Google unveils $10-a-month 'All Access' music plan
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google on Wednesday launched a subscription-based music service, allowing users of Android phones and tablets to listen to their favorite songs and artists for a monthly fee.
The streaming service, called All Access, is available in the U.S. for $9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial. It will be available in other countries later. For those who start the trial by June 30, the monthly fee is $7.99.
All Access will be competing with Spotify, Rhapsody, Pandora and other popular music services. Apple, the biggest seller of online music, does not have a subscription-based service.
Google Inc. announced the music service along with expansions to its game services and tools for coders at its annual software developers' conference in San Francisco.
Eurozone recession is now longest in currency bloc
PARIS (AP) — The eurozone is now in its longest ever recession — a stubborn slump that has surpassed even the calamity that hit the region in the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
The European Union statistics office said Wednesday that nine of the 17 EU countries that use the euro are in recession, with France a notable addition to the list. Overall the eurozone's economy contracted for the sixth straight quarter, shrinking by 0.2 percent in the January-March period from the previous three months.
Though the contraction is an improvement on the previous quarter's 0.6 percent decline, it's another unwelcome report for the single-currency bloc as it grapples with a debt crisis that has prompted governments to slash spending and raise taxes.
US wholesale prices fall 0.7 percent, most in 3 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sharp drops in fuel and food costs reduced a measure of U.S. wholesale prices in April by the most in three years. Outside those volatile categories, inflation stayed tame.
The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in April from March, the Labor Department said Wednesday. It was the second straight monthly decline and the steepest since February 2010.
Lower inflation means the Federal Reserve has more leeway to continue its aggressive policies to boost economic growth. If there were signs that inflation was picking up, the Fed might be forced to raise interest rates.
AP Exclusive: Health reforms penalize some Native Americans
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When Liz DeRouen needs any kind of health care services, from diabetes counseling to a dental cleaning, she checks into a government-funded clinic in Northern California's wine country that covers all her medical needs.
Her care and the medical services for her children and grandchildren are paid for as part of the government's treaty obligations to American Indian tribes dating back nearly a century. But under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, DeRouen and tens of thousands of others who identify themselves as Native Americans will face a new reality.
They will have to buy their own health insurance policies or pay a $695 fine from the Internal Revenue Service unless they can prove that they are "Indian enough" to claim one of the few exemptions allowed under the Affordable Care Act's mandate that all Americans carry insurance.
US factory output falls 0.4 percent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturers cut back on production in April, as auto companies cranked out fewer cars, factories made fewer consumer goods and most other industries reduced output. The weakness suggests economic growth may be slowing.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory output dropped 0.4 percent in April, the third decline in four months.
Production of autos and auto parts fell 1.3 percent in April. The drop is likely temporary because automakers are reporting stronger sales.
US homebuilder confidence rises in May from April
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rebounded this month, reflecting improved sales trends during the spring home-selling season and the strongest outlook for sales over the next six months in more than six years.
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