VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
CHARGING NETFLIX AT ISSUE IN OPEN-INTERNET CASE
NEW YORK (AP) -- Will broadband providers start charging Internet services such as Netflix to deliver the massive amounts of data that streaming video and other content require?
A court ruling this week gives providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon more flexibility to do that, even though immediate changes are unlikely.
Technically, providers have always been allowed to charge Netflix, Google and others for priority treatment. But the so-called net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC in 2010 discouraged the practice, and any attempt to do it would likely have faced a challenge from the agency.
In striking down those rules Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit lifted any uncertainty and removed any constraints broadband providers might have felt.
Services such as Netflix already pay their broadband providers to send data from their systems. What's in question is whether they'll also have to pay their subscribers' providers for delivery of the data.
APPLE WILL REFUND AT LEAST $32.5M IN APP CASE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Apple will refund at least $32.5 million to consumers to settle a federal case involving purchases that kids made without their parents' permission while playing on mobile apps, the government announced Wednesday.
The Federal Trade Commission said Apple will make full refunds for any such in-app purchases made by kids using mobile phones and other devices, and incurring charges by accident or without parents' permission.
Apple will have to change its billing practices to make it more obvious that an actual purchase is taking place during the course of the game or app.
The commission said it had received tens of thousands of complaints about unauthorized charges.
Edith Ramirez, the agency's head, said the settlement involves mobile apps and charges racked up when kids bought things such as virtual currency or dragon food. In some cases, Ramirez said, charges ran into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
BUDGET DEAL EXPANDS SOME EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tens of thousands more American babies, toddlers and preschoolers would be eligible for early childhood programs under a budget deal reached by lawmakers that advocates hailed as an encouraging sign that Congress is committed to early education programs.
They are hopeful the next step will be the icing on the cake in early childhood education: Passage of universal preschool for 4-year-olds.
There are still a lot of hurdles.
The budget deal restores funds cut from Head Start programs that provide educational services to low-income students. The funds were removed under across-the-board budget cuts last year, and an estimated 57,000 children lost access to Head Start programs, according to the National Head Start Association.
The new budget deal includes $8.6 billion for Head Start programs - a $1 billion increase from 2013 that would expand Head Start to 90,000 new kids, according to the office of Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
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