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Airbnb issues permanent global party ban in wake of string of shootings

Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Short-term rental giant Airbnb has issued a permanent global ban on parties following a string of shootings that have broken out nationwide at properties it lists. The company announced Tuesday that a temporary party ban it enacted in August 2020 over health concerns prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic is being officially codified into its policies. While the company did not specifically cite the shootings that have occurred during parties at its listed properties, it said in a statement, "Over time, the party ban became much more than a public health measure." "It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our Hosts and their neighbors," Airbnb said in its statement. The San Francisco-based   ... Read More

Top companies respond to ruling overturning Roe v. Wade

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Major U.S. companies, including Meta and JPMorgan Chase, on Friday said they will cover travel costs for employees who seek legal abortions outside their home state after the Supreme Court released a ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. Several corporations in recent weeks, including Amazon and Starbucks, had announced expanded health benefits to pay for travel fees incurred by workers seeking an abortion if the procedure is unavailable near where they live. JPMorgan Chase, one of the nation's largest banks, informed U.S. employees that it will cover the costs of travel for those seeking an abortion who cannot access the procedure legally in their home state, according to a memo sent to employees on June 1   ... Read More

Retirees face threat from economy and market turmoil: Experts

katleho Seisa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A market drop, a price spike and a looming recession -- this year has battered the finances of everyday Americans. But some can wait out the misery. Eventually, the market will likely improve, as will debilitating grocery and fuel costs. Older people and retirees, however, lack the luxury of time. For them, the twin crunch of rising living costs and falling stock returns sounds an especially urgent alarm, straining their budgets while choking off supplementary funds from their portfolios, experts told ABC News. Typically, financial advisors encourage older people to transition their holdings away from volatile assets like stocks to predictable assets such as bonds, since as one ages, the risk of a major downturn   ... Read More

How to save money on gas as prices continue to climb

Brandon Bell/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The price for a gallon of gas continues to surge. As of Thursday morning, AAA said it costs an average of $4.60 for a gallon of gas, meaning filling up a small car of gasoline will likely cost you more than $50. Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis, told ABC News in March that "gas prices continue to go up and defy expectations," with the cost per gallon already surpassing predictions heading into Memorial Day. So how can you keep the pain at the pump to a minimum? Here's what the experts say: Change the way you drive Most cars achieve optimal fuel economy around 55 mph, according to GasBuddy. Driving too fast   ... Read More

Diesel prices could lead us into the next recession, experts say

George Rose/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While many Americans have noticed sky-high gasoline prices, the lesser-known increase in diesel costs could be what drives the U.S. economy into a recession, experts told ABC News. Oil prices, which on Wednesday afternoon stood at $105 per barrel, are likely to remain high through November, when they’ll moderate to around $100 per barrel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Elevated diesel prices could persist even longer as heightened demand for diesel outlasts that for gasoline, experts said. Since nearly all products that people consume rely on trucks, trains, and other modes of transportation that use diesel fuel, the already-inflated prices for many goods will prove difficult to dial back in light of   ... Read More

Ohio State University granted trademark for the word ‘THE’ on merchandise

Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio State University was granted a trademark to use the word "THE" on apparel and merchandise to promote its athletic teams. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had previously rejected Ohio State's application, claiming the trademark appeared to be for a "merely decorative manner" and as an "ornamental feature" that didn't function as a trademark that would differentiate the items from others, the Associated Press reported. The USPTO did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on the approval. In a statement to ABC News, the university said "THE" was used by students at the school for years and that it worked hard to "protect the university's brand and   ... Read More

What is a gas tax holiday? The federal proposal could offer short-term relief for drivers

Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For months, sky-high gas prices have bedeviled Americans. The nationwide average price for a gallon of gas stands just under an eye-popping $5 per gallon, AAA data shows. But a significant policy change may soon offer drivers some relief. President Joe Biden on Wednesday will call on Congress to pass a gas tax holiday that would run through the end of September. Suspending the federal gas tax, which amounts to 18.4 cents per gallon, would almost immediately reduce the price drivers pay at the pump, experts told ABC News. But they cautioned that the policy would slash funds for maintaining roads and highways, while potentially worsening a supply-demand imbalance   ... Read More

Biden calls on Congress, states to suspend gas taxes

Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months and asked states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide commensurate relief to consumers. The federal government charges an 18.4-cent tax per gallon of gasoline and a 24.4-cent tax per gallon of diesel. Suspending the tax for three months -- through the end of September, will cost about $10 billion, the White House said. "I fully understand that the gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem," Biden said in remarks delivered from the South Court Auditorium. "But it will provide families some immediate relief, just a little bit of breathing room,   ... Read More

