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Super Bowl spawns super scams

A million people will descend on Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII on Sunday as the Los Angeles Rams face off against the New England Patriots. Millions more will watch from home. For most fans, it’s a day devoted to spending time with family and friends, eating, drinking and celebrating sport. It’s also a money-making event for many — including criminals. Here are some of the most prevalent Super Bowl scams. Large sporting events such as the Super Bowl are notorious magnets for prostitution and huma

Trying to get more protein? Class-action suits question protein-product content claims

Every January, many Americans make health-related New Year’s resolutions and embark on an effort to eat better, lose weight, and get fit after the excesses of the holiday season. A plethora of products and services — ranging from gym memberships to how-to books to diet supplements — caters to this lucrative market. Savvy consumers should take health-related product claims with a grain of salt, but some brands have come under fire recently for allegedly offering misleading information.

The simmering battle over short-term rentals

The short-term rental industry is booming, with no end in sight. Annual revenue from short-term vacation rentals in the United States is projected to reach nearly $18 billion in 2018; that is forecast to rise to $23 billion by 2022. The growth of this industry happened quickly; Airbnb, the major player in the short-term rental space, was founded only 10 years ago. This rapid growth has caught many communities unawares. As governments struggle with how to regulate short-term rentals, short-term rental operators, rental platforms, neighborhood activists, tourism promoters, the hospitality industry, and others chime in with their perspectives. The issue is a complex one, with many different arguments for and against stronger regulation of short-term rentals. Here are some of the commonly raised points as the debate on short-term rental markets plays out in communities across the country.

Cities turning to technology to enforce Airbnb rules

The regulation of short-term rentals is a hot topic in cities across the United States. As the popularity of online short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway has grown, conflicts have increased as well — with disgruntled neighbors objecting to vacation party houses, the hotel industry seeking a level playing field, and cities looking to reap tax revenues. Operating a short-term rental business was once as simple as putting up a listing online. Now, an increasing number of c

Tide turning against restrictions on federal gun research?

In the wake of the February 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the debate over gun control in the United States has again reached fever pitch. What’s often missing in that debate, however, is hard data on gun-related deaths. In 1996, Congress passed a rider to the annual federal spending bill that prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from spending money on research that may be used to “advocate or promote gun control.” Known as the Dickey amendment, after Jay Dickey, the Arkansas representative who sponsored it, the measure has remained in place ever since. The Dickey amendment has not halted research on gun violence completely, as private foundations and universities have continued to explore the matter. Nonetheless, public-health organizations have started to push for overturning the amendment.

Ballot measure banning most short-term rentals in South Lake Tahoe passes

A ballot measure that will ban most short-term rentals in South Lake Tahoe, California, has officially passed by 58 votes, according to the El Dorado County Elections Department. The measure received 50.42 percent of the vote. Measure T applies to properties rented for 30 days or fewer outside the city’s tourist core. Currently, approximately 400 short-term rentals are located within the tourist core, and about 1,400 located in residential areas will be affected by the ban. The measure phases
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