Here are some of the stories we have been following this week.
- New York State recently granted the first banking trust charter for a bitcoin exchange in the United States.
- The District of Columbia has sued a homeowner for operating an unlicensed business because he repeatedly used Airbnb to rent out his home for loud parties that have angered neighbors.
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is allowing some companies to test drones for use in commercial operations.
- Firefighters are speaking out against the recently announced federal rules for oil trains, saying the regulations don’t go far enough in requiring information dissemination.
- Two gas companies are paying more than $11 million to settle allegations in California that they failed to properly maintain underground storage tanks, endangering local water supplies.
- Scientists released a new report that earthquakes in Texas are not from natural causes but are manmade, likely due to “water production and wastewater injection” related to oil and gas development in the area.
- After reporting same-store sales growth that fell short of expectations, Whole Foods announced plans to open a new chain of streamlined, value-oriented natural food stores targeting Millennials.
- Shortly after an Amtrak train derailment that resulted in eight fatalities, the House Appropriations Committee rejected an amendment to boost funding for rail infrastructure requested by President Obama. While Wednesday’s accident is still being investigated, the train was traveling more than 100 miles per hour, twice the speed limit at the curve where it derailed.
- After Senate Democrats dealt an embarrassing blow to President Obama’s trade agenda on Tuesday by voting to prevent the chamber from debating fast-track legislation, Senators reached a compromise on Thursday. After passing a customs and enforcement measure to address currency manipulation and a package of trade preferences for sub-Saharan Africa, the Senate will now debate a trade package that includes trade promotion authority, known as fast-track, and trade adjustment assistance.
In addition, if you are not following the personal blog of our managing director, Dr. John Kilpatrick, he recently posted a brief review of the American Real Estate Society (ARES) 2015 Annual Meeting.