Opportunity erupts?

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The State Department advised travelers to Ecuador to be aware that a volcano just west of Quito is on the verge of erupting, and it suggested steering clear of political demonstrations in the country this month. Volcanoes? Unrest? I know what you aggressive capitalists are thinking: New adventure travel sub-niches. Natural disaster travel. Political upheaval travel. Target extreme-sports buffs, recreational thrillseekers and the college market. (OK, maybe there is such a thing as thinking too far outside the box.)

Car rental firms are continuing to battle the rules of vicarious liability, whereby they are liable if a renter causes injury or death in one of their cars and can't pay, regardless of whether the company was negligent in any way. If you find it hard to sympathize with the car rental companies, remember this the next time you loan a power tool to your neighbor with the foul temper and the shaky hands.

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