When Yared Markos moved to London a quarter century ago, he didn't see any Ethiopian coffee shops. Now, there are more than a dozen all over a city where tea, coffee’s counterpart, has been a staple for centuries. Markos and other Ethiopian coffee sellers in London say they hope to convey to people outside Ethiopia that drinking coffee is a communal experience and an important tradition back home. And since the London-based International Coffee Organization has declared this Sunday, Oct. 1, as International Coffee Day, what better time and way to learn about its origins?
The Panama Canal is reducing the maximum number of ships allowed to travel the waterway to 31 per day due to a drought that has cut the supply of fresh water needed to operate the locks. The number was set at 32 in August. That compares to daily averages of 36 to 38 ships per day under normal operation. The Canal Authority said Saturday that nine ships per day will be allowed to use the new, bigger NeoPanamax locks and 22 per day will be handled through the older Panamax locks. Not enough rain has fallen to feed the watershed system of rivers and brooks that fill lakes, whose waters in turn fill the locks.
A federal agency has sued Chipotle, accusing it of religious harassment and retaliation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in its lawsuit that a manager at a Chipotle restaurant in Kansas forcibly removed a Muslim employee's hijab in 2021. The complaint alleges that the manager repeatedly harassed the employee by asking her to show him her hair, despite her refusal. The lawsuit claims this created a hostile working environment based on religion. Chipotle's chief corporate affairs officer, Laurie Schalow, said the company has no tolerance for discrimination and has fired the manager in question.
The legal fights between Disney and Gov. Ron DeSantis ratcheted up this week. The Florida governor asked that the company’s First Amendment lawsuit against him be tossed from federal court. And Disney demanded documents, emails, texts and other communications from the governor’s office in a separate state court lawsuit against Walt Disney World’s governing district controlled by DeSantis appointees. The fight started last year when Disney publicly opposed a state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades. DeSantis retaliated by taking over the governing district for Disney’s theme park resort in Florida.
Several people have been injured after the Flying Scotsman steam locomotive was involved in a low-speed crash with another heritage train in the Scottish Highlands. The National Railway Museum said Saturday the “shunting incident” took place at Aviemore Station in the Cairngorms national park on Friday. The station is home to a heritage train line that takes visitors on steam train rides in northern Scotland. Emergency workers were alerted Friday “to reports of a collision” involving two trains at Aviemore. Two people were hospitalized as a precaution. Three others were treated at the scene. The Belmond and Strathspey Railway said the Flying Scotsman locomotive was being coupled with stationary Royal Scotsman train carriages when the collision took place.
Apple is blaming a software bug and other issues tied to popular apps such as Instagram and Uber for causing its recently released iPhone 15 models to heat up and spark complaints about becoming too hot to handle. The Cupertino, California, company said Saturday that it is working on an update to the iOS17 system that powers the iPhone 15 lineup to prevent the devices from becoming uncomfortably hot. In a short statement provided to The Associated Press, the company didn't specify the timeline for its software fix. Apple says it's also working with the apps that have been causing problems, saying Instagram modified its app for iPhones this week.
The Emirati president-designate for the upcoming United Nations COP28 climate conference has offered a full-throated defense of his nation hosting the talks. The comments Saturday by Sultan al-Jaber come after climate activists roundly criticized his appointment as the president-designate of the talks because of his role as the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. Back before a quiet, hometown crowd and an amenable moderator after attending the U.N. General Assembly, al-Jaber pointed to his 20 years of work on renewable energy as a sign that he and the Emirates represented the best chance to reach a consensus to address climate change worldwide.
Millions of Americans must start repaying their federal student loans again in October, with monthly payments averaging hundreds of dollars. To get ready, borrowers are cutting expenses, taking on additional work, and looking for options to reduce their monthly payments. The Supreme Court in July rejected a plan by President Joe Biden’s administration to wipe away $400 billion in student loan debt. It's not yet clear how millions of people suddenly having less discretionary income might affect the economy. On an earnings call last month, the chief financial officer of Target said student loan payments restarting will put additional pressure on already-strained budgets.
Libyan authorities say commercial flights to and from Italy have resumed for the first time in a decade. Flight MT522, operated by the Libyan carrier Medsky Airways, departed Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli for Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport on Saturday morning. Air authorities in Libya say a return flight is scheduled to land in Tripoli in the afternoon. According to the Mitiga airport announcement, there will be round-trip flights between the Libyan and Italian capitals on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Italy and other western nations banned flights from Libya as the oil-rich nation in North Africa plunged into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
Hours before fires largely destroyed the historic Hawaiian town of Lahaina, residents of another part of Maui were trying to stop flames reaching their homes despite a frustrating loss of pressure in their water system. Officials say when electricity was knocked out, the lack of backup power for pumps seriously hindered firefighting efforts in Kula. The scale of damage and loss was far smaller than in Lahaina, where at least 97 people died. But Kula's experience highlighted a vulnerability that exists in many water systems across the United States. Experts say adding backup power to water systems is expensive, and it's not required.
Cyprus is hailing a two-notch upgrade by credit ratings agency Moody’s that has brought the east Mediterranean island nation back into investment-grade territory a decade after a financial crisis left the country on the brink of bankruptcy. President Nikos Christodoulides said Saturday he was “deeply satisfied” with the upgrade that was the culmination of years of fiscal discipline and that he said will translate into attracting quality foreign investment and job creation. Moody’s said the upgrade from Ba1 to Baa2 is due to previous and continuing economic, fiscal and banking reforms, as well as a significant drop in bad bank loans. The upgrade brings Cyprus to investment-grade level according to all major credit rating agencies by at least two notches.
An official Chinese survey says the country's factory activity has recorded its first expansion in six months. It's another sign that the world’s second-largest economy is gradually improving following its post-pandemic malaise. The government statistics bureau and an official industry group said Saturday that the monthly purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.2 in September from 49.7 in August on a 100-point scale. Numbers above 50 indicate activity increasing. The composite index rose to 52 from 51.3. Performances in some sectors have suggested signs of recovery, including in factory output and retail sales. But China's property crisis is still dragging on its economic growth.
Ukraine has hosted an international defense industry conference as part of a government effort to ramp up weapons production within the country to repel Russia’s full-scale invasion. The event marked a new development in support of Ukraine with the previous focus being on the delivery of weapons, repair of damaged equipment and military training of Ukrainian soldiers. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the opening of the International Defense Industries Forum. He said that around 250 defense companies from more than 30 countries had gathered Friday in Kyiv. Defense ministers and representatives of several countries also attended the event.
Two Colorado gun control laws taking effect will require that firearm buyers wait three days before receiving their weapon and open up the gun industry to some legal liability. The laws take effect Sunday and come as violent crime and mass shootings surge nationwide. The laws were pushed through Colorado’s Democrat-controlled legislature this year after waves of protests over gun violence. The second law would make it easier for victims of gun violence to file civil suits partly around how companies market their products. Gun groups have vowed to challenge the restrictions in court, encouraged by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that expanded gun rights last year.