Airbnb says it will give temporary free housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees.

The company said it was working with resettlement agencies. It did not specify how long refugees could stay in the apartments and houses.

Daily Business Briefing

Aug. 24, 2021Updated Aug. 24, 2021, 7:20 a.m. ETAug. 24, 2021, 7:20 a.m. ET

The company said it was working with resettlement agencies. It did not specify how long refugees could stay in the apartments and houses.

27 Covid cases were identified on a Carnival cruise, leading to a death.500 bikes waiting for rear derailleurs: Supply chain issues could snarl the holidays.Have you been pining for a return to the office? You’re not alone.

Families who were evacuated from Afghanistan waited on Monday to board buses at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia.Credit…Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

Airbnb and its charitable arm, Airbnb.org, said on Tuesday that the company intended to provide free temporary housing globally for 20,000 refugees fleeing the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

As American and European governments race to evacuate tens of thousands of people, the property rental company called the displacement and resettlement of refugees a “significant humanitarian crisis.”

The cost of the accommodations will be covered with money from Airbnb and its chief executive, Brian Chesky, as well as contributions from the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, which was begun in June with the goal of raising $25 million. The organization is working with resettlement agencies and offered to support federal and state governments.

“The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. We feel a responsibility to step up,” Mr. Chesky said on Twitter.

“I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste,” he added.

Airbnb did not specify how long refugees could stay in the apartments or houses, but said its hosts were offering short- and long-term stays. The company said it had begun supporting Afghans fleeing the country last week when it gave funding to the International Rescue Committee and other organizations to provide temporary stays using the Airbnb platform for up to 1,000 refugees.

Over the weekend, Airbnb said, it placed 165 refugees in housing across the United States, including in California, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington State.

The Carnival Vista docked in Galveston, Texas, in May. On a recent sailing, a passenger and crew members tested positive for the coronavirus; the passenger later died. Credit…Sipa, via Associated Press

Over two weeks in late July and early August, 27 coronavirus infections were identified aboard the Carnival Vista cruise ship sailing out of Galveston, Texas. One of those infected, a passenger, later died.

It was the highest number of cases aboard a ship reported since June, when cruises restarted in the Caribbean and United States, and the first death.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new advisory, warning people with increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19 to avoid travel on cruise ships, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Carnival is not the only cruise line to have seen an uptick in cases. Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean had six guests test positive onboard its Adventure of the Seas ship.

The companies have responded to the recent increase in cases by introducing pre-departure testing requirements for all passengers. Carnival also added a mask mandate on Aug. 7 for all vaccinated and unvaccinated guests in indoor areas and banned smoking in the casino.

Michael Bayley, the chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean, said the cruise line was typically seeing one or two positive cases out of more than 1,000 guests a week per ship. Mr. Bayley said in a candid Facebook post addressing the current coronavirus situation, “Testing captures status at a point of time and if the guest is incubating infection, then the test will miss it.” The vaccinated guests who test positive typically are asymptomatic, he said in the post.

Some cruise passengers have canceled amid concerns of the Delta variant, but many sailings are fully booked through the rest of year because of pent-up demand. READ THE ARTICLE ->

“We’re sitting on $2 million in inventory for one $30 part,” said the general manager of Catrike, which makes three-wheeled recumbent bikes.

Container shipping rates from China and East Asia to the United States’ East Coast climbed above $20,000 earlier this month, compared with about $4,000 a year ago. The time it takes for parts from one of Catrike’s suppliers to arrive by sea in North America from a factory in Indonesia has jumped to three months, and sometimes it takes four.

“This is here for the rest of the year, and it’s only going to get worse because of the Christmas season,” said the chief executive of an ocean logistics firm. READ THE ARTICLE ->

David Pantera, a new hire at Google, worries that the switch to virtual orientation next month might affect his career.Credit…Jason Henry for The New York Times

Workers who want to stay at home forever have been especially vocal about their demands, but a silent majority of Americans do want to get back to the office, at least for a few days a week. But as the latest coronavirus surge has led employers to delay return-to-office plans, that larger group is growing increasingly glum, Kellen Browning reports for The New York Times.

In a national survey of more than 950 workers, conducted in mid-August by Morning Consult on behalf of The New York Times, 31 percent said they would prefer to work from home full time. By comparison, 45 percent said they wanted to be in a workplace or an office full time. The remaining 24 percent said they wanted to split time between work and home. (Morning Consult surveyed workers from a variety of industries, so white-collar office workers were represented alongside those working in other fields, like retail.)

Certainly, some people have thrived in their new remote work lives. They saved time and money, and sometimes increased productivity. The degree to which employees have embraced permanent remote or hybrid work models has been “stunning” to company executives, said Tsedal Neeley, a Harvard Business School professor who has studied remote work for decades.

But for others, Professor Neeley said, it has removed needed barriers between work and home life, increased a sense of isolation and led to burnout. “Some people just dislike the screen — their physicality and their proximity to others is a big part of what work looks like,” she said.

Among those craving the routines of office life: social butterflies, managers, new hires eager to meet colleagues, and people with noisy or crowded homes. READ THE ARTICLE ->

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