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POSTED December 10, 2012 9:27 p.m.

NEW DIRECTV CUSTOMERS TO PAY $3 A MONTH FOR SPORTS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — DirecTV has started charging new customers $3 more per month if they want a package that includes multiple regional sports networks.

The charge went into effect nationally with little fanfare in September, a couple months before DirecTV agreed to pay more for new sports channels provided by competitor Time Warner Cable Inc. that have exclusive coverage of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Time Warner Cable had asked nearly $4 per month per subscriber for the channels.

DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer says the surcharge is a way for DirectTV to recover some, if not all, of the costs of sports in certain markets.

POLICE: APPLE MAPS STRANDING DRIVERS IN AUSTRALIA: SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police are warning that Apple's much-maligned mapping application is stranding drivers headed to the southern city of Mildura in the middle of a remote state park.

Victoria state police said Tuesday that an error in Apple's Maps service places the city of Mildura about 70 kilomters (44 miles) away in the Murray Sunset National Park. The park is a desert-like 5,000-square-kilometer (1,900-square-mile) region with scorching temperatures and virtually no mobile phone reception.

Police have been forced to rescue distressed drivers. Some were stranded for 24 hours with no food or water and have walked long distances through tough terrain to access phone reception.

 

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