This morning is one of hot-button issues: gun control, taxes, juvenile justice, immigration, civil rights, and more. As the midterms creep closer, my colleague Justine McDaniel has zeroed in on how gun control, a once-untouchable topic for candidates, is shaping Democratic campaigns in our region. It's a really fascinating shift. Another interesting shift: how Airbnb's popularity has slowly but surely been followed by state and city taxes, including in Pennsylvania. And don't forget to look farther afield this morning towards national news, as a major change to LGBT civil rights could be on the horizon.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

Gun control, once a third rail, now a key issue as Democrats seek to control House

Think gun control has become an even hotter topic this election season? You’re not alone.

Once considered a "third rail" in American politics, gun control is now a key issue in races across the country, politicians and advocates say.

Democrats especially are embracing the once-taboo issue, including candidates in Bucks, Montgomery, and Dauphin Counties and even in conservative-leaning western Pennsylvania.

How much has Airbnb paid in taxes in Philly and PA?

As Airbnb’s popularity has grown, so have sales and hotel taxes in many cities and states looking to benefit from the platform’s success.

So how much are they pitching in? Philly has received $7.6 million from Airbnb since July 2015, and Pennsylvania has received even more but it's a drop in the bucket compared to revenue from the lodging industry.

New Jersey is getting in on the action, too, with a new law the company estimates will generate more than $10 million per year in state and local taxes.

Charges to be dropped against boy in toy gun incident, lawyers say

Prosecutors have agreed to drop all charges against a 13-year-old Grays Ferry boy who spent three days in jail after allegedly shooting the son of a Philadelphia police officer with a toy gun.

Defense lawyers say Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told them the mother of the alleged victim is "a police officer who did not call 911 but called up some buddies" to arrest the boy.

The boy and his mother maintained he did nothing wrong as the case raised some still-unanswered questions about the investigation, his arrest, and the juvenile court process.

What you need to know today

Join us for The Polling Project: An Evening with the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday, Oct. 29 at the Museum of the American Revolution. Take a deep dive into the 2018 midterm elections with journalists from both world-class newsrooms. Tickets are free but space is limited. Register here.

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That’s Interesting


"At a time when our outdoor spaces, particularly those in and around urban areas, are increasingly threatened by development, Congress should be exploring ways to promote access to the outdoors not threatening it."
— Gabby Perez, former intern at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, on how Congressional neglect is putting Pennsylvania’s outdoor spaces at risk.

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