WQAD News

The only snowmobile rescue team in Illinois is in Knox County

GALESBURG, Illinois-- It's no secret most drivers around the Quad Cities don't look forward to traveling in the snow, but there's a group in Knox County who can't get enough of it, the Knox County Snowmobile Search and Rescue team.

Once it's in your blood, you can't get it out.

"My dad had the concept of this snowmobile search and rescue team. Oh yeah, we're snowmobile junkies," says director Pat Hennenfent.

Now this band of brothers uses their need for speed to help others.

They're the only snowmobile rescue team in the state.

"It's imperative people know what we're capable of and they remember to call us," says Hennenfent.

When bad weather hits and people get stranded, 9-1-1 dispatchers call these guys.

"Our job is to get paramedics to the scene," says Hennenfent.

Hennenfent and 30 other members of his team are called out on their snowmobiles. The teams have a "rescue boggen" that's filled with all the medical supplies they need. It can also be used to carry victims to safety.

This year alone they've responded to about 150 calls for help. Tasks can be as simple as bringing stranded drivers water or blankets or saving someone's life.

"In the recent snow, we did have a heart attack victim, and they could not get within 5 miles of him," says Hennenfent. "His daughters were with him, and they didn't know what to do. We're glad to say he survived."

The team trains once a month, and coming up on January 27, 2019, they will have a search and rescue demonstration for all local law enforcement to attend to learn more about this volunteer service.

"To serve others doing something you enjoy, that's pretty cool," says Hennenfent.

British lawmakers crush Theresa May’s Brexit deal by record margin

(CNN) — British lawmakers have soundly rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal, in the biggest defeat for any UK government in the modern parliamentary era.

After 200 speeches across eight days of debate, members of the House of Commons ignored the Prime Minister’s final pleas and threw out the deal by 432 votes to 202.

The result — the worst defeat for a British government since 1924 — means the Prime Minister now faces a deep political crisis, with no clear path out of the mess.

Acknowledging the scale of the defeat, May said her government would give time for MPs to debate a motion of no-confidence.

Speaking moments after May’s humiliating loss, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the defeat “catastrophic” and confirmed he would trigger a no-confidence vote. It would allow the House of Commons to “give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government,” he said.

May now has 24 hours to save her government. If she loses the vote, it makes a general election more likely.

“The government has heard what the House has said tonight, but I ask members on all sides of the house to listen to the British people, who want this issue settled, and to work with the government to do just that,” May told lawmakers.

Notwithstading the confidence vote, the Prime Minister now has three days to set out Plan B. In the coming days, she’s expected to meet European leaders in Brussels to seek further concessions. During her speech after the vote, May also offered cross-party talks with lawmakers as an attempt to try and figure out a way forward.

“Every day that passes without this issue being resolved means more uncertainty, more bitterness and more rancor,” May said.

European response

Moments after the vote, European Council President Donald Tusk demanded the UK “clarify its intentions” on its plan “as soon as possible.”

In a statement, Tusk said: “We will continue our preparations for all outcomes, including a no-deal scenario. The risk of a disorderly exit has increased with this vote and, while we do not want this to happen, we will be prepared for it.”

In a tweet, Tusk also pointed out that the UK could unilaterally withdraw its notification to leave the EU: “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?”

President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, also warned of the ticking clock. “I take note with regret of the outcome of the vote in the House of Commons this evening. I urge the UK to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up,” Juncker wrote.

How the UK got here

Tuesday night’s vote was the product of more than two and a half years of negotiations, after 51.9% of British people voted to leave the EU in 2016. And with just 73 days left before the country is due to leave the EU, the UK is no closer to knowing will happen post-March 29.

Inconveniently for May, untangling a 45-year marriage was not as easy as some Brexiteers claimed it would be. Particularly when it comes to the contentious Irish backstop — an insurance policy to prevent a hard border in Ireland — which has been a thorn in the side of May’s deal.

May’s defeat seemed inevitable since she secured the withdrawal agreement in Brussels in November. Lawmakers were supposed to vote on her deal in December but the process was thrown into disarray after May pulled the plug on the parliamentary vote and delayed it until now. She admitted her decision to delay it in December was made after it became clear she would lose it “by a significant margin.”

