Category Archives: Education

Judge Blocks New York City Law Aimed at Curbing Airbnb Rentals

A federal judge on Thursday blocked a recent New York City law intended to crack down on Airbnb and other online home-sharing sites that city officials say have essentially turned residential apartments into illegal hotels and have aggravated the city’s housing shortage.

The law, which was enacted last summer and was to go into effect next month, would have required the home-sharing services to disclose monthly to the city detailed information about tens of thousands of listings, and the identities and addresses of their hosts.

Airbnb and another firm, HomeAway, sued in August, contending the law was unconstitutional.

On Thursday, the judge, Paul A. Engelmayer of United States District Court in Manhattan, granted Airbnb and HomeAway’s request for a preliminary injunction, stopping the law from going into effect. He wrote that the ordinance violated the guarantee against illegal searches and seizures in the Fourth Amendment, and that the companies were likely to prevail on their claim.

“The city has not cited any decision suggesting that the governmental appropriation of private business records on such a scale, unsupported by individualized suspicion or any tailored justification, qualifies as a reasonable search and seizure,” the judge wrote.
Airbnb called the decision “a huge win for Airbnb and its users,” including “thousands of New Yorkers at risk of illegal surveillance.”

The decision could aid home-sharing services in their fight with other cities that have sought to regulate them, putting a limit on how much information local governments can demand.

The ruling also dealt a major blow to New York City’s political leaders, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, who had championed the law as a way of combating rising rents. Mr. de Blasio signed the law in August after it passed the Council unanimously. It was seen as a major victory for Mr. Johnson just months into his tenure as speaker.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr. de Blasio defended the law on Thursday and predicted that the city would “ultimately prevail” in court.

“We have a huge city with a lot of Airbnb activity and a lot of concern in our neighborhoods and, unfortunately, a lot of examples of abuse,” he said. “To put a strong data regimen in place made all the sense in the world.”

Jacob Tugendrajch, a spokesman for Mr. Johnson, called the law a “vital protection against illegal hotels” and said the Council would continue “the fight for this common sense, data-driven law.”

Mr. de Blasio has contrasted home-sharing services with the hotel industry, which is subject to inspections and regulations that allow the city to hold owners accountable. He has argued that Airbnb should also be required to turn over information that helps the city protect the public interest.

An influential union for hotel workers, the Hotel Trades Council, strongly backed the law.

In a 52-page ruling, Judge Engelmayer did not rule on the merits of Airbnb and HomeAway’s claims, but said the injunction would block the law from taking effect pending resolution of the litigation, which he said would proceed expeditiously.

The law would require online rental services to disclose the addresses of its listings and the identities of its hosts to the city’s Office of Special Enforcement on a monthly basis. Hosts would also be required to list whether the dwelling is their primary residence and whether the entire unit or a portion is available for short-term rentals. Companies that failed to share the data would be subject to fines of $1,500 for each listing they did not disclose.

New York City is Airbnb’s largest domestic market, with more than 50,000 apartment rental listings. But under state law, it is illegal in most buildings for an apartment to be rented out for less than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is residing in the apartment at the same time.

City officials hoped the new disclosure requirements would make it much easier for the city to enforce the state law and would lead to thousands of units rented through Airbnb in the city coming off the market.

Airbnb and other home-rental services have been battling regulation nationally and abroad, as cities including Seattle, San Francisco and London have required such companies to share some data through a registration system for listings.
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San Francisco, for example, enacted a law in 2016 that fined home-sharing companies if a host rented an apartment through their platforms without registering it first with the city. Airbnb sued and reached a settlement with the city in 2017, under which the company agreed to register hosts automatically and to turn over a monthly accounting of its listings. Listings on Airbnb plunged by half after the rules went into effect.

But the measure New York City passed went further. Rather than set up a registration system, the law instead required Airbnb and similar companies to turn over the information its users had shared with them, including personal information about the hosts.

Roberta A. Kaplan, a lawyer for Airbnb, said, “I’m not aware of any city that has tried anything of this scope.” The opinion, she added, “sends a strong message to other cities that the New York approach is not the way to go about doing this.”

Judge Engelmayer, in his opinion, said that in the era before electronic data storage, an attempt by a municipality “to compel an entire industry monthly to copy and produce its records as to all local customers would have been unthinkable under the Fourth Amendment.”

The judge said that upholding the ordinance would invite other cities to make “similar demands on e-commerce companies” to routinely turn over broad-ranging customer records to investigative agencies.

That, he added, could allow regulators “to troll these records for potential violations of law” even when there had been no basis to suspect a violation.
Correction: January 3, 2019
An earlier version of this article misstated the fines levied under a new law requiring home-sharing sites to turn over data to New York City about their users. The fine is $1,500 for each listing a company fails to disclose, not $25,000.

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The Truth About All Central Bank Controlled Nations: Here’s How The Financial System Really Works

The Federal Reserve, “the Fed”, is the central bank of the United States of America that was created in 1913 by Congress. It is a banking cartel that has a government-granted monopoly on the creation of money and credit. The Fed literally loans “money” (Federal Reserve Notes) into existence. Federal Reserve Notes are paper promises backed by nothing of intrinsic value and they are only functioning as money because the government forces them on the public through legal tender laws. Federal Reserve Notes are referred to as dollars but are not. The definition of a dollar is a weight of silver (371 grains). To put it simply, the Fed is a group of banks running a national counterfeiting operation with the protection of the government.

