Seems sort of silly to post this, because if you have the problem you probably can't read the post (unless you've gone to google). But what the heck.
Based on recommendations from this newsgroup I have been using news.cis.dfn.de as my free news server (its really good, and posts update right away). On Monday, it stopped working for me. The explanation for whay and how to fix the problem are in the following links: you need to update your configuration. Please checkThanks to Vera Heinau (Newsmaster News.Individual.NET) for the fast response to my question!