Nov 16, 2018

Tech industry takes on D.C.

DC mayor Muriel Bowser. Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

After the D.C. City Council this week approved a hotel-industry-backed bill that caps on how often you can rent a property via Airbnb, the local tech industry is beginning an urgent push to get Mayor Muriel Bowser to veto it.

Details: Here's the letter being sent by the Consumer Tech Association, the Internet Association, NetChoice and Travel Tech tomorrow. Key line: "[This bill] sends a message that D.C. is not open to innovative businesses and is not a place for the technology sector to invest in."

The backstory: "The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to impose some of the tightest limits in the nation on Airbnb and other short-term rental companies," the WashPost's Bob McCartney and Peter Jamison report.

  • "If signed by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), the measure would prevent D.C. property owners from renting out second homes on a short-term basis and bar them from renting spare rooms or basements in their primary residences for more than 90 days per year when the host is away."

Why it matters: "Supporters of the crackdown said it was necessary in a city where short-term rentals are making an overheated real estate market even more difficult for would-be home buyers and renters."

Read the letter:

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.