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Apple Removes App That Promotes Biblical View of Homosexuality

One terrifying implication of the attack on the free speech of Christians and the idea of “hate speech,” is that on the top of the list of language that is deemed hateful and worthy of censorship is often ripped right out of the pages of the Bible.

In short, as private companies and public organizations continually suppress the biblical view of homosexuality, we can visualize a full-on ban of the Bible in the not-too-distant future.

A recent app removal on the part of tech giant Apple is a great example, after a gay-rights organization lobbied for them to remove a Christian app that addresses homosexuality as a sin.

I don’t know about you, but every Bible app on my phone also addresses homosexuality as a sin. Will they be pulled next?

….

NBC REPORTS:
Apple has removed from its online store a religious app accused of falsely portraying being gay as an “addiction,” “sickness,” and “sin” after a national gay-rights organization petitioned to have it pulled.
Truth Wins Out, which says it fights “anti-gay religious extremism,” launched a petition Thursday urging Apple to remove the app…
Truth Wins Out alleged in its petition that the app sought for LGBT youth “to change from gay-to-straight through prayer and therapy.”
The petition had 356 supporters. Truth Wins Out said it will seek to have the Living Hope Ministries app removed from other platforms that still host it.

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Apple recovers losses after Chinese court bans sale of most iPhones

A Chinese court ordered a ban on most iPhone sales in the country as part of two preliminary injunctions.
Qualcomm sought the injunctions, alleging Apple violated two of its patents.

Apple denies violating the patents and says the scope of the iPhone ban in China goes beyond what the injunction calls for.

Apple recovered from earlier losses Monday after a Chinese court banned the import and sale of most iPhone models in the country as part of an injunction. The stock fell as much as 3 percent, but ended the day up 0.7 percent. Qualcomm requested the injunction for alleged patent violations and announced the news in a statement Monday morning.

Qualcomm alleged that Apple violated two patents it holds on features that let users reformat the size and appearance of photos and manage applications on a touch screen when navigating through phone apps. The two preliminary injunctions were granted by the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China. Apple says that it did not violate these patents and that the ban goes beyond the scope of the injunction itself.

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100 Christians snatched in overnight raids on underground Chinese church

Worshippers were taken from their homes and off the streets in coordinated crackdown across Chengdu in Sichuan province.

A pastor was among those arrested.

About 100 worshippers at an unofficial church in southwestern China were snatched from their homes or from the streets in coordinated raids which began on Sunday evening.

Chinese authorities targeted members of the Early Rain Covenant Church across various districts of Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, in what appeared to be an effort to close down one of the country’s most prominent Protestant house churches.
Members’ personal accounts and cell group discussions on social media channels were blocked at around 9pm on Sunday while the church’s telephone line was also cut. The homes of the church’s leaders, including pastor Wang Yi, were among those raided.

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High Speed Stock Market Computers Tested in Prep of Crashing Economy Before 2020 Elections.

The sell-off started with a mysterious plunge overnight that caused the exchange to halt futures
CME Group says it had to intervene with multiple 10-second pauses to prevent a steeper decline in equity futures.
Speculation for the swell in volume and plunge in futures included the news of the arrest of the CFO of the Chinese telecom company Huawei.
Traders also speculated that the selling could be attributed to a large fund or funds liquidating a position.

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Marriott Starwood hotel data breach FAQ: What 500 million hacked guests need to know

What was stolen?

Marriott is still sorting through the data it was able to recover, but for most customers, the following data may have been stolen: name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, and arrival and departure information, along with reservation dates and communication preferences.

It’s been a couple of months since a major company unveiled a data breach that affected millions of people, so it’s time for a new one. The Marriot hotel chain has announced a major database breach that could affect anyone who stayed at its 6,700 worldwide Starwood hotel properties since 2014—up to 500 million people in total.

That’s a lot of people an a long stretch of time, so check out our FAQ for all of the information:

What happened?

Marriott says it received an alert from an internal security tool on September 8 warning of an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States. In its investigation of the incident, Marriott learned that an unauthorized party gained access to the company’s customer database and “copied and encrypted information, and took steps toward removing it.”

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How Airbnb pushed Marriott to nab Starwood

The combination of two storied hotel brands announced this week creates the world’s largest lodging company, with more than a million rooms. But the $12.2 billion agreement by Marriott International (MAR) to acquire Starwood International (HOT) isn’t a mark of hotel industry triumph.

It’s more of an anti-Airbnb defensive maneuver. If you listen closely, you can hear the ominous hoof beats of online competition closing in on the traditional hospitality business. Hotels want to bulk up against threats from the likes of Airbnb, a digital service that allows travelers to book private homes for stays.

The hotel industry is doing well, for now. Since the recession, business has been great, and mergers also give it scale to take advantage of that. Revenue per available room (the sector’s main metric) will grow a health 6.8 percent this year, research firm STR estimates, followed by a similar expansion next year.