May’s biggest challenge came from hardline pro-Brexit lawmakers within her own Conservative party — their opposition to what they see as an overly soft exit has dogged her deal from the start.

Going forward, possible scenarios for the UK include an attempted (but probably doomed) renegotiation with the EU by May, extending the article 50 process, a collapse of the Conservative government and a general election, a change of prime minister, a second EU referendum, scrapping Brexit altogether, or crashing out of the EU with a no-deal.

Man filmed punching 11-year-old girl outside mall facing charges

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A 51-year-old man is accused of pushing and punching an 11-year-old girl outside a North Carolina shopping mall.

The Asheville Citizen Times reported that David Steven Bell, of Black Mountain, was caught on video assaulting the victim Saturday outside the Asheville Mall.

Bell was arrested by an off-duty officer and charged with assault on a child under the age of 12, a misdemeanor offense.

He was also charged with two other counts of assault on a female after two 13-year-old girls also said Bell pushed them.

Bell is listed in an incident report as standing 6-feet-5 and weighing 250 pounds. Video of the assault was shared widely on social media.

Some people online came to the suspect’s defense, saying he was responding to a threat after being pushed. The exact circumstances of what led up to the assault remain uncertain. Bell has not responded to the paper's request for a comment.

1,500 GoFundMe pages have been set up by furloughed government employees looking for help

(CNN) — The pleas on GoFundMe come from people across all walks of life. A single mom. A librarian. A Border Patrol agent. Even an artist.

But their stories all have something in common: They reveal the human toll of the partial government shutdown that’s now the longest in US history.

In recent days more than 1,500 campaigns have been set up on the crowdfunding site by furloughed government employees looking for help, GoFundMe spokeswoman Katherine Cichy told CNN. Together, the campaigns so far have raised more than $300,000.

Many of the campaigns started popping up in early January, after it became clear that federal workers affected by the shutdown might start missing paychecks.

People are asking for help to pay their rent or mortgage, to buy food or even purchase diapers for their infant children.

‘We’re just surviving’

Anna Cory, a furloughed research librarian for the Environmental Protection Agency, said the shutdown has caused financial difficulties that make her feel like her life is in limbo.

“It is difficult. I was just recently engaged on January 2. My fiance and I were planning to buy a house,” she told CNN. “Just recently we started house shopping. But we’ve put that on hold because the bank does not take a friendly eye to seeing a zero on one’s pay stub.”

The North Carolina woman hopes to use the money from her GoFundMe campaign to buy gas and groceries.

She also started a “government shutdown online yard sale” on her Facebook page to raise funds.

“So right now we’re just surviving. We’re not thriving,” Cory said. “We’re not joining the middle class and achieving our dream of home ownership or moving forward with wedding planning because it’s an uncertain situation.”

So how does GoFundMe guard against fraud? Emergencies like this bring out the generosity in people, which in turn attracts scammers off all kinds.

Cichy said GoFundMe has put together a special team to monitor and vet campaigns set up by federal workers.

“We have a dedicated Trust and Safety team reviewing all campaigns related to the government shutdown,” she said. “We deploy proprietary technical tools and have multiple processes in place to verify the identity of campaign organizers and the beneficiary of the campaign. Before money is transferred, an individual’s information, including their banking information, must be verified by our payment processor.”

Cichy said the platform is also backed by a GoFundMe Guarantee, which promises that funds go to the right place or donors will get a refund.

‘I am my family’s only source of income’

The reasons why federal workers are setting up GoFundMe campaigns are as varied as the people behind them.

Jo Ann Goodlow of Phoenix, Arizona, said she needs funds to support her three children, including two young relatives she adopted.

“I adopted them to give them a better life that their biological parents couldn’t provide. Now I feel like I’m failing them because the stable home that I have provided for them is now at risk,” she said on her campaign page.

Nafis White is an artist who was supposed to be taking part in a National Parks Service artist-in-residency program at a historic site this month in New Bedford, Massachusetts, but it was put on hold after the shutdown began. She’s asking for $3,000, which is a little more than the monthly stipend the residency would have covered.

