DINNER PARTY INTEL: Zuma crashes back to Earth
Topics to impress this week
1. Tax on coffee cups builds steam
Billions of disposable coffee cups end up in landfill sites in the UK every year. And while sceptical consumers have questioned whether a tax is the solution, British MPs appear to want to force consumers to recycle. They are calling for a 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups — and even a total ban unless recycling improves.
In response, Starbucks has said it will trial a 5p cup charge in some of its London outlets. Firms such as Costa Coffee and Pret a Manger already give customers a discount of up to 50p if they bring in their own reusable cups.
2. Bit by bit, China reins in cryptocurrency
China has already banned bitcoin, and it now appears to be taking the battle to Chinese miners of the cryptocurrency. Thanks to cheap electricity, Chinese miners are estimated to produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of bitcoin.
A leaked memo from the country’s Internet finance regulator says bitcoin miners should make an "orderly exit" from China because they have consumed "huge amounts of resources and stoked speculation of virtual currencies".
3. Zuma: watch this space
News agencies report that US lawmakers have been briefed on Zuma’s demise. But no-one seems to know exactly what happened.
On Sunday, SpaceX successfully launched a satellite named Zuma for an unknown US government agency. But the mysterious spacecraft appears to be lost in space. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are reporting that Zuma actually fell back to Earth and burnt up in the planet’s atmosphere.
SpaceX hasn’t confirmed this, but it would be a blight on its record after 18 successful launches last year.