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Housing Market Stagnates

Santa Monica Bans AirBNB, all major cities follow suit.
Results?

Restaurants going out of business, families cannot afford to spend 1400 per night for a family of 4 vacation so they stay home and don’t spend money.
Local restaurants and business can no longer provide local kids jobs, then shortly go out of business due to no tourism.

Compare 2011-2014 restaurant sales during a down economy yet the tourism industry was booming. Now in an up economy due to local government restrictions on affordable vacation rentals, business are suffering.

Welcome to stupid at the local government level.

Housing-market headwinds are keeping American homeowners in their properties for the longest stretches on record, in a sharp distortion of the mobility Americans have for decades prized.

Across the country, homes that sold in the third quarter of this year had been owned an average of 8.23 years, according to an analysis from Attom Data Solutions. That’s almost double the length of time a home sold in 2000, when Attom’s data begin, had been owned.

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Southern California suffers its worst housing slump in over a decade

Santa Monica Bans AirBNB, all major cities follow suit.
Results?

Restaurants going out of business, families cannot afford to spend 1400 per night for a family of 4 vacation so they stay home and don’t spend money.
Local restaurants and business can no longer provide local kids jobs, then shortly go out of business due to no tourism.

Compare 2011-2014 restaurant sales during a down economy yet the tourism industry was booming. Now in an up economy due to local government restrictions on affordable vacation rentals, business are suffering.

Welcome to stupid at the local government level.

The number of new and existing houses and condominiums sold during the month plummeted nearly 18 percent compared with September 2017, according to CoreLogic.
That was the slowest September pace since 2007, when the national housing and mortgage crisis was hitting.
The median price of Southern California homes sold in September, $505,000, was still 3.6 percent higher than it was a year ago. That was the lowest annual gain for any month in more than three years.

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Home price growth cools for fifth straight month

Santa Monica Bans AirBNB, all major cities follow suit.
Results?

Restaurants going out of business, families cannot afford to spend 1400 per night for a family of 4 vacation so they stay home and don’t spend money.
Local restaurants and business can no longer provide local kids jobs, then shortly go out of business due to no tourism.

Compare 2011-2014 restaurant sales during a down economy yet the tourism industry was booming. Now in an up economy due to local government restrictions on affordable vacation rentals, business are suffering.

Welcome to stupid at the local government level.

Home prices in the U.S. rose at a slower pace for the fifth consecutive month, yet another sign that the housing market is cooling down.

Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index reported a 5.8% annual gain in August, down from 6% in the previous month. It is the first time in a year that annual gains fell below 6%. The 20-City Composite posted a 5.5% year-over-year increase, down from 5.9% in July — substantially lower than analysts’ expectation of 5.8%.

“Following reports that home sales are flat to down, price gains are beginning to moderate,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a press statement. “Other housing data tell a similar story: prices and sales of new single family homes are weakening, housing starts are mixed and residential fixed investment is down in the last three quarters.”

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The Ugly Terror Truth About Jamal Khashoggi

The media wants the Saudis to answer questions about Jamal Khashoggi. But maybe the media should be forced to answer why the Washington Post was working with a Muslim Brotherhood propagandist?

In high school, Jamal Khashoggi had a good friend. His name was Osama bin Laden.

“We were hoping to establish an Islamic state anywhere,” Khashoggi reminisced about their time together in the Muslim Brotherhood. “We believed that the first one would lead to another, and that would have a domino effect which could reverse the history of mankind.”

The friendship endured with Jamal Khashoggi following Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan. Khashoggi credited Adel Batterjee, listed at one time as one of “the world’s foremost terrorist financiers” by the Treasury Department, with bringing him to Afghanistan to report on the fighting.

The media calls Khashoggi a journalist, but his writings from 80s Afghanistan read as Jihadist propaganda with titles like, “Arab Mujahadeen in Afghanistan II: Exemplifies the Unity of Islamic Ummah”.

And when Osama bin Laden set up Al Qaeda, he called Khashoggi with the details.

After Afghanistan, Jamal Khashoggi went to work as a media adviser for former Saudi intel boss, Prince Turki bin Faisal, alleged to have links to Al Qaeda. Those allegations came from, among others, Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged twentieth hijacker.

When the other 19 hijackers perpetrated the attacks of September 11, Khashoggi wrote that the Saudis would not “give in” to American “demands” for “unconditional condemnation” and “total cooperation”.

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Supreme Coven: Witches in New York to Hold Public Ritual to ‘Hex’ Kavanaugh

A coven of New York witches is holding a public ceremony next week to cast a hex on Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in what Tucker Carlson described as the latest left-wing effort to stop his rise to the high court.

“Liberal Sherpa” Cathy Areu said the hexing will take place in Brooklyn, and that it will include an optional $10 donation to take part.

Carlson said part of the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood, to “fund their own human sacrifice rituals.”

He said that it is appropriate that the Democratic Party, which “conducts witch hunts” also “conducts witchcraft.”

Areu said the coven previously cast three hexes on President Trump and considered their efforts successful in partially stymieing his administration’s goals.

ORIGIONAL