“Excited to begin in January, I was horrified along with the hundreds of thousands of people impacted upon learning that the shutdown was to commence,” she said on her campaign page. “All National Park Artist residencies have been halted, and this unexpected situation is proving to be financially challenging for me, as it is for all government employees and adjacent workers.”

White said she’s getting by right now with the help of family and friends. For now she’s staying in a “humble” apartment and has converted one room into a art studio to continue her work. She says it’s very important that she reach the financial goal for her campaign.

“So far, thankfully I have the support of enough great people that I will be able to keep my housing for February, buy groceries and pay some bills,” she told CNN. “Reaching my goal means that I will be able to survive through March at a very basic level of subsistence. Not making that goal means I could potentially lose my housing, get behind in bill payments and become food insecure.”

Kevin Garfinkle of Pembroke Pines, Florida, works for the TSA. He’s seeking money to get the basics for his young family, like diapers.

“I am my family’s only source of income and due to the partial government shutdown I will not be receiving a paycheck until the government reopens, which means bills will go unpaid but more so than that I will be unable to buy groceries or diapers for my family,” he said on his page, which includes a photo of two young children. “This is not something I ask lightly.”

The federal employees on GoFundMe have something else in common: The main thing they all want is for the government shutdown to end.

“We just want to get back to work,” Cory said.

Traffic at I-74 and I-80 westbound down to one lane

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — Traffic is down to one lane where Interstate 74 merges into westbound Interstate 80.

Traffic cameras showed multiple emergency vehicles on scene around 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15.

A passerby told WQAD News 8 that it appeared a vehicle had crashed through the guardrail.

Dozens of vehicles towed in Davenport during snow emergency

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Dozens of vehicles were towed off snow routes overnight after the city declared a second snow emergency.

More than 70 cars were towed between Monday and Tuesday, January 14th and 15th.  They were towed because they were in the way of plows working to clear the streets.

Drivers were allowed to park for free in the city’s ramps beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday until 7 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the city.

All the cars towed were taken to Fred's Towing in west Davenport.

Family warns against ‘puffing’ after truck stolen with dogs inside

AURORA, Colo. – A Colorado family is warning others of the dangers of "puffing" after their truck was stolen with their two dogs inside.

While illegal in most cities, puffing is common across Colorado in winter months, as people leave cars running unattended to get them warm on cold mornings.

Wednesday morning, Manny Sandoval says he put his dogs in the back of his truck near Tower Road and Interstate 70 in Aurora, then ran back inside his house to get his lunch. When he came back out, the truck was gone.

"Not even 60 seconds later, the truck was gone," Sandoval says. "I would never think it would happen to me."

Police recovered the truck later Wednesday at a nearby school, stripped clean of its tires and rims. Betty and Bubbles, Sandoval's chihuahuas, were still in the backseat.

"I felt joy, honestly, a lot of joy, because you can't replace the animals," says Sandoval. "The whole truck was dismantled, but I got my dogs back. The material things can be replaced, but unconditional love with an animal or a child can't be replaced."

The Aurora Police Department says thefts involving puffers are relatively common in winter months.

In 2018, 217 cars were reported stolen while puffing, accounting for more than 10 percent of Aurora's total number of stolen cars.

"You might not think it will happen to you, but that's how I felt, and then it happened to me," says Sandoval.

As he waits for his car to be repaired, he's hoping his story can be a lesson to others.

"Don't leave your car on. If you are, get an auto start so you can control your vehicle and not leave it unattended," says Sandoval, referring to systems that enable car owners to start their vehicle from afar while it remains locked.

Police continue searching for whoever is responsible for the theft.

"Honestly, I don't really care what happens to that person. Karma always comes back," says Sandoval. "I got my animals, and that's all I really care about."

Boy bravely battled terminal cancer so he could meet newborn sister

Bristol, England — Bailey Cooper was such a brave, strong and determined little boy.

Bailey fought back against terminal cancer so that he could meet his newborn sister, according to TODAY. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2016 when he was just eight years old.

The family, who is from the United Kingdom, learned shortly after his diagnosis that mom Rachel was pregnant.

