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Cleaning fees are one-time charges that Airbnb hosts can tack on to the nightly rate. They’ve become a pain point for many travelers because cleaning fees can be exorbitantly high in some cases and are not shown in search results. Airbnb aims to make them more transparent by adding a search filter for total booking cost and requiring hosts to put cleaning requirements — like stripping the beds or taking out trash — on the listing. These new features may help customers make more informed decisions when booking and incentivize hosts to lower or forgo cleaning fees altogether.

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Environmental groups are once again at odds with politicians and fishermen in New England in the wake of a decision by high-end retail giant Whole Foods to stop selling Maine lobster. Whole Foods recently said that it will stop selling lobster from the Gulf of Maine at hundreds of its stores around the country. The company cited decisions by a pair of sustainability organizations to take away their endorsements of the U.S. lobster fishing industry. The organizations, Marine Stewardship Council and Seafood Watch, both cited concerns about risks to rare North Atlantic right whales from fishing gear. Entanglement in gear is one of the biggest threats to the whales.

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The Biden administration is easing some oil sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to support newly restarted negotiations between the Venezuelan government and its opposition. The Treasury Department is allowing Chevron to resume “limited” energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits that have flowed to President Nicolás Maduro’s government. Earlier this year the Treasury Department again allowed the California-based Chevron and other U.S. companies to perform basic upkeep of wells it operates jointly with state-run oil giant PDVSA. Under the new policy, profits from the sale of energy would be directed to paying down debt owed to Chevron, rather than providing profits to PDVSA.

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In cities across Europe, officials are wrestling with a choice this Christmas. They could dim festive lighting to send a message of energy conservation and solidarity with citizens squeezed by higher energy costs and inflation. Or they could let the lights blaze in a message of defiance after two years of pandemic-suppressed Christmas seasons, creating a mood that retailers hope loosen holiday purse strings. Fewer lights will sparkle from the centerpiece tree at France's famed Strasbourg Christmas market, and lights on Paris' Champs-Elysees and London's Oxford Street are reducing hours. But the holiday will shine brightly in Germany, and the Spanish port city of Vigo is keeping up its tradition of staging the country’s most extravagant Christmas light display.

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Far from Doha’s luxury hotels and sprawling new World Cup stadiums, scores of South Asian workers poured into a cricket ground in the city’s sandy outskirts to enjoy the tournament they helped create. Their treatment has been the controversial backstory of the 2022 World Cup, ever since Qatar won the bid to host the soccer championship. Headlines have been filled with reports of their low wages, inhospitable conditions and long hours, often in the scorching heat. But on Friday night as the Netherlands played Ecuador, the bleachers of the cricket stadium heaved with workers reveling on their one day off of the week.

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The U.S. is banning the sale of communications equipment made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE and restricting the use of some China-made video surveillance systems, citing an “unacceptable risk” to national security. The five-member Federal Communications Commission said Friday it has voted unanimously to adopt new rules that will block the importation or sale of certain technology products that pose security risks. It’s the latest in a years-long escalation of U.S. restrictions of Chinese technology that began with President Donald Trump and has continued under President Joe Biden’s administration.

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Shoppers eager to start holiday shopping but weighed down by inflation are hunting for the best deals at stores and online this Black Friday. Retailers that had offered mostly lackluster discounts earlier in the season responded this week with new bargains. Elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other household costs have taken a toll on shoppers. As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there is a big sale and are being more selective with what they will buy — in many cases, trading down to cheaper stuff and less expensive stores. Shoppers are also dipping more into their savings, turning increasingly to “buy now, pay later” services that allow users to pay for items in installments. They are also running up their credit cards.

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An appeals court has revived a wrongful death claim against Walmart by the family of a Black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer inside an Ohio store after picking up a pellet rifle from a shelf. John Crawford III was shot at the Beavercreek store in 2014 after someone called 911. A judge dismissed his family’s wrongful death claim, but a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed that this week. The family's attorney says they can proceed toward trial on that and their other claims against the retailer. Walmart has denied that its actions caused Crawford’s death.

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Netflix’s trailblazing DVD-by-mail rental service has been relegated as a relic in the age of video streaming, but there is still a steady — albeit shrinking — audience of diehards who are happily paying to receive those discs in the iconic red-and-white envelopes. The service that has shipping more than 5 billion discs across the U.S. since its inception nearly a quarter century ago may not be around much longer. Its customer base has dwindled to an estimated 1.5 million subscribers from more than 11 million in 2011 when Netflix spun it off from its video streaming business. Co-CEO Reed Hastings has previously suggested it could close in 2023.

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Authorities investigating the fatal shootings of six people at a Walmart said that the shooter bought the gun just hours before and left a note on his phone listing grievances against coworkers. Police in Chesapeake, Virginia, issued a news release Friday that says they conducted a forensic analysis of Walmart supervisor Andre Bing’s phone. Police say he was the shooter and was found dead at the scene of the shooting late Tuesday of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. In the note released by police, he said coworkers harassed him and mocked him. Police said in their release that he used a 9mm handgun legally purchased on Tuesday morning, hours before the shooting. The release said he had no criminal history.

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