Numbers released this week revealed that a record-breaking number of American households are living below the poverty line. The poverty rate spiked to about 15%, or 46.2 million people nationwide- the highest amount since The Census Bureau began collecting the data 52 years ago. Minorities were hit even harder, and the numbers don’t take into account the millions and millions who are struggling just above the poverty line. Let’s hope the too-quickly rising rate reverses soon.
Iran announced they would release and pardon the two American hikers who were being held since they accidentally crossed over the border from Iraq in 2009. The two (pretty cute…) men, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, had previously been sentenced to 8 years in prison for what they claimed was an innocent mistake, but what Iran claimed was intentional spying. President Ahmadinejad called the move a “humanitarian gesture” out of the goodness of his heart, but there are some other theories floating around about why he really decided to release them. Some say he might be hoping for PR before his upcoming visit to the United Nations, others think they might’ve never planned on keeping the prisoners for 8 years at all. Either way, the two fine fellas will be returning stateside soon.
Netflix‘ stock value dipped sharply this week, after more and more subscribers dropped their memberships due to a summer price hike. A combo plan that allows customers to receive one DVD by mail and stream any available shows or movies jumped $6 a month, or $72 a year. That increase, which Netflix bet would have little or no effect, has led to an expected 590,000 cancelled subscriptions by the end of the quarter. The last time they ended a quarter with fewer subscribers than when they started was in 2007, and back then it was only a 55,000-member drop. In response to the mass Netflix exodus, the company has split in two. Netflix will be a streaming-only company, while the new start-up Qwikster will be a DVD-by-mail service.
Pic o’ the Week:
(AP / Ward Howes)
Thousands of visitors to an airshow this Friday watched in horror as a World War II fighter plane took a nosedive into the crowd, killing the pilot and 8 others. 96 others were treated for injuries at the hospital.