Bailey’s dad, Lee, told TODAY Parents that Bailey was “absolutely over the moon” when he learned a baby was on the way; he was even more excited when he learned it was going to be a little girl.

Then, devastating news. The family had to tell Bailey after his second relapse that he was not going to survive the cancer.  “One of the first things he asked was if he was going to meet his baby sister before going to heaven.”

Bailey survived to meet his new baby sister, sweet Millie, who was born in November of 2017.

Lee Cooper said Bailey “did everything he set out to do in meeting his sister.” He told TODAY that Bailey fed Millie, bathed her, changed her, and sang to her.

Bailey passed away a few weeks after his sister’s birth at nine years old. The Coopers told TODAY they will always keep Bailey’s memory alive for both Millie and older brother, Riley.

Netflix raising all subscription prices

Netflix is raising prices in the United States as the streaming service invests heavily in new programs.

All three of the company’s plans will increase in price by $1-$2. The standard $11 plan, for example, will increase to $13 per month.

The price hikes will be applied to all existing members over the next few months. New members will be charged the new price immediately.

Netflix stock spiked 6% at market open.

Watch: Closing statements made in Jason Roberts murder trial

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Testimony started January 9, 2019, in a Davenport murder case. Deondra Thomas, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jason Roberts.

Police responded to a call on June 9th, 2018,  just after 2 a.m., where they found Jason Blair Roberts suffering from life-threatening injuries. He had been shot three times.  He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

His family said he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Testimony lasted through Tuesday, January 15.  Closing statements followed.

Click here to see full coverage of the case.

Listen to the prosecution's closing statement:

Can't see the stream? Tap here.

Listen to the defense's closing statement:

Can't see the stream? Tap here

Iowa State Police squad collides with car at Northwest Boulevard and I-80

An Iowa Sate Police squad car was involved in a crash with another Tuesday morning, January 15.

According to a spokesperson with the department, a trooper was driving through the intersection of Northwest Boulevard at the exit ramp from Interstate 80 when the crash happened.

There were no injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

Two weather systems still on track later this week… I still see snow for both

Clouds we’ve been seeing throughout the day will continue overnight along with the possibility of drizzle to freezing drizzle in spots.  Untreated road surfaces and sidewalks will be slick in spots as temperatures drop in the 20s.

Clouds will linger through your Wednesday morning before we see some filtered sun later in the day and highs around 30.

After Wednesday is when we’ll be tracking a couple of weather systems in the days ahead with the first arriving late that night into Thursday morning.  This will feature a brief light mix well after midnight Thursday before changing to a light snow near dawn that day.  Could see some light accumulation with this system.

We’ll see a pause between systems later Thursday into Friday before it gets very active once again heading into the weekend.  This will feature some accumulating snow followed by some blowing and drifting Friday night into Saturday.  Too early on amounts but its safe to say the shovel will come in handy once again.

Behind this storm system comes the seasons coldest air that night into Sunday with wind chills well below zero and daytime highs on Sunday only in the single digits!

Chief meteorologist  James Zahara

Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Iowa governor wants convicted felons to be able to vote again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is proposing the Legislature pass a constitutional amendment that would no longer allow the state to strip convicted felons of their right to vote.

Iowa is one of two states with significant barriers to felons regaining voting rights. Reynolds says Iowans believe in the power of redemption and should have the option to vote on this change.

As it stands currently, anyone with a felony conviction in their background may be prevented from voting, explains the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.  There is an process, however, that would allow a convicted felon to apply to regain their right to vote.  That process requires the governor’s approval.

The proposal was made Tuesday, January 15 as part of Reynolds’ Condition of the State address to lawmakers.

Reynolds also called for a constitutional amendment that would enshrine victims’ rights in the Iowa Constitution. It could include guaranteeing victims would be notified of the release or escape of the accused.

Reynolds’ budget request includes $93 million more in funding for education, $20 million for her Future Ready Iowa jobs training program, additional money for children’s mental health, state universities and funding for rural broadband and housing programs.

Hope Creek Care Center advisory board president resigns, wants board dissolved

EAST MOLINE, Illinois — The president of Hope Creek Care Center’s advisory board resigned on Jan. 15 with a message – dissolve the board.

