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Google likely to let some staff return to offices this month

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Google likely to let some staff return to offices this month

Google is looking to partially reopen some of its US offices in the coming weeks as the tech titan’s work-from-home era comes to an end.

Employees will likely start going back to certain Google offices on a voluntary basis over the next month, though everyone will have the option of working remotely until September, a company spokesperson said in an email Thursday.

The Silicon Valley giant will reopen offices in phases based on criteria including downward trends in COVID-19 cases and the availability of vaccines, the spokesperson said.

“In the United States, the situation is also mixed and we must continue to stay vigilant to prevent a new wave of the virus,” Fionna Cicconi, Google’s chief people officer, told employees in a Wednesday email reported by Axios.

Google first started letting its staff work remotely in March 2020 as the deadly coronavirus began to spread around the US and other parts of the world.

But the company will expect its employees to spend at least three days a week in the office when its broader reopening starts in September, CNBC reported.

Anyone who wants to work remotely for more than 14 days out of the year after September will have to apply for permission to do so as working from home was meant to be a temporary arrangement, according to the Google spokesperson.

Google revealed its latest reopening plans about two weeks after announcing that it would spend more than $7 billion this year expanding its offices and data centers, including its massive New York City campus.

The company previously told employees in December that they wouldn’t come back to the office until September, according to reports.

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Dogecoin jumps again to double record rally price

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Dogecoin jumps again to double record rally price

Dogecoin has doubled from its Wednesday morning rally to reach prices of more than $0.30 Thursday night.

The dog meme-inspired cryptocurrency — that began as a joke — is up 400 percent over the past week, according to Coindesk.

The surge came a day after Wednesday’s stock market debut for the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which was considered a sign of Wall Street’s acceptance of crypto. However, Dogecoin is not listed on Coinbase.

Doge was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter Thursday night, and at least one user told The Post they were unable to purchase the currency on Robinhood, due to the app crashing as its value skyrocketed.

“Doge Barking at the Moon,” tweeted SpaceX’s Elon Musk, who once said Dogecoin is his favorite Bitcoin rival.

“Me on Robinhood checking if #dogecoin has reached the moon every 2 seconds,” another user tweeted.

“There is fixing to be a lot of Meme Millionaires,” one user posted.

Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban began accepting Dogecoin for payment for NBA tickets and merchandise last month.

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Robinhood sues Massachusetts over regulatory clampdown

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Robinhood sues Massachusetts over regulatory clampdown

 Online brokerage Robinhood on Thursday sued to invalidate Massachusetts’ recently-adopted fiduciary rule and block state regulators from proceeding with charges it encourages inexperienced investors to place risky trades without limits.

Robinhood in a lawsuit filed in state court in Boston said the fiduciary standard of conduct for broker-dealers that Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s office adopted last year violates state and federal law.

A spokeswoman for Galvin did not respond to a request for comment.

Galvin, the state’s top securities regulator, in December filed an administrative case accusing Robinhood of using aggressive tactics to attract inexperienced investors and failing to prevent outages on its platform.

He accused the app-based service of using strategies that treated trading like a game to lure young, inexperienced customers, including having confetti rain down for each trade made on its app.

The case is the first enforcement action brought under a state fiduciary rule adopted in September that raised the investment-advice standard for brokers.

Regulators are seeking a fine and order requiring Robinhood to engage a compliance consultant to review its platform and policies. Robinhood has denied wrongdoing.

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Veterans included in latest round

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Veterans included in latest round

The feds just doled out another 2 million stimulus checks — and a large chunk of them went to veterans.

The Internal Revenue Service’s fifth batch of coronavirus relief payments under the American Rescue Plan included more than 320,000 checks for people relying Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, officials said.

Those taxpayers are receiving compensation benefits or VA pensions available to veterans as well as their spouses or other relatives in some cases, according to the feds.

Like many Social Security recipients who had to wait for their stimulus checks, these VA beneficiaries do not usually file tax returns and didn’t submit their payment info to the IRS when previous payments were distributed last year, the tax agency said Wednesday.

The IRS had to review payment data it received from the VA to deliver money to the affected veterans, officials have said.

The VA beneficiaries’ checks were among more than $3.4 billion worth of “economic impact payments” that the IRS said it started processing last Friday and officially paid on Wednesday.

Nearly 850,000 payments in the latest batch went to people whose payment info the IRS did not have on record but recently filed a tax return, according to the feds. Another 72,000 went to the aforementioned Social Security beneficiaries who didn’t file income taxes in either of the last two years, officials said.

There were also more than 700,000 “plus-up” payments to taxpayers who received an initial check in March based on their 2019 tax returns but qualified for more money based on their recently processed 2020 returns, the IRS said.

The feds have now given out about 159 million stimulus payments worth more than $376 billion since President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion spending package authorizing the checks last month, officials said.

This week’s batch of payments included nearly 1.2 million direct deposits and close to 800,000 paper checks, according to the IRS.

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