Airbnb unveils new category of rentals
Airbnb is dispatching inspectors to rate some of the properties listed on its home-rental service in an effort to reassure travelers they’re booking nice places to stay.
The Plus program is aimed at winning over travelers who aren’t sure they can trust the computer-driven system that Airbnb uses to assess the quality of rentals. Airbnb believes travelers will be willing to pay more for inspector-certified properties, allowing property owners to recoup a $149 fee to participate.
Industrials drive US stock indexes mostly higher
U.S. stocks closed mostly higher Thursday after a late-afternoon wave of selling pared some of gains from the market’s midday rally. Gains by industrials and other sectors outweighed losses in banks and health care stocks.
Energy companies also notched solid gains after crude oil prices recovered from an early slide. Bond yields declined after spiking to four-year highs a day earlier amid rekindled fears of higher inflation and interest rates.
States to forego most of $650M legal settlement
Japanese air bag maker Takata has reached a $650 million settlement over legal claims from 44 state governments and Washington, D.C. But the states won’t get much of the money.
That’s because they have agreed not to collect the settlement so victims of Takata’s faulty air bags get larger settlements.
Mississippi gives tax break to hotel tied to Trump
The state of Mississippi has granted a tax break worth just over $6 million to a hotel developer affiliated with the Trump Organization.
Mississippi Development Authority spokesman Jeff Rent confirms Thursday that the agency’s board approved the tourism tax rebate Wednesday for a hotel in Cleveland, Mississippi. It is being built by a Mississippi-based company that announced a deal in June with the U.S. president’s company.
Satellites see big fishing’s footprint on the high seas
A new global study gives the first comprehensive snapshot of how extensive industrial fishing is.
Researchers found more than 55 percent of the world’s oceans are fished commercially.
Five nations are responsible for 85 percent of high seas fishing. The findings released Thursday in the journal Science relied on billions of automated ship safety signals beamed to satellites.
Subway to shake up rewards program
Subway is shaking up its loyalty program, giving customers the ability to earn $2 discounts instead of free Footlongs.
The changes, taking place next month, are part of Subway’s attempts to revamp its image, lure people back to its restaurants and fight falling sales.
With the new loyally program, customers who spend $50 will get a $2 discount they can use on any menu item. The previous program gave those that spent $50 a free 6-inch sandwich; those that spent $75 earned a free Footlong.
NPR adopts new measures following investigation
National Public Radio has adopted new measures to improve its workplace culture, following an independent investigation into sex harassment issues stemming from the ouster of a top executive.
The measures include changes in management structure, a diversity committee, and pay audits to assess fairness.