Kellogg announces split into three separate companies

Yen Duong/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kellogg has announced that it will separate into three different companies to create “greater strategic, operational, and financial focus” for each of the new firms that will be named at a later date. Under the plans announced on Tuesday, Kellogg will separate its North American cereal and plant-based foods business -- which represent an estimated 20% of Kellogg’s net sales in 2021 -- from its global snacking brands, cereal and noodle brands and frozen breakfast brands. "Kellogg has been on a successful journey of transformation to enhance performance and increase long-term shareowner value,” said Steve Cahillane, Kellogg Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in a statement announcing the company’s plans. “This has included   ... Read More

Can higher interest rates be good?

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Reserve's strongest weapon in its fight against skyrocketing inflation is raising interest rates. In March, the Fed raised its target federal funds rate by 0.25%, the first rate hike in more than three years. At its May meeting, the central bank hiked rates by 0.50%, and in June it got even more aggressive, raising rates by 0.75%, the largest increase since 1994. The Fed is warning of potentially more rate hikes to come as it tries to cool consumer demand and drive prices down from a 40-year high. That has resulted in higher interest rates on credit cards, home and auto loans, home equity lines of credit and small business loans.   ... Read More

Juneteenth and its implications for the economy and generational wealth

Megan Varner/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While June 19, 1865, is widely regarded as a day of liberation, its celebration for some simultaneously brings into question just how far that freedom goes. For real estate entrepreneur Jude Bernard, Juneteenth is a reminder of generational wealth deprived. "The whole story behind Juneteenth was that we were technically free, but we didn't know it and it was years before we actually truly got our freedom," Bernard told ABC News. Bernard said Juneteenth can be used to highlight financial equality, which is the type of freedom many, like him, have fought for. He used student loan funds to buy his first property 25 years ago with the goal of earning extra income on the side.   ... Read More

What the interest rate hike means for homebuyers

Phillip Spears/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A difficult year for many homebuyers became even tougher when the Federal Reserve dramatically raised borrowing costs this week in an effort to tame sky-high inflation, experts told ABC News. For months, homebuyers have faced the dual challenges of skyrocketing mortgage rates and continued growth in home prices. Since mid-March, when the Federal Reserve instituted its first rate hike of the year, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage has jumped from 4.45% to 6.11%, according to Mortgage News Daily. Meanwhile, the median price for existing single-family homes rose 15.7% over the first three months of 2022 compared with the same period last year, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The Fed's decision on   ... Read More

Revlon has filed for bankruptcy after 90 years in business

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Revlon has officially filed for bankruptcy. The 90-year-old cosmetics giant announced on Thursday that the company voluntarily petitioned for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Like many other companies, the company has been faced with ongoing global challenges that specifically point to supply chain and rising inflation issues, in addition to the brand's continued obligations to its lenders. This legal proceeding was filed with the intention to allow Revlon to strategically reorganize its legacy capital structure and improve its long-term outlook. "Today's filing will allow Revlon to offer our consumers the iconic products we have delivered for decades, while providing a clearer path   ... Read More

How to prepare for a possible recession

LilliDay/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A number of forces are putting pressure on the economy right now and that has Wall Street betting on a recession sometime in the next 12 to 18 months. Consumer prices are at a 40-year high, the ongoing global health crisis continues to disrupt supply chains and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens to create a world food crisis. The war has also helped to push gasoline prices to record levels, taking an even bigger bite out of household budgets. Add to the mix a tight labor market and a volatile stock market and those recessionary warning signs are starting to flash yellow. The Federal Reserve is responding by hiking interest rates to combat stubbornly high inflation.   ... Read More

American weekly jobless claims at lowest level since 1969

American weekly jobless claims at lowest level since 1969By MATT OTT AP Business Writer WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week fell to its lowest level in 52 years as the U.S. job market continues to show strength in the midst of rising costs and an ongoing virus pandemic. Jobless claims fell by 28,000 to 187,000 for the week ending March 19, the lowest since September of 1969, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time applications for jobless aid generally track the pace of layoffs. The four-week average for claims, which compensates for weekly volatility, also fell to levels not seen in five decades. The Labor Department reported that the four week moving average tumbled to 211,750 from the previous week’s 223,250. In total,   ... Read More

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