President Jessey Hullon told News 8 the board is not effective. He said the responsibilities of the board should be returned to elected officials on the Rock Island County Board.

“It was a pleasure to serve the citizens of Rock Island County and the great employees of this outstanding facility,” Hullon wrote in an email. “Please accept this email as a letter of my resignation.”

The advisory board was created in 2016.

[Photos] Captain’s Table restaurant plans redesigned from 2-story to 1-story

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MOLINE, Illinois — The owner of the Captain’s Table is restructuring the restaurant’s design, forced to change the plans for its rebuild from a two-story to a one-story.

The Captain’s Table was destroyed in a fire in January of 2018.  Since then, General Manager Robert Egger has been pushing for a rebuild.

Renderings for a new design were released in April of 2018.  The two-story structure was going to have a lounge, multiple patios, a fire pit, observation deck, a room for private parties and waiting area.

Click here to see what the original designs looked like. 

After review of the plans, Egger said they had to make a lighter structure, because a study showed that the soil in the area was not going to hold all that weight.

With the old plan scrapped, the new plan, as of January 15, 2019, was to build a one-story structure that’s 120-feet by 50-feet.  The building would have a 120-foot-long deck.  Egger said every table would have a view of the river.

Moline’s City Council was set to talk about the plans at their meeting Tuesday evening, January 15.  The council approved $800,000 in funding for the project back in August.

Project leaders will be looking for a contractor to bid on the construction in February.

Madison Keys advances to 2nd round of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Rock Island native and professional tennis player Madison Keys is competing in the Australian Open.

Keys advanced through the first round after defeating Destanee Aiava on Tuesday, January 15.  She was set to match up against Anastasia Potapova on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old is seeded No. 17 in the open.

Click here to follow the Australian Open results live. 

China might just have grown the first plant ever on the moon

THE MOON — Cotton seeds carried to the moon by a Chinese probe have sprouted, marking what could be the first plant to ever grow there, according to Chinese government images.

In making the announcement Tuesday, Chinese researchers released pictures from the probe showing the tiny plant growing in a small pot inside the spacecraft, hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from the Earth.

First in human history: A cotton seed brought to the moon by China's Chang'e 4 probe has sprouted, the latest test photo has shown, marking the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the moon pic.twitter.com/CSSbgEoZmC

— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) January 15, 2019

China became the first country to land a probe on the far side of the moon on January 3 when a rover named Yutu 2, or Jade Rabbit 2, touched down in the moon’s largest and oldest impact crater, the South Pole-Aitken Basin.

The mission, titled Chang’e 4, is intended to accomplish a range of tasks, including conducting the first lunar low-frequency radio astronomy experiment and exploring whether there is water at the moon’s poles.

Another purpose of the mission was to test whether plants could grow in a low-gravity environment, a test which appears to have already yielded results.

The system started to water the seedlings after the probe landed and less than a week later a green shoot had already appeared.

While human beings have grown plants in space before, they’ve never attempted to grown one on the moon.

Xie Gengxin, dean of Institute of Advanced Technology at Chongqing University, and the chief designer of the experiment, praised the achievement on the university’s blog.

“This (mission) has achieved the first biological experiment on the moon of human history, to sprout the first bud on the desolate moon. And with time moving on, it’ll be the first plant with green leaves on the moon,” Xie said.

Chinese scientists are also attempting to grow seeds from rapeseed, potato and mouse-ear cress, and are trying to hatch fruit fly eggs.

According to the university’s blog, the experiment will show how life develops in low gravity and strong radiation environments. It could even help provide a blueprint for growing resources during a future moon colony established by humans.

China’s ambitions for space and lunar exploration aren’t limited to the current mission. On Monday, China’s space agency announced the Chang’e 5 lunar mission would launch by the end of the year with a goal to bring moon samples back to Earth.

The country’s first mission to Mars is scheduled for around 2020, Wu Yanhua, deputy head of China National Space Administration, said at a news conference in Beijing Monday.

Listen: Radio conversation illustrates I-74 crash that injures sheriff deputy, totals squad car

PEORIA COUNTY -- One Peoria County Sheriff Deputy is injured and at least one patrol car is totaled after a semi crashed into the officer's vehicle on I-74.

