Berlin To Crack Down On Vacation Apartment Rentals
Local lawmakers voted to pass a bill Thursday requiring anyone who rents out a private apartment for short periods of time to obtain official permission. The move could affect an estimated 15,000 apartments in Berlin that are currently being rented to tourists and other short-term visitors. Center-left lawmaker Iris Spranger says there would be a two-year transition period to help businesses that have specialized in such rentals. Online apartment booking sites such as have protested the plan. The site claims visitors who book through its system contribute 100 million euros ($135 million) to the city's economy each year. Join the Discussion You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer.<br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

Americans will leave 500 million unused vacation days on the table this year

(Thinkstock) Americans are working even more and taking even less holidays this year, according to Expedia's 2013 Vacation Deprivation study , an annual analysis of vacation habits among 8,535 employed adults across 24 countries and five continents. Americans are now treating vacations as a luxury rather than a right: Over the past year, typical Americans could have taken 14 days of vacation and took 10, leaving four days on the table, twice as many as the year prior. There are currently just over 144 million employed Americans, according to recent BLS data, meaning that Americans collectively failed to take 577,212,000 available days of vacation. That shouldn't come as a surprise to us overworked Americans, but the extent to which we have worked ourselves is evident from the other end of the spectrum: The French lead the world in vacationing, taking all 30 possible days available to them. One surprising fact: Americans are less connected on holidays than Europeans, according to the survey.<br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

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