April 16, 2014

You may have never heard of the Norwegian television network NRK, but you may be familiar with some of the channel's wacky programs, one of which is National Knitting Evening, a nine-hour show that simply shows people sewing. (It was one of the channel's highest-rated shows last year.) So, capitalizing on the niche popularity of its offbeat programming, NRK execs produced an equally strange reality show called The Coffin, in which celebrities plan their own funerals.

The show's producer describes The Coffin as a "feel-good program about death," since nothing is happier than watching a dramatization of your own funeral. Celebrities lined up to appear on the show include Norwegian rocker Bjarne Brøndbo, who is seen decorating his coffin in the first episode. "It is very strange to see the coffin here," he remarks. "At the age of almost 50 years, you do start to think a little that life has an end."

Sounds... uplifting? Jordan Valinsky

6:47 a.m. ET
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On Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that a U.S. serviceman was killed "in the neighborhood of Erbil," the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. "It is a combat death, of course, and a very sad loss," Carter said in Stuttgart, Germany, where he is meeting with NATO allies. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) also released a brief statement, saying the unidentified "coalition service member was killed in northern Iraq as a result of enemy fire."

A U.S. military official tells The Associated Press that the serviceman was killed by "direct fire" while advising Kurdish Peshmerga troops, after Islamic State fighters broke through the Kurds' forward line. He was two to three miles behind that line, the official tells AP. On Tuesday, CBS News adds, U.S. and coalition aircraft were helping local forces attack ISIS north of Mosul, about 50 miles west of Erbil. Peter Weber

6:16 a.m. ET
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On Tuesday, Indiana votes in the Democratic and Republican primaries, but the main drama is between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Campaigning in Indianapolis on Monday, Trump said that if he wins, as recent polls suggest he will, Cruz should drop out. "Indiana is very important, because if I win that's the end of it," he said. "It would be over." Cruz, also in Indiana, vowed to stay in the race, but appeared to leave a little wiggle room for an exit. "I am in for the distance, as long as we have a viable path to victory," he told reporters. Indiana has 57 GOP delegates at stake.

Trump has been helped in Indiana by his focus on trade, especially on Carrier moving its Indianapolis air conditioner factory to Mexico; his sports celebrity endorsements; and a growing air of inevitability after having won the last six contests, The Washington Post says. "You cannot underestimate the impact that Trump winning all counties last week in the 'Acela primary' had on Indiana," veteran GOP strategist Scott Reed tells The Post. "A month ago, Cruz was leading Trump by 20 percent in Indiana. Trump's wins, coupled with landing his plane in state, have driven voters into his column."

On the Democratic side, the stakes are seen as lower; neither Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will be in the Hoosier State on Tuesday. Peter Weber

4:38 a.m. ET

On Monday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert asked his Fox News frenemy Bill O'Reilly what he thought about Tuesday's Indiana primary, and O'Reilly didn't stop talking for the next five minutes. He began by saying that the primaries have been over since Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won their respective New York primaries, and Indiana doesn't really matter. "Feel the Bern all you want, but the Bern's going to be in the refrigerator and Clinton's going to be the nominee," he said. If Trump doesn't win Indiana, it will give Ted Cruz "a little thing to hang on to," O'Reilly added, "but it's still going to be Trump."

Colbert managed to ask O'Reilly if, since he has known Trump for years, he's "comforted" to think Trump will be one of two candidates in the general election. "I'm not arrogant enough to say that this person or that person isn't qualified," O'Reilly said. "The people in the Republican Party want Donald Trump for one reason: They want to blow the whole establishment up. That's why he's gotten where he's gotten." O'Reilly, it seems, shares that view. He said conservatives are upset because they believe progressives — "your crew," he told Colbert — have won the culture war. (The audience cheered). "They don't like what the country is becoming." When Colbert asked for an example, O'Reilly brought up the illegal immigrant who killed a woman in San Francisco.