The accident on January 15 was recorded through radio communication between Sheriff Deputy Polhemus and a dispatcher. The call comes in at 21:10 in the recording. Most of the conversation happens within four minutes.

https://localtvwqad.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/peoria-sheriff-deputy.mp3

(Audio file courtesy of broadcastify.com)

In the recording, you can hear Deputy Polhemus calling for help after he said his car and an Illinois State Trooper's car was hit by a semi-truck.

"The semi hit... my car and a trooper's vehicle. We need it shut down immediately," Deputy Polhemus said, referring to the interstate.

When the dispatcher asked if he needed EMS, or Emergency Medical Services, he said yes.

"I may have broken my leg, I don't know," Polhemus said.

A Facebook post from the Peoria County Sheriff's Office shows the totaled deputy's cruiser.

The sheriff's office said the Illinois State Police was handling the incident. The deputy suffered minor injuries.

Watch: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds gives 2019 Condition of the State address

DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds gave the “Condition of the State” address on Tuesday, January 15.

Governor Reynolds started her address by thanking the men and women who serve in military, law enforcement and first responders.  She continued on to praise Clinton firefighters Lt. Eric Hosette and Adam Cain.  Both were battling a fire in early January; Lt. Hosette lost his life and Cain was critically injured.

“For these men and women, service isn’t just part of their job,” said Governor Reynolds, “it’s who they are, whether the uniform is on or off.”

She continued on to speak of the natural disasters that hit the state in 2018 and how the state responded.

“Whether it was cleaning up after a flood or a tornado, looking for a missing loved one, or bringing in a harvest after a tragedy, Iowans showed up,” she said.

Future Ready Iowa, which is a campaign aimed at preparing Iowans for “dynamic careers and lifelong learning,” she explained.  She said summits promoting the campaign have been held across the state.  These prompted action from North Scott’s superintendent to create a program for advanced manufacturing.  She said Fareway also started a program that helps students pay down loan debt.

Netflix is raising its prices to 58 million US subscribers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is raising its U.S. prices by 13 percent to 18 percent, its biggest increase since the company launched its streaming service 12 years ago.

Its most popular plan will see the largest hike, to $13 per month from $11. That option offers high-definition streaming on up to two different internet-connected devices simultaneously. Even at the higher price, that plan is still a few dollars cheaper than HBO, whose streaming service charges $15 per month.

The extra cash will help to pay for Netflix’s huge investment in original shows and films and finance the heavy debt it has assumed to ward off rivals such as Amazon, Disney and AT&T.

Read More: Everything coming to, and leaving Netflix in January 2019

This marks the fourth time that Netflix has raised its U.S. prices; the last hike came in late 2017 . But this is the first time that higher prices will hit all 58 million U.S. subscribers, the number Netflix reported at the end of September.

Previously, Netflix had continued to offer a basic, $8-a-month streaming plan while raising rates on more comprehensive plans with better video quality and options to watch simultaneously on different devices.

This time, the price for the cheapest plan is going up to $9 per month. A premium plan offering ultra-high definition will jump to $16 per month from $14.

The new prices will immediately affect all new subscribers and then roll out to existing customers during the next three months. Customers in about 40 Latin America countries where Netflix bills in U.S. currency will also be affected, excepting key international markets such as Mexico and Brazil.

With Apple also widely expected to join the video-streaming fray, the competition for programming is enabling top directors, writers and actors to charge more for their talents. That has intensified financial pressure on Netflix, which hasn’t been bringing in enough money to pay for all its programming and other business expenses.

The company burned through about $3 billion last year and is expecting to do so again this year. To offset the negative cash flow, Netflix has been borrowing heavily to pay for programming. The Los Gatos, California, company had accumulated nearly $12 billion in debt before borrowing another $2 billion in an October bond offering.

Concerns about the stiffening competition and Netflix’s ability to sustain its current leadership in video streaming has caused the company’s stock price to slide by 21 percent from its peak of $423.21 reached last June. The shares stood at $332.94 heading into Tuesday’s trading session.

Netflix had nearly 79 million subscribers outside the U.S. as of September.

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