Spotify, the music streaming service, announced it will allow anyone on an Android or iOS device to use its app free of charge, starting immediately. The service lets listeners pick and choose songs, and is hoping the move will expand its user base.
The company also announced that it’s adding 20 new countries to its roster. Spotify will now reach 55 global markets. Spotify currently has about 24 million active users and 6 million paying subscribers. Its competitor Pandora has about 72 million active listeners.
NPR’s Frank Langfitt brings Here & Nowan audio postcard from the streets of Shanghai.
Last week, the smog in Shanghai, China, reached hazardous levels. On Friday, smog set records in Shanghai. The Air Quality Index soared over 600, which is officially “beyond index,” or off-the-charts awful.
And on Saturday morning, there was essentially a smog white-out, according to Langfitt. Visibility was down to about 40 feet.
About a quarter of all the coal the U.S. exports goes to Asian markets. To meet the demand, there are plans to build what would be the largest coal terminal in North America at a place called Cheery Point in the far northwestern corner of Washington state.
In the early 1980s, Nelson Mandela’s name was virtually unknown in the United States. In fact, it was Steve Biko, who died in police custody in South Africa in 1977, who first put the struggles of black South Africans into public consciousness in the U.S.
Peter Gabriel’s song “Biko” was written in 1980, the same year the United Nations established a cultural boycott of the country, and was among the first of the songs that catapulted the plight of apartheid onto the musical airwaves.
Residents of Newtown, Conn., have decided against a public commemoration to mark the first anniversary this coming Saturday of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six educators dead.
Instead, the town is endorsing a “year of service” and is asking residents to put a candle in their window on Dec. 14, the day of the shooting, to show their commitment to the idea of service to each other.
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are praising Japan for making progress to stabilize the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, which was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami nearly three years ago.
This week, the IAEA inspectors wrapped up a 10-day inspection of the plant, where the decommissioning process started a few weeks ago.
Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson gets the latest from BBC Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes.
Congressional budget committee leaders are working to pull together a budget deal by the end of next week. Republic Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray are reportedly discussing how to increase revenue without raising taxes.
A main provision of the agreement would be a partial easing of the next two spending sequesters. It was only in October that a deadlock over federal spending led to the first government shutdown in 17 years.