NPR's business news starts with the rising cost of Netflix.
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MONTAGNE: The online video provider will raise the price of its subscriptions by one or two dollars over the next few months. This only affects new subscribers for now. Current subscribers won't see a rate hike for at least a year.
CEO Reed Hastings says the higher fees will increase the number of TV shows and movies Netflix offers and improve video streaming. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Stop the presses, as they used to say before news was spread by Twitter. You will not be making drinks with powdered alcohol yet. We reported yesterday on plans to sell Palcohol mixed drinks to which, like lemonade, you just add water. Now federal regulators say stop, they were wrong to say Palcohol was ready for market. A federal approval for the label was given in error. The company must have a drink and start again.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:42 am
Bruce Springsteen may have been ahead of his times with his song "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)," released in 1992. These days there are hundreds of channels, and whether you like it or not, you get most of them in your basic cable package. On Tuesday, that economic model is being challenged in the Supreme Court in a high-stakes legal battle between the broadcast television networks and a tiny startup, or at least tiny by broadcast standards.
The issues focus on copyright law, but the outcome could alter the face of broadcasting in the United States.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 5:06 pm
There is love. And then there's albatross love.
In his new book, The Thing With Feathers, Noah Strycker says albatrosses have a knack for coupling. "These globe trotters, who mate for life and are incredibly faithful to their partners, just might have the most intense love affairs of any animal on our planet," he writes.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:10 pm
The narrators of Francine Prose's novel Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 are not to be trusted. In describing the life of Lou Villars, French racecar driver, cross dresser and Gestapo torturer, Prose tells a complex story about the malleability of truth when everybody is a collaborator.
In the annals of great first lines, The Noble Hustle's ranks near the top: "I have a good poker face," Colson Whitehead writes, "because I am half dead inside." Hustle is a gritty, grimly funny — and seriously self-deprecating — account of Whitehead's adventures in poker, from home games to seedy $2 tables in Atlantic City and finally a trip to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker — with a few detours for beef jerky, and a discourse on Anhedonia, his gloomy spiritual homeland.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:12 am
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday testing whether states can make it a crime to lie about candidates during an election campaign.
At issue is an Ohio law that imposes potential jail time or a fine for the first offense, and possibly loss of the right to vote for anyone convicted twice. The case before the court, however, involves not a person, but an organization.
During the 2010 midterm elections, the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List wanted to put up a billboard ad targeting then-Rep. Steven Driehaus, D-Ohio, for his vote on the Affordable Care Act.
For years, President Obama has been a vocal booster of early childhood education. In his past two State of the Union addresses, he has called on Congress to help fund preschool for every child in the country.
"Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high-quality early education," Obama told Congress in January.
The federal government spends almost $8 billion on preschool programs across the country, mostly on low income 4-year-olds. States spend billions more. But with at least 30 states planning to expand access to pre-K and President Obama promoting "preschool for all," what constitutes a quality preschool program?
Two important cases will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court today. One of them involves a high-stakes, high-tech battle that has raised the possibility of major TV networks no longer broadcasting over the air. The other case involves the future of lying in political campaigns. Here's NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.
And on his way to Asia, the president will make a stop in Washington state. There, he will view the destruction from a massive landslide north of Seattle in the town of Oso. Obama will meet with those affected by that disaster and first responders. It was a month ago that the hillside gave way and wiped out a rural neighborhood. Crews have been looking for the remains of victims ever since. The official death toll now stands at 41. NPR's Martin Kaste visited the site, and has this update.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Sometimes in the evening in Cairo, Egypt, people take a sailboat ride on the Nile. I got to do this once, Renee. It's amazing. The river cuts through the center of the city and you can see the lights of Cairo spreading along each bank. Except, of course, when the lights are out.
Millions of people know the singer Kelis for "Milkshake" - that's her hit from a decade ago. It's the sort of song that nobody really thought was about a milkshake.
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KELIS ROGERS: (Singing) My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard and their like, it's better than yours, damn right, it's better than yours. I could teach you, but I'd have to charge. My milkshake...
Since the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, more than 70 measures have gone into effect around the U.S. actually loosening restrictions on guns. And tomorrow the governor of Georgia is expected to sign a bill that will allow gung to be carried in more places. Among those against the gun bill are cities in Georgia concerned about having to spend more on security. Susanna Capelouto has this report.
INSKEEP: Actually, it's cat cafe. There's been a bit of a cat fight over which city would host the nation's first cat cafe, meaning a place where patrons can cozy up with a latte and also a feline in need of a good home and hopefully adopt that cat.
The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether to approve a powerful new prescription painkiller that's designed to relieve severe pain quickly, and with fewer side effects than other opioids.
While some pain experts say the medicine could provide a valuable alternative for some patients in intense pain, the drug (called Moxduo) is also prompting concern that it could exacerbate the epidemic of abuse of prescription painkillers and overdoses.
Joey's silky gold hair gleams in the afternoon sun. The big bundle of energy loves to cuddle. He also looks like he could lose a few pounds.
This herding dog is one of the many survival stories here at the Kabul shelter and clinic called Nowzad Dogs. The facility has rescued and treated hundreds of street animals in Afghanistan and has helped reunite hundreds of soldiers and contractors with animals they informally adopted while deployed in the country.
Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:46 am
There's growing concern that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome may have entered a new phase in the way it's spreading in Saudi Arabia.
The country has reported a sharp uptick in MERS cases over the past week. Since the deadly respiratory virus was first detected in September 2012, a total of 244 cases have been found in Saudi Arabia. About 50 of those cases were reported in the past six days.
Neighboring United Arab Emirates has also reported a rise in cases in the past week.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 8:11 am
Netflix, buoyed by its foray into original productions such as the political drama House of Cards, said Monday it has added 2.25 million new customers and plans to raise its new-subscriptions rate by $1 or $2 a month.
The video streaming service reported first quarter earnings of $53 million, or 86 cents a share. Its share price surged by 6 percent following the announcement of earnings that compared with $2.7 million in the same period a year ago.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:44 pm
If you're so inclined, and able, you could soon speak Tlingit, Inupiaq, or Siberian Yupik in Alaska with the knowledge that those and 18 other languages, including English, are officially recognized by the state. Alaska's Legislature approved a bill giving them that status Monday.