2. Efforts to restart coronavirus talks sputter despite call between Speaker and Administration
Politico.com | August 27, 2020 by Heather Caygle

An effort to restart stalled coronavirus negotiations between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House went nowhere Thursday, with the top House Democrat saying the talks are fruitless until GOP negotiators agree to a massive $1 trillion concession.

Pelosi had little new to say after a 25-minute phone conversation with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Thursday afternoon, the first communication between the two since the coronavirus relief talks collapsed in early August.

3 . How to make rational decisions in a time of uncertainty
Harvard Business Review | August 28, 2020 | by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn
As we’re battling a virus that scientists still don’t fully understand, watching the stock market sink, then soar, then sink again, and facing a contentious election, the future seems completely unpredictable (instead of merely as unpredictable as it has always been). When we feel such heightened uncertainty, our decision-making processes can break down. We may become paralyzed and afraid to act, or we may act on the basis of bias, emotion, and intuition instead of logic and facts.

Being aware of our uncertainty is a necessary precursor to managing it. Effective awareness means pausing, taking a strategic stop, and assessing the situation and the unknowns. We’re now being confronted with data that looks actionable — even though logically, we know it’s incomplete and volatile. But even when knowledge is limited, we have tools to help us make decisions systematically and analytically. Whether we’re assessing the meaning of the latest unemployment numbers or the impact of local romaine lettuce shortages, we can use a simple four-step process to work with and through ambiguity to make careful, reasoned decisions.

4 . Private travel takes off: Demand grows for private yachts, villas and hotels. Can motorcoaches be next?
Travel Weekly | August 28, 2020

In the age of Covid-19, nothing says safe like private. So it’s no wonder that one of the few travel bright spots in the pandemic has been the demand for exclusive products that enable people to satisfy their wanderlust without compromising their virus-free bubbles.

From private jets to private islands, dude ranches, hotel buyouts, villas, yachts — even private summer camp programs for kids — exclusive options are among those leading the first wave of what has turned into a slow and unpredictable travel rebound.

And as more and more people begin to venture out, advisors and travel companies alike say they expect the demand for private to continue, potentially reshaping the future of travel, particularly in the luxury sector.

“This is a movement that’s not going away,” said ANI Private Resorts president Ira Bloom. 
Perhaps nowhere is the shift to private more evident than in aviation.

5. NJ hikes gasoline and diesel tax to offset drop in consumption
Transport Topics | August 28, 2020 | by Elise Young

New Jersey’s gasoline tax will rise 22%, to 50.7 cents per gallon, to maintain a revenue stream for road and rail projects amid a massive drop in fuel consumption. Diesel will go up 19%, to 57.7 cents.
The increase, announced by state Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio, will take effect Oct. 1.

Tax-rate changes, she said in statement, “are dictated by several factors that are beyond the control of the administration.”

The revenue stream feeds the $16 billion Transportation Trust Fund. By a 2016 law, the rate must be examined each August and raised if it appears that projected consumption won’t generate enough money to cover debt and current projects from 2017-2024. The revenue numbers are reviewed by the treasurer, with the nonpartisan legislative budget and finance officer as a consultant.

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6 . Will lawsuit drive Uber and Lyft toward a franchise model in CA?
Forbes | August 24, 2020 | by Fiona Simpson

Recent months have not been an easy ride for cab hailing app giants Uber and Lyft.

Not only has the pandemic resulted in significant drops in ridership, the two companies are currently at legal loggerheads with the state of California. The courtroom battle centers around California's new labor law Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) and may mean that both brands are now seriously considering adopting a license or franchise model as one route forward.

AB5 introduced a three part test (called the ABC test) to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.

It was of course intended to provide protection for gig economy workers by granting them employment rights, although it it has been greeted with controversy with reportedly many independent contractors in California suffering loss of income as a direct result of its introduction. In May, the Attorney General of California Xavier Becerra, joined by the city attorneys of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, issued a lawsuit against both Uber and Lyft, arguing that their drivers should be classed as employees rather than contractors. Becerra then went on to file for an injunction to compel the ride-hailing companies to reclassify their drivers with immediate effect. 

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