Waitrose pledges to phase out disposable coffee cups in stores by autumn

Supermarket says move will save more than 52 million cups a year
Waitrose has announced plans to remove all disposable coffee cups from its shops by this autumn, as part of efforts to reduce plastics and packaging.
Members of the myWaitrose loyalty scheme will still be able to get free tea or coffee from self-service machines as a reward for shopping at the supermarket, but will be asked to use a reusable “keep cup”, the company said.
The removal of disposable cups will initially take place in nine stores from 30 April, as a trial for managing the changeover, before the scheme is rolled out nationwide in a phased programme by the autumn.
Read more Only a levy on disposable cups will break a nasty national habit ​Waitrose said the move, which comes as the government is considering a “latte levy” which would bring in a charge on disposable coffee cups, would save more than 52 million cups a year.
According to the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, the UK throws away 2.5..

Criticized for Ignoring Violence in Myanmar, Zuckerberg Steps In

Criticized for Ignoring Violence in Myanmar, Zuckerberg Steps In Last week, after frustrated activists from Myanmar sent an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, they got something unexpected: a reply.
The activists, representing six civil society organizations, harshly criticized Mr. Zuckerberg in the letter, saying he had mischaracterized Facebook’s response to violence-inciting messages in Myanmar and had not devoted sufficient resources to enforcing its hate speech rules in the violence-stricken country. Mr. Zuckerberg wrote back to the group the next day from his personal email address, apologizing for misspeaking and outlining steps that Facebook was taking to increase its moderation efforts.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s email, which was provided to The New York Times by the activist groups, was the chief executive’s first direct communication with the local groups that have criticized Facebook’s role in the country’s growing humanitarian crisis. Facebook has been ..

What Mark Zuckerberg Will Be Grilled On at the Congressional Hearings

What Mark Zuckerberg Will Be Grilled On at the Congressional Hearings Photo At congressional hearings this week, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, right, is likely to face questions about privacy, Russian meddling, fake news and more. Credit Pete Marovich for The New York Times Continue reading the main story When Mark Zuckerberg appears Tuesday afternoon before members of two Senate committees, it will be the culmination of a Facebook public relations blitz in the face of a series of controversies that have tarnished the reputation of the world’s largest social network.
Beginning late last month, Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 33-year-old founder and chief executive, suddenly granted interviews to The New York Times, Vox, Recode, Reuters and other news outlets before a conference call with dozens of reporters last week. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, has been on her own, more limited apology tour, mainly on television. The company has also moved aggressive..

Book Entry: Review: ‘Empire of Guns’ Challenges the Role of War in Industrialization

Review: ‘Empire of Guns’ Challenges the Role of War in Industrialization Photo “Empire of Guns” aims to overturn the conventional wisdom about the role of firearms in the world’s economic development. Adam Smith, in his classic “The Wealth of Nations,” was an early proponent of the now mainstream view that wars are unfortunate accidents that have “crowded out” more productive investments.
In “Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution,” the Stanford history professor Priya Satia aims to overturn this conventional wisdom about the role of guns specifically, and war and conquest more generally, in the world’s economic development.
Given that “Britain was involved in major military operations” for most of the years leading up to and during the Industrial Revolution, Professor Satia argues that imagining an alternative universe in which peace prevailed is a fool’s errand. (“It is impossible to factor the violence out.”) She contends, rather than crowding out infrastruc..

Nigeria’s President, Facing Calls to Step Aside, Says He Will Run Again

Nigeria’s President, Facing Calls to Step Aside, Says He Will Run Again Photo President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, left, has taken extended medical leave abroad at a time when Nigeria faces serious problems. Credit Stefan Heunis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images ABUJA, Nigeria — Despite calls to step aside and concerns about mysterious health problems, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria on Monday declared his intention to seek re-election next year, ending months of speculation.
In a closed-door meeting of the National Executive Committee, after national news outlets had left the room, Mr. Buhari, 75, announced that he would run again, according to people who were present and briefed reporters afterward. They said he had told the committee that he was responding to popular demand that he seek another term.
Mr. Buhari has faced widespread criticism over his government’s inability to defeat the renewed Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, or to end violence between herders and ..

Top Somali Politician Steps Down, Avoiding Showdown With President

Top Somali Politician Steps Down, Avoiding Showdown With President Photo The resignation of Mohamed Osman Jawari, right, the speaker of Somalia’s Parliament, could bring a peaceful resolution to his power struggle with President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Credit Sadak Mohamed/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images MOGADISHU, Somalia — The speaker of Somalia’s Parliament resigned on Monday ahead of a no-confidence vote, sparing the country a repeat of the armed standoff last week that threatened to descend into violence.
The decision by the speaker, Mohamed Osman Jawari, could mean a peaceful resolution to the power struggle between him and the president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
Last week, a no-confidence motion by Mr. Mohamed’s allies against Mr. Jawari led to a face-off between armed members of the security services — those loyal to the speaker inside the Parliament, and those loyal to the president outside. The deadlock lasted several hours and ended after mediation by the African Union..

Hungary Election Was Free but Not Entirely Fair, Observers Say

Hungary Election Was Free but Not Entirely Fair, Observers Say Photo Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, center, in Budapest on Sunday with other Hungarian leaders after election results were announced. His party, Fidesz, secured more than 49 percent of the vote. Credit Szilard Koszticsak/MTI, via Associated Press BUDAPEST, Hungary — One day after Viktor Orban and his governing Fidesz party and its allies won a sweeping election victory, independent election monitors said Monday that the party had used the resources of the state on a very large scale to bolster its chances of winning.
“Voters had a wide range of political options but intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric, media bias, and opaque campaign financing constricted the space for genuine political debate,” said Douglas Wake, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or O.S.C.E., mission in Hungary.
“The ubiquitous overlap between government information and ruling coalition campaigns, and other abu..