Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A city here in Southern California is fighting crime with tweets - not social networking, real tweets by birds playing on speakers along the city's main drag. The Wall Street Journal posted online the soundscape - chirping robins, splashing water and faint musical notes. The mayor of Lancaster tells the Journal the birds put residents in, quote, "a better place." And though police say the causes are many, crime in the city is down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Scott Sanders will be eating lunch at his desk again. Sanders is the general sales manager for the NBC affiliate in Columbia — South Carolina's capital — so all his time is devoted these days to handling ad traffic ahead of Saturday's Republican primary.
"It's been crazy this week," Sanders says. "It will be hard to watch TV, because there are so many ads."
All five major GOP candidates have ads running during the station's nightly news programs. Their messages are also being amplified and augmented by supportive superPACs.
Even if Wikipedia was working, you couldn't use it to locate information about Mitt Romney's most recent tax filings. He has yet to make that tax information public.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Under pressure from his opponents, Romney says he will release information in April.
MONTAGNE: But yesterday, Romney did let slip a provocative tax detail. He acknowledged he's probably paying an effective tax rate of around 15 percent. And that's well below the rate that many middle-class families pay.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
We should fully explain this next report, because if we miss something, you won't be able to find more information on Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia is blacked-out today, at least on personal computers. It's only available if you take extra steps or use a mobile device.
Today's last word in business comes from China, and the word is: Red Pad.
It's a device that looks a lot like an iPad, except it's red in color and in ideological purity.
The Wall Street Journal picked up on the device, which was advertised briefly in China's state media. It offered Web content for the party faithful, like quick access to the Communist Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily. The device however, was apparently priced at more than $1,500 - good deal more than an iPad.