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7 Stories to Skim: Smog Blankets City of Lights

Image: A view of the Eiffel Tower seen through thick smog,
A view of the Eiffel Tower seen through thick smog, on March 14 in Paris. Fine particle pollution in several French cities continued unabated today as the modest measures taken by local authorities failed to solve the underlying problem.PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP - Getty Images

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Here are seven stories from the "Nightly News" team that caught our attention as we get ready for tonight's broadcast.

1. Paris Offering Free Public Transportation Due to Smog

Paris, the city of lights, romance, leisurely walks along the Seine, and now … smog. Due to several unseasonably warm days, the normally picture-postcard views of the city’s famed landmarks are being crudely obscured by a milky smog. In an effort to combat the air pollution, French officials are asking drivers to leave their cars at home and are offering free public transportation for the next three days. But don't worry, Paris skies should be back to normal soon: cooler weather is on its way.

2. Did Princess Diana Leak Royal Phone Numbers?

New evidence in the phone-hacking trial that’s taken center stage in London suggests Princess Diana may have shared royal secrets. Former “News of the World” royal reporter Clive Goodman testified that the late Princess of Wales leaked information about the royal family to him, including a phone directory of Buckingham Palace, in part to illustrate her ex-husband Prince Charles’ sizable staff. Goodman, who has been jailed once before after pleading guilty to intercepting phone messages, said Diana “was going through a very, very difficult time” and “was looking for an ally to take [Prince Charles] on.”

3. Reunited, and It Feels so Good

Olympic slopestyle skier and ardent puppy lover Gus Kenworthy has finally reunited with the stray dogs he fell for in Sochi. After a month of legal issues, some of the puppies -- and their mother -- made it back to the U.S. Kenworthy says he'll continue bringing awareness to the plight of Russia's stray dogs.

4. White House Enlists Celebrity Moms for HealthCare.gov

The White House is going into high gear to get young adults to sign up for healthcare before the March 31 enrollment deadline. Following Barack Obama’s appearance on “Between Two Ferns,” the administration has launched a new campaign called #YourMomCares, featuring the mothers of Jonah Hill, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Lopez. “Trust me, us moms put up with a lot,” said Hill’s mother. “But one thing we should never have to put up with is our kid not having healthcare. Seriously do you want your mother to have a nervous breakdown?”

5. Zuckerberg Calls Obama, Pushes for Better Internet Security

Frustrated with the “damage the government is creating for all of our future,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took to social media, using -- what else? -- a Facebook post, to advocate for better government transparency regarding data collection. Zuckerberg said he called President Obama to discuss Internet security, but reform “seems like it will take a very long time.” He went on to say, “When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government.” The post has been ‘liked’ more than 223,000 times.

6. Polar Bear Cub Takes First Brave Steps Outdoors

An adorable polar bear cub born in a German zoo took her first steps outdoors today. Sticking close to her mother, the 3-month-old cub cautiously explored her surroundings, delighting visitors, who up until today were only able to catch a glimpse of her through zoo videos and photos.

7. Sure to Stir Up Controversy

Colorado’s Health and Environment Committee has approved a bill which would require parents to complete an online education course that discloses the benefits and risks of immunization. The state has one of the lowest kindergarten immunization rates in the country. Parents will also be required to disclose to schools a statement of immunization exemption. The goal, lawmakers say, is not to encourage parents one way or the other, but to educate parents about the vaccination process.

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