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Vinyl sales surpass CD revenue, first time since 1980s

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Vinyl Record Player

Vinyl records are outselling compact discs in the United States for the first time in more than 30 years, according to an industry report released Thursday.

Music fans dropped $232.1 million on records in the first half of 2020, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, far surpassing the $129.9 million spent on CDs.

Vinyl sales contributed 62 percent of total physical music media revenues — which dropped 23 percent year-on-year, a decline the RIAA attributed to the coronavirus pandemic’s shutdown of music venues and stores.

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Nevertheless vinyl’s numbers marked a turning point for the retro darling whose resurgence was fueled for years by collectors and hipsters nostalgic for side A and side B.

But physical records remain niche: the RIAA said streaming accounted for 85 percent of revenue in 2020’s first six months, much of which saw most Americans holed up at home to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Streaming music revenue spiked 12 percent to $4.8 billion in the first half of 2020, the RIAA said, as platform users appeared increasingly willing to pay for subscription services.

The number of paid subscriptions at services including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon soared to 72 million, up 24 percent compared to the first half average for 2019.


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Former Neo-Nazi says Trump’s call for Proud Boys to ‘stand by’ will encourage more violence

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President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists during the first of three scheduled presidential debates with Joe Biden. When pressed by moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News to disavow far-right extremism, Trump name-checked the Proud Boys and told them to “stand back and stand by,” words widely denounced as a tacit endorsement of the violent, white supremacist organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. The Proud Boys almost immediately responded by changing its logo online to include the Trump quote. Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi who now leads the Free Radicals Project, a group focused on helping people disengage from violent extremism, says Trump’s words were a clear encouragement for “continued violence” from far-right groups. We also speak with Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who says Trump’s performance at the debate is a continuation of his white supremacist project. “He wants violence in the streets, he wants chaos at the polls, because he wants Americans to feel a sense of unsafety. It’s its own kind of diplomatic terrorism,” he says.

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Proud Boy arrested in Portland on assault and gun charges — hours after Trump refused to denounce group

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Portland police arrested a Proud Boy member hours after President Donald Trump sent a signal of support to the right-wing group.

Alan Swinney was charged with multiple counts of assault, along with pointing a firearm at another, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful use of tear gas and remains held at the Multnomah County Jail, reported Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The 50-year-old Swinney was photographed and recorded on video Aug. 22 pointing a revolver at anti-fascist protesters outside the Multnomah County Justice Center.

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Women accuse prominent evangelical preacher of sexually harassing them for years: report

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Multiple women have come forward claiming the late evangelical leader Ravi Zacharias sexually harassed them over a period of time at a Georgia spa he co-owned.

Three women told Christianity Today that Zacharias touched them inappropriately and "masturbated" in front of them while they were employed at the spa. Zacharias died from cancer in May.

The still-operative Ravi Zacharias International Ministries said that it's conducting an investigation into the allegations.

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