You can watch below to hear O'Reilly's entire treatise on why Donald Trump is winning, or you can watch to see Colbert defang O'Reilly's bloviating just enough that the audience doesn't boo him until the very end. Either way, it's good television. Peter Weber

4:07 a.m. ET

Larry Wilmore's edgy comedy routine at Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner wasn't a big hit in the room, earning Wilmore comparisons to the 2006 WHCD speech by the man whose slot he took at Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert. Colbert stood up for his good friend on Monday's Late Show. "He stunned that room," Colbert said of Wilmore. "People in Washington aren't used to seeing two black men speaking at the same event."

At the end of his WHCD routine, Wilmore used the N-word in reference to President Obama, "and it was shocking," Colbert said, "but it did lay the groundwork for President Trump to say it next year." (Obama wasn't offended, the White House said Monday.) "I thought Larry gave a great speech that did not let the president or the press off the hook," he added, "and I am confident that Larry will receive the ultimate recognition for his work: Never being invited back." Colbert should know. Watch him defend Wilmore, mock the TSA, discuss Bitcoin, and drop some interesting suggestions for the Ringling Bros. elephants now that they no longer have to perform in the circus. Peter Weber

3:33 a.m. ET
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On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court said that local bans on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are illegal, striking down a 2012 ban on the gas-extraction process in Longmont and a 2013 moratorium in Fort Collins. The local measures "were preempted by state law and, therefore... invalid and unenforceable," the high court said in its long-awaited ruling. The ruling upholds decisions by two lower courts and is a victory for the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, which had sued Longmont and Fort Collins to overturn the bans. Environmental groups said they will redouble efforts to get a statewide fracking ban on the November ballot.

States have approached fracking regulations differently. In Ohio, as in Colorado, the Supreme Court limited local control over the controversial drilling technique, and the Texas legislature banned local control over a bunch of drilling practices. Pennsylvania, meanwhile, allows local control over fracking, and New York has banned it entirely. With oil and gas drilling in a nationwide slump, the Colorado high court rulings are expected to have little immediate effect, The New York Times notes, but when fracking becomes profitable again, the populous eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains will likely see a lot of drilling activity. Peter Weber

2:47 a.m. ET

Heath care is a big issue in the presidential campaign, and Seth Meyers had some fun to poke at Donald Trump's vague plan to replace ObamaCare with something "terrific." But mostly he looked at single-payer plans like that proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Some Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, have questioned whether such a system would be feasible, but we may be about to get a real-life test case in Colorado," Meyers said on Monday's Late Night. If voters approve Amendment 69 in November, "the state that was one of the first to legalize weed in the U.S. could now also become the first to pass single-payer health care. Colorado doesn't care what the rest of the country thinks. Next they're going to change the state bird to the middle finger."

He cracked a slightly racy joke about Amendment 69 making sure everyone is taken care of, and how the current "clusterf--k" system is more one-sided, then looked at the pros and cons. The pros are that the current system is unfair, overly expensive, not user-friendly, and makes no sense — which is why every other rich nation went with single-payer. "The French spend less on health care than us, and they use cigarettes as pacifiers," he joked.

The downsides are it may be prohibitively expensive for a single state — Vermont scrapped a similar plan due to costs — and there will be a lot of resistance. "Scrapping our current system in favor of single-payer system would be a potentially revolutionary shift, which means it's not going to happen without tremendous pushback from the for-profit health care industry and their supporters, like the Koch brothers," Meyers noted, showing some of the ads the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity is running in Colorado. Watch below, and giggle along with Meyers when the narrator ominously intones "Amendment 69" over and over. Peter Weber

2:05 a.m. ET
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Emma Watson made a statement on the Met Gala red carpet: Fashion can be both elegant and sustainable.

Watson was participating in the Green Carpet Challenge, and on Instagram, her stylist, Sarah Slutsky, explained that the five piece look crafted by Calvin Klein was created "from three fabrics woven from yarns all made from recycled plastic bottles. Plastic is one of the biggest pollutants — being able to turn this waste into a high quality material is a real success story."

Slutsky said the outfit was designed so it could be repurposed into several different ensembles — the pants can be worn on their own, and the train can be used again for another red carpet event. The zippers were made out of other recycled materials and the inner bustier was created using organic cotton, The Telegraph reports. Catherine Garcia

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