Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, July 18

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Netflix is losing viewers in the United States for the first time in nearly a decade. Read on to see why the company’s CEO is welcoming competition from new streaming networks.

The man behind the viral “Storm Area 51” event, who claimed it was supposed to be a joke, is speaking out for the first time.

And a young boy’s roadside drink stand attracted attention from law enforcement. Check out the sign that had drivers curious and officers laughing.

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.


TOP STORY: Netflix Lost Subscribers For the First Time in Nearly a Decade

Bring on the streaming wars! That was the message from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings hours after revealing that the company had recently lost 130,000 subscribers in the United States. That’s the first time since 2011 that Netflix has lost more paid accounts than it gained. The company had also expected to gain about 5 million global subscribers between April and June but added only about half of that. The news caused Netflix stock to drop in value.

In a 12-page letter to stockholders, which you can read in full here, Hastings blamed the less-than-stellar report on customer price increases. He referenced the fact that Netflix will soon lose some of its most popular shows, such as the Office and Friends, as a positive thing. He said it means Netflix will be able to focus more of its budget on producing original programming.

Hastings added that he’s not overly worried about competition from new streaming services soon to come from Disney, Apple, WarnerMedia, and NBCU. He says the attention on streaming, and away from traditional TV, benefits all of the streaming services, as well as consumers.

As for whether Netflix plans to add advertisements, Hastings said that is definitively not happening. “We believe we will have a more valuable business in the long term by staying out of competing for ad revenue and instead entirely focusing on competing for viewer satisfaction.”


WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: The Man Who Started the ‘Storm Area 51’ Facebook Event Revealed Himself

KLAS-TVMatty Roberts

Matty Roberts is the man behind the “Storm Area 51” event that has the entire nation buzzing. Roberts revealed his identity in an interview with CBS affiliate KLAS-TV in Las Vegas.

Roberts told the reporter that when he created the Facebook event, he truly meant it as a joke. He described its virality as “pretty wild.” More than 1.6 million people signed up to go, and another 1.2 million clicked “interested.” Roberts said he agreed to come forward because he was concerned that the “FBI is going to show up at my house.”

The remote Air Force facility known as Area 51, located in the Nevada desert, has long attracted curiosity. The legend is that the military is hiding alien technology there. The plan Roberts laid out on Facebook was for a massive crowd to storm the facility on September 20 at 3am. Again, Roberts said it was all a joke. But hotels and camping sites in the area are selling out for that date.

The Air Force is warning people not to go through with this idea. A spokeswoman warned that “any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous.”


OFF-BEAT: Virginia Woman Was Infected With a Flesh-Eating Bacteria After Just 10 Minutes in the Water

Virginia woman Amanda Edwards is happy to have her leg, and her life, after she was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria. She told WTKR-TV that she spent only about 10 minutes in the water at Ocean View Beach in Norfolk.

But she had an open cut on her leg, and it got infected. Edwards explained that she went to the hospital after she began struggling to walk. She ended up needing emergency surgery to drain the infection and has to stay on antibiotics for a few weeks.

Edwards said she hopes her experience is a lesson to other beachgoers. There was a swimming advisory for Ocean View Beach at the time due to increased bacteria levels. But Edwards said there were not any signs posted at the beach. “Please check the news and make sure there is not an advisory out.”


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CHECK THIS OUT: Young Boy’s Creative Marketing Strategy Attracted Police Attention

A young boy named Seth has a booming business near his home in Brigham City, Utah, thanks to his creative marketing strategy. The 11-year-old made a sign with the words “Ice Cold Beer” written in large font.

Some people driving by were alarmed seeing the sign and alerted the local police department. But when officers came to check out Seth’s table, they found him selling root beer! The sign actually included the word “root” above the word “beer,” just in small font.

Seth told KSTU-TV he came up with the idea for the sign himself and thought customers would find it funny. He told the TV station, “The people who called the cops on me don’t have a sense of humor.” The officers agreed that it was hilarious and shared pictures with Seth to the department’s Facebook page.

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