 1959 classic, "Hiroshima, Mon Amour," made with author Marguerite Duras as scriptwriter.
Standardized tests: a good or bad thing? Some argue the tests remain a useful tool in the college admissions process. Others contend tests do not predict future success or failure for college students. Elizabeth Kolbert recently took the test as a grownup and wrote about the experience for The New Yorker.
OK, stop me if you've heard this one before. A man walks into a bar with a tiger. People swear that's what happened at Uncle Richie's in the Chicago suburb of Lockport this week. Sure, the tiger was little and on a leash but, according to, WBBN TV, police didn't think a tiger out for an evening walk was very funny at all. The owner is facing misdemeanor charges. He runs a place called the Big Run Wolf Ranch where he keeps mountain lions, tigers and wolves, oh my.
There's never a good week for nuclear waste, but this week has been a particularly bad one. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico have disclosed that 13 employees inhaled radioactive material after a major accident earlier this month.
While there's no risk to the public and the exposed workers did not need immediate medical treatment, the incident is shaping up to be a major setback for the nation's only dedicated nuclear waste dump.
Now any day of the week is a good time to watch Liam Neeson play an action hero. He famously chased down bad guys and blew things up in the movie "Taken" and its sequel a few years back. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review of "Non-Stop," Neeson's latest action flick.
KENNETH TURAN: "Non-Stop" is a crisp, efficient thriller that benefits from the intangibles Liam Neeson brings to a role.
On Broadway, Thursday is about to become the new Wednesday.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG FROM THE MOVIE, "PHANTOM OF THE OPERA")
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing in a foreign language)
GREENE: Several shows, including the "Phantom of the Opera," plan to move their traditional Wednesday matinee to Thursday. Wednesday afternoon performances have never been huge money makers, and some Broadway executives think Thursday matinees will draw in tourists coming for a good long weekend in New York.
Good morning. I'm David Greene with a wild story of adventure and escape. OK, not that wild. Mundu, two year old koala, went missing from his exhibit at the San Diego Zoo on Tuesday. Not to worry, he's been found. He escaped his enclosure and fell asleep, spending the day in a tree nearby. Zookeepers lured him back with eucalyptus.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. Team USA hockey player David Backes did not bring home gold this year. But he did bring home two stray dogs from Sochi. The stray animal population in the Russian resort town received a good bit of attention during the games, and Backes hopes these animals will help raise awareness. The dogs will be monitored in an animal shelter for 30 days, where one caretaker says they'll be getting them ready for adoption, and also teaching them English.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A Florida man decided to face his fear of spiders by tattooing a huge black widow on his face. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 24-year-old Eric Ortiz chose to ink the arachnid because, quote, everybody fears spiders, and he wanted to see what people think. The lifelike tattoo has gotten reactions from startled jumps to you will never get a job. One person who does not think it's cool - his girlfriend. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.