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PepsiCo believes cutting sugar and salt will boost profits

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WASHINGTON — US soft drink and snacks giant PepsiCo unveiled plans Monday to cut sugar, fat and sodium in its products as part of a broad initiative to address health, nutrition and environmental concerns.

“We believe that a healthier future for all people and our planet means a more successful future for PepsiCo,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer.

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“These commitments are shared by all of our businesses and reflect our focus on profitable, long-term growth and will guide us as we continue to build a portfolio of enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages for consumers around the world.”

Among the plans “to encourage people to live healthier lives,” PepisCo said it would reduce the average sodium per serving in key global food brands in key markets by 25 percent by 2015; cut saturated fat by 15 percent by 2020; and reduce average added sugar in its drinks 25 percent by 2020.

PepsiCo, which calls itself the world’s second largest food and beverage company, said it also would “eliminate the direct sale of full-sugar soft drinks to primary and secondary schools around the globe by 2012.”

The maker of soft drinks including Pepsi-Cola and Gatorade and Frito-Lay brand snacks also will expand “corporate contribution initiatives to promote healthier communities, including enhancing diet and physical activity programs” and “invest in business and research and development to expand offerings of more affordable, nutritionally relevant products for underserved and lower-income communities.”

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Additionally, the company will work to increase access to safe water in developing countries, reduce packaging weight and greenhouse gas emissions.

The move comes with politicians and activist groups pressing for a so-called fat tax on the soft drinks industry, based on the argument that sweet beverages are responsible for an upsurge of obesity in the United States.

Proponents of the tax say that soft drinks should be treated like tobacco so that the government can effectively price people away from their bad habits. The soda industry dismisses the cigarettes parallel and has lobbied hard — successfully so far — against the levy.

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Earlier this month, leading companies, including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, joined former president Bill Clinton in announcing the results of an initiative they said had reduced by 88 percent the number of drinks calories in US schools since 2004.


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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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