50 die in Japanese commuter train accident


50 die in Japan commuter train crash — A packed commuter train left the tracks and slammed into an apartment building, killing 50 people and injuring more than 340 others in Japan’s deadliest rail accident in four decades. The seven-car train, carrying 580 passengers, derailed in an urban area near Osaka in central Japan at 9:20 a.m. Monday. (CNN)

Note to readers: With this issue, The Daily completes its evolution from travel blog to news service. We’ve eliminated the commentary at the end of the lead news item — which was a carry-over from Travel Notes, its predecessor — and have added source citations for each story. Comments? Please send them to us.

Staying connected on a cruise can be costly — It’s getting easier to stay connected when you’re on a cruise ship, but it will cost you. According to research from CruiseCompete.com, you’ll pay up to $25 per minute when making a telephone call from a cabin phone and up to 75 cents per minute for Internet access. (Associated Press)

Acme loses car rental overcharging case — A Connecticut car rental company that ran into trouble for using a global positioning device to fine speeding drivers lost another case last week after overcharging a customer and referring him to a phony legal department. Richard Votto protested when American Car Rental, which operates Acme Rent-A-Car, charged him more than $12,000 for damage to a truck he rented. (Insurance Journal)

Air taxi service launched — A technology entrepreneur on Monday unveils a new kind of on-demand airline that could alter the way people travel between midsize cities. DayJet, of Delray Beach, Fla., will marry two advanced technologies: Very Light Jet (VLJ) aircraft, which can seat four passengers and operate at half the cost of today’s small jets; and sophisticated computer databases that can determine the most efficient ways to route those aircraft to pick up customers. (USA Today)

Hotel taxes irk travelers — When Charlotte-area officials decided to make their run for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, they had a variety of funding vehicles to choose from. But they quickly settled on one that offers, perhaps, the path of least resistance — raising the hotel tax. In their bids to build bigger, bolder sports and civic complexes, cities continue to turn to hotel and other forms of visitor taxes to help defray the costs. (Charlotte Observer)

In the UK, cutlery on planes is OK — Rules forbidding the use of metal cutlery on British planes – introduced after the 11 September attacks – have been relaxed. The new guidelines also mean pointed household items such as small nail scissors or knitting needles will not be confiscated. (BBC)

Contributing: Charles Leocha, John Frenaye