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El Salvador volcanoes to power bitcoin mining

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El Salvador volcanoes to power bitcoin mining

Bitcoin is red-hot in El Salvador — and the country says it plans to use power from its volcanoes to mine it.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele — just hours after the country’s legislature approved the “Bitcoin Law,” making it the first to accept Bitcoin as legal tender — revealed Wednesday that the nation’s state-owned geothermal electric company will harness volcanic energy to mine the cryptocurrency.

Bukele said the country is already designing a mining hub that will use “very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable” energy from volcanoes to power the operation, which effectively would be a bank of super-powered computers that solve the complex mathematical equations required to mine Bitcoin.

“Our engineers just informed me that they dug a new well,” Bukele tweeted, saying it would generate 95 megawatts of energy — enough to power more than 500 homes for a year. “What you see coming out of the well is pure water vapor.”

Bukele — who is looking to lower transaction fees on the $6 billion in yearly remittances sent to its citizens from abroad — has yet, however, to reveal when the new operation will be live or how many Bitcoins he expects to be able to mine.

It’s been a bullish week for Bitcoin in El Salvador. The digital coin can now be used as payment for goods, services, and taxes in the public and private sector. Bitcoin rose 6 percent on the news, according to data from Coindesk.

According to a study by Cambridge University, Bitcoin mining consumes more energy per year than the Philippines. Elon Musk has met with Bitcoin miners about environmental concerns, recently citing them as he announced Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment.

Details about the mining efforts and how El Salvador will widely adopt Bitcoin remain vague. The law states it will provide “the necessary training and mechanisms” to allow the 70 percent of its citizens that don’t have access to traditional banking services to understand how they can use Bitcoin but didn’t elaborate.

Still, Bukele remains an enthusiastic advocate for the currency and his mining project. Late Thursday he tweeted drone footage of the new mine with a rainbow in the background.

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Sweetgreen salad chain files for IPO

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Sweetgreen salad chain files for IPO

Salad chain sweetgreen said on Monday it had confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the US, hopeful of strong investor interest as demand for plant-based food products surges globally.

The company, which counts tennis star Naomi Osaka as its youngest investor, was valued at $1.8 billion after a funding round earlier this year, according to media reports. T.Rowe Price, Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners are among sweetgreen’s other investors.

California-based sweetgreen, which was founded in 2007 and has more than 100 stores in the US, did not reveal more details about the size of the proposed IPO.

Plant-based food companies have attracted investor attention over the past few years, particularly as more people gravitate to healthy and environment-friendly food.

Much of the demand is being led by millennials and generation Z consumers, who are more than willing to spend on sustainable products that are also healthy.

About 65 percent of Gen Z consumers are in favor of plant-based foods, sweetgreen says on its website.

Last year, plant-based retail sales in the US hit $7 billion, up 27 percent year-on-year, according to a report by the Good Food Institute and the Plant-Based Foods Association.

Swedish oatmilk maker Oatly Group AB, which went public last month, closed nearly 53 percent above its IPO price on Friday. Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat was also up 16 percent this year.

Sweetgreen is home to such options as the Kale Caasar, Peach Burrata, and Harvest Bowl Houson, and Cashew Pesto Sweet Potato. The chain is the brainchild of three college students looking for healthier diet options.

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Victoria’s Secret will change its name amid rebrand

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Victoria’s Secret is tweaking its name as it revamps its business

Victoria’s Secret — which has been aggressively overhauling its brand during the past year to appeal to a more diverse range of customers — likewise plans to tweak its name.

The lingerie giant said Monday it will be renamed Victoria’s Secret & Co. when it splits off from L Brands in August and becomes an independent, publicly-traded company.

The change comes amid a flurry of news around the quickly transforming business, which last week unveiled a new marketing campaign and collection — VS Collective — featuring seven women including soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, 17 year-old American skier, Eileen Gu and tech investor and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Its famous “Angels,” which over the years have included supermodels Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Gisele Bundchen, will be phased out of the company’s marketing after years of complaints that it excluded women with more natural looks and normal body types.

(L-R) Models Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, and Behati Prinsloo walk the runway at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City.
(L-R) Models Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, and Behati Prinsloo walk the runway at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on Nov. 13, 2013 in New York City.
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The company also announced last week a new board of directors, of which six of the seven directors are women.

“This is an exciting time for all of us at Victoria’s Secret,” chief executive Martin Waters said in a statement. “The progress we have made over the last year underscores our commitment to driving profitable growth, creating new opportunities for our talented associates and evolving our brand and product to reflect the diverse experiences, passions and perspectives of our our customers.”

Victoria’s Secret & Co. also will encompass the company’s Pink brand — which is focused on teens and women in their twenties.

Victoria's secret logo
Victoria’s Secret stores in recent months have been improving their profitability by slashing costs and scaling back discounts on lingerie.
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L Brands also owns Bath & Body Works, which will become an independent company in August as well. Its name will remain the same.

The Ohio-based company founded by billionaire Les Wexner, which has also been boosting profits at Victoria’s Secret by slashing costs and scaling back discounts, has seen its stock surge 69 percent year to date versus an 11-percent increase in the S&P 500.

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EEOC files lawsuit over worker fired for refusing to be fingerprinted

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EEOC files lawsuit over worker fired for refusing to be fingerprinted

A Minnesota man refused to leave fingerprints — and got fired for it.

As a result, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Minnesota firm on behalf of Henry Harrington, of Mound, who was sacked for refusing the company’s requirement to be fingerprinted on religious grounds, the Star Tribune reported Friday.

The EEOC suit against AscensionPoint Recovery Services, a debt recovery company, was filed this week.

AscensionPoint had requested that workers be fingerprinted as a result of a background check requirement of one of its clients, according to the EEOC.

Harrington, 37, however, told AscensionPoint in July 2017 that having his fingerprints captured was contrary to his Christian beliefs. He was fired the same day.

The suit seeks back pay for Harrington from the time he was fired, and other financial compensation for “emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life and humiliation.”

“An employee should not have to choose between his faith and his livelihood,” Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC’s regional attorney in the Chicago District Office, said in a statement.

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