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Daily Digest: Verizon, Redbox to offer online video service, Egypt and Super Bowl XLVI

Daily Digest 02/06

Verizon Wireless and Coinstar, the company that owns Redbox, are teaming up to offer a new online video service to rival Netflix, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The companies announced the deal Monday, but offered few details except that Verizon will own 65 percent of the venture and the other 35 percent will go to Coinstar.

“Coinstar has been talking for more than a year about its intention to launch a digital offering for Redbox, in partnership with another company. Its Redbox low-price DVD-rental service has exploded in popularity over the past few years,” the WSJ reported. Verizon has also reached out to several media companies over the last year to license older movies and TV shows.

Egypt announced Sunday that it will prosecute 19 Americans for promoting democracy in the country.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that despite more than $1.5 billion in annual U.S. aid to the country, Egypt raided the offices of pro-democracy groups in December including the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House — American non-governmental organizations that are heavily funded by U.S. taxpayers.

Egypt says it is investigating “illegal foreign funding to political groups” by 40 employees of 10 international and American democratic groups and forbidding them to leave the country.

“I have watched with growing alarm and outrage how the Egyptian government is treating US non-governmental organizations that are working peacefully and transparently to support civil society in Egypt,” Senator John McCain, who is also the chairman of the IRI, said at the end of January.

The New York Giants won the Super Bowl 21-17 against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis last night.

The Associated Press reports that the NFL is in hot water over an “inappropriate gesture” during the halftime show starring Madonna.

During the performance of Madonna’s new single “Give Me All Your Luvin,” M.I.A. gave cameras the middle finger while she seemed to mouth “I don’t give a [expletive.]”

The NFL, which produced the show, blamed NBC for not “being quick enough to censor the gesture.”

While it’s nothing like Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in 2004, both the NFL and NBC issued apologies.

Who knows more about football than supermodels? Gisele Bundchen lashed out against the Patriots’ wide receivers after her husband, Tom Brady, threw 14 incomplete passes during the game.

The New York Daily News reported that Bundchen kept her cool as she was teased by Giants fans after the game, but couldn’t hold in her frustration with the team.

“You have to catch the ball when you’re supposed to catch the ball,” she said angrily to those around her. “My husband cannot [expletive] throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.”

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