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Amazon takes on supermarkets with grocery service

Amazon has launched an online grocery service called Prime Pantry that lets US members of its Prime loyalty scheme do their food shopping on the website.

Amazon's Prime Pantry lets members of their Prime loyalty scheme do their food shopping on the website.
Amazon's Prime Pantry lets members of their Prime loyalty scheme do their food shopping on the website. Credit: PA

The service allows members to fill a 45-pound (20kg) box of groceries and have it delivered to them for a flat fee of $5.99 dollars (£3.56) - though fresh food is not available through the service.

The Amazon website says: "Adding your first Prime Pantry item to Cart starts a Prime Pantry box. As you shop, you see that each Pantry item tells you what percentage of a Pantry box it fills based on its size and weight.

Read: Morrisons enters the online market - but is it too late?

"Pantry boxes are large and can hold up to 45 pounds or four cubic feet of household products. As you check items off your list, we continuously track and show you how full your box is."

The service - which is currently only available in the US - is the latest in a line of new services Amazon has recently launched to compete with rivals such as Apple and Google.

Uncontacted Amazon tribe reacts to planes overhead

A series of pictures of a remote, uncontacted tribe in the Amazon basin has been released. The pictures were taken near the Xinane river in Brazil's Acre State, close to its border with Peru.

The tribe was first identified as "uncontacted" in 2011 when satellite pictures revealed this community was living near the border with Peru.

Indians who are considered uncontacted by anthropologists react to a plane flying over their community in the Amazon basin Credit: Reuters

In the latest pictures, taken on March 25, the uncontacted people are seen reacting to a plane flying overhead. As many as five tribal men can be seen raising their weapons in a threatening manner at the plane.

The tribe is based near Xinane river in Brazil's Acre State, near the border with Peru, Credit: Reuters

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Amazon testing drones to deliver packages in 30mins

Online retailer Amazon is testing unmanned drones called Octocopters in a bid to deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes.

The drones could deliver packages that weigh up to 2.3kg but the service is not expected to start for at least five years, the company's chief executive Jeff Bezos claimed.

Mr Bezos told CBS television's 60 Minutes programme: "These are effectively drones but there’s no reason that they can’t be used as delivery vehicles...I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not."

"We can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds, which covers 86 per cent of the items that we deliver...These are electric motors, so this is all electric; it’s very green, it’s better than driving trucks around," he added.

The service will be called Prime Air but US aviation officials have not approved use of the drones.

Read more: 'Cyber Monday' set to be the busiest for online sales

Author 'delighted' over calls to ban his parenting book

The author of a book that advocates beating children under a year old with paddles said he was "delighted" to discover a Tory MP was calling for it to be banned on Amazon's website.

Michael Pearl told BBC Radio 5 Live that if the book is removed from the retailer's website, he will "advertise it as 'the book banned in the UK'".

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries asked the Commons yesterday if Parliament could apply pressure on Amazon to remove To Train Up A Child.

Mr Pearl told the radio station: "I was delighted to hear that Parliament might ban my book, if they do, I will immediately advertise it as 'the book banned in the UK' and...we will end up selling another 100,000 books directly to the UK."

"The British defeated the Nazi's with planes and tanks and now they stoop to defeating ideas with censorship," he added.

Dorries: Parenting book 'advocates beating of children'

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries asked House of Commons leader Andrew Lansley to bring the issue of a book that "advocates the beating of children" to Parliament in a bid to pressurise Amazon into removing it from their website.

I'm rising to ask you if you can use your good office to apply pressure on an issue which has come to my attention in the last 24 hours.

It's regarding a book which is for sale on Amazon called To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. It actually advocates the beating of children under the age of 12 months using a switch.

The book recommends that switch be cut from a willow tree and be no longer than 12 inches in length and 8cm in diameter.

The book advocates the use of paddles, rulers and other means to beat children from four months onwards.

– Nadine Dorries, Conservative MP

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MP urges Amazon to ban parenting 'child beatings' book

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has urged Amazon to remove a book that advocates beating children under a year old with paddles, rulers and implements fashioned from trees.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries has urged Amazon to ban the book To Train Up A Child. Credit: PA

The controversial book To Train Up A Child should be taken off the online retailer's website as it advocates child abuse, Ms Dorries said.

The book's authors, Debi and Michael Pearl, run their own No Greater Joy Christian ministry and Mr Pearl describes himself as a "pastor, missionary, and evangelist for over 40 years", according to his website.

Ms Dorries asked Commons leader Andrew Lansley to bring the issue to Parliament to apply pressure on Amazon to remove the book, first published in 1994, from sale.

'Gay best friend' product still available on Amazon

The product was on sale from a number of Amazon sellers for under £5. Credit: Amazon.co.uk

What appears to be the same product is available on Amazon, and includes descriptions such as "Loves To Shop" and "Gives Great Fashion Tips".

In the product description section of the web page, it says: "Can't find the perfect friend to patiently listen to all your problems and give you advice!? Well here he is!!

"Everyone knows someone who is in need of a caring, stylish and funny friend!!! This is a hilarious gift! All of you girlies out there would love to have someone to patiently listen to you and give you advice."

Also available on the site is a product called Grow Your Own Gay Best Friend. Amazon had yet to respond to a Press Association request for comment.

How to turn off in-app purchases

Screenshot of iPad settings Credit: ITV News

The online games app industry has been warned by the Office of Fair Trading of "potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices" that could target "susceptible" children to pay to continue playing 'free' web and app-based games.

Read our guide to switching off in-app purchases on your iPad, Google Android and Amazon Kindle Fire devices

Read more: 'Pay to play' games warning

Amazon to hire 15,000 extra staff for Christmas jobs

Amazon hired around 10,000 temporary staff in the run-up to last Christmas. Credit: PA

Amazon said it will hire more than 15,000 people across the UK for seasonal work this Christmas - 5,000 more than last year.

The online retailer, which will recruit new staff at its eight nationwide "fulfilment centres" and its customer service department in Edinburgh, says many temporary staff hired to cover the festive period will get permanent jobs.

“On our busiest shopping day last Christmas, customers ordered a total of 3.5 million items during one 24-hour period at a rate of 44 items a second,” said Catherine McDermott, the company's UK Director of Operations.

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