Topics to impress this week.

1. Fuelled by coffee

London’s iconic red buses will soon run on a biofuel partially made from old coffee grounds.

The fuel will be supplied by a demonstration project set up by a British startup called Bio-bean, Bloomberg reports. It will produce 6,000l/year of the fuel.

Bio-bean says oil extracted from the used coffee grounds is blended with diesel. The company has partnered with coffee shops across the UK, including Costa Coffee and Caffè Nero, to collect used grounds, of which the UK produces 500,000t/year. And it hopes to expand to other countries with high coffee consumption.

2. ‘I thought it was booze’

A Russian former minister, accused of extorting a bribe, told a court this week he thought a bag with US$2m in cash held a gift of expensive alcohol. Alexei Ulyukayev took the bag from government-owned oil firm Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin. The gift was received in exchange for Ulyukayev approving the sale of a state-controlled oil company, Bashneft, to Rosneft. Putin fired the minister shortly after he was detained with the package.

3. Uber’s discount

Picture: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY
Picture: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY

In what would be one of the largest purchases of stock in a private company, Japan’s SoftBank wants to buy a stake in Uber. The investors have offered to spend more than $6bn for a stake that would value the ride-hailing company at $48bn, or about 30% lower than the valuation it fetched in a recent round of fundraising, Bloomberg reports.

Uber has had a rocky 2017. Its CEO was forced to resign and the company admitted to hiding a huge hack. The deal is an opportunity to leave that behind.

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