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Business Digest: Author, TV execs headline latest SXSW speakers list


SXSW

Author, TV execs headline latest SXSW speakers list

South by Southwest on Wednesday released another round of featured speakers for the March 10-19 conference. The list includes decluttering author Marie Kondo (”The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”); David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of the popular series “Game of Thrones” on HBO; futurist Ray Kurzweil (”The Singularity Is Near”); CNN commentator Van Jones; SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan; and AOL co-founder Steve Case in conversation with GE vice chair Beth Comstock.

SXSW chief programming officer Hugh Forrest said the speakers list includes trendsetters in entertainment, artificial intelligence and other big-picture trends the conference will explore.

“This programming represents global leaders using their talents as creative visionaries, and futuristic engineers advancing innovation,” Forrest said in a written statement.

ENTERTAINMENT

New operator set to take over closed Lakeline Mall theater

A vacant theater at Lakeline Mall won’t stay dark for long.

AMC Theatres said Wednesday that it will take over the recently closed Regal Lakeline Mall 9 cineplex at 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive.

The theater is expected to reopen in nine months, following a remodeling project that will cost several million dollars, according to Simon, Lakeline Mall’s operator. The remodel will include new seating, upgraded video and audio capabilities and enhanced food-and-drink offerings.

AMC’s only other Austin theater is at Barton Creek Square, which is also operated by Simon.

Lakeline Mall, which has more than 150 retailers, opened in 1995 and recently underwent an extensive renovation.

RESTAURANTS

Operator sought for Republic Square eatery

With Republic Square in the midst of an extreme makeover, the Downtown Austin Alliance is searching for someone to run a soon-to-open restaurant at the park.

The counter-service eatery is expected to offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Downtown Austin Alliance said.

In its call for proposals, the Downtown Austin Alliance cites successful food operations in parks in other cities, including Niko Niko’s in Houston’s Market Square and Shake Shack in New York’s Madison Square Park.

Proposals are due to the CBRE commercial real estate firm by Feb. 10. For more details, visit downtownaustin.com/daa/join-our-team.

FAST FOOD

Taco Bell to offer fried chicken taco shell

IRVINE, Calif. — Taco Bell plans to go nationwide this month with its latest concoction: a taco with a shell made entirely out of fried chicken.

Taco Bell says the shell of the Naked Chicken Chalupa is made up of all-white seasoned chicken. The rest of the taco is packed with lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and avocado ranch sauce.

The fast food chain says the taco tested well in markets in Bakersfield, California, and Kansas City, Missouri, over the past two years.

It will be available at Taco Bells across the country on Jan. 26.

ECONOMY

Bank of England: Brexit risks to UK now lower

LONDON — The governor of the Bank of England says Britain’s exit from the European Union is no longer the single biggest risk to financial stability in the U.K.

Speaking to lawmakers, Mark Carney said Wednesday that monetary stimulus enacted by the bank shortly after June’s EU referendum had decreased such risks. The central bank cut its main interest rate, among other things, to help the economy.

Still, Carney warned that the process of adapting to life outside the EU could amplify risks to stability once again.

Carney said it would be in the interests of both Britain and the EU to have a transitional phase for the financial services sector when Britain starts the formal talks to leave the bloc. Those talks are due to start by the end of March.



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