BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.
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ALISON STEWART, host:
This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. It is January 1st, 2008. Happy New Year. We are actually live. No, this is not a taped show. We are your live home for news, information and drunk people relieving themselves in front of our building. Seriously, it happened, we're a block from Time Square.
I'm Alison Stewart. And today's BPP is a compilation of staff favorites. In fact, I've got members of the staff. Say good morning.
MATT MARTINEZ: Good morning.
TRICIA MCKINNEY: Happy New Year.
STEWART: Good morning, staff. We're going to take a fun look and listen to all the stories and sounds that made the year so special. From the high to the happy senator.
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STEWART: To the philosophy of a strange child in zombie face tapes.
Mr. JONATHON WARE: I like turtles.
STEWART: To the wild ranting of an icon reacting to a question about getting married again.
Unidentified Man: No. I can never get old.
STEWART: Liz(ph), Hillary and zombie kid, thanks for making '07 so great. In today's show, we'll take a look back at Alan Greenspan's wise words about underpants, a Dallas rapper thought he was doing the right thing, but may have been sending out homophobic vibes, and the musical styling of Ben Harper. We'll also check out on the most searched terms on the first day of the year. Laura Conaway will join us in the news in just a minute.
But first, here's the BPP's Big Story.
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January 1st, the day to start our New Year's resolution. If you're planning a fresh start this morning, you are not alone. New changes around the globe are going into effect today, two resolutions for state and local governments, if you will. I have senior producer Matt Martinez and our editor Tricia McKinney to help me run down just a few.
McKINNEY: So, good news if your 2008 resolution is to lose weight. The 31 flavors of Baskin Robins will no longer include trans fats. They are now banned from all ice cream sold in their stores.
And in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of D.C., restaurants can no longer serve food made with artificial trans fats like vegetable shortening and margarine. But if cookies and cakes are your downfall, the wear, baked goods can still be chock full of trans fats until next January.
MARTINEZ: Maybe you vowed it, but smoking this year, well the French won't be lighting up either, at least not indoors at restaurants, discos or cafes selling tobacco. Today's ban is a second phase of France's 2007 crackdown on smoking in enclosed public spaces. Closer to home nicotine patch sales may soon go up in Colorado and Illinois where smoking bans in bars, restaurants in Colorado casinos are now in effect.
STEWART: So maybe you want to go green in '08. Well, you can join the folks in Suffolk County New York. Those old-school incandescent light bulbs are now banned from all county buildings.
Now across the country, California is taking a step towards a greener 20-20 today. January 1st is the deadline for the state to set an emissions cap that will go into effect 12 years from now.
And across the globe, one of Japan starts the year off as the new president of the G8 nation. Its '08 goal - to get the U.S. on board with the Kyoto protocol. America is the only G8 nation that would not ratify it. Japan will pitch a Kyoto compliance at a G8 Summit when it hosts it this July.
MARTINEZ: Some of you may want to get your finances in order this year. Well, Cypress and Malta are already off to a fresh fiscal start today.
STEWART: I'm glad to hear that.
MARTINEZ: Yeah. It's always nice to...
McKINNEY: to promote that.
MARTINEZ: ...hear the country is making good.
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MARTINEZ: Well, they're joining 13 other European nations in the Euro zone. And on the other side of the globe, Venezuela was getting new money too. After creating his own time zone in 2007...
McKINNEY: I want one of those.
MARTINEZ: Yeah. President Hugo Chavez decided to cut three zeros off the value of the country's currency, the bolivar, and change it the bolivar fuerte, which means strong in Spanish. One bolivar fuerte, you have to say it that way...
MARTINEZ: ...is worth a - is worth 1000 of the old bolivars. Chavez says the smaller denominations will make the currency easier for Venezuelans to use.
McKINNEY: Finally, if 2008 is the year you stand up for your rights, you're in good company. If any of the 1.2 million people who connect through New York's airports get stuck there because of delays or cancellations--as of today, they have the right to demand food, water, clean toilets and fresh air from the airlines that they're grounded for more than three hours. That is thanks to the New York Airline Passengers Bill of Rights becoming active today.
And in New Hampshire, the rights of the same-sex couples are being recognized today when the state's civil union laws take affect.
STEWART: So that's what you can expect on this first day of January 2008. That is the BPP's Big Story. Thanks, Matt. Thanks, Tricia.
MARTINEZ: You're welcome.
McKINNEY: Happy New Year.
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