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Amazon and US Postal Service team up for grocery delivery trial service in San Francisco

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc has begun using the U.S. Postal Service to deliver groceries on a trial basis in the San Francisco area, in a potential boost for the online retailer’s fledgling but gradually expanding “AmazonFresh” service.

The postal service began a 60-day trial in the first week of August, shipping small grocery parcels in insulated bags right to buyers’ doorsteps between 3am and 7am in the morning, where demand for delivery is generally at its lowest.

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Depending on how things go, the partners may consider expanding beyond the city and going nationwide, a spokeswoman for the postal service said.

Amazon’s fast-growing business could give the cash-strapped postal service a shot in the arm. USPS has struggled with declining mail volumes and persistent losses for years, though its package-delivery business grew 6 percent to 3.7 billion packages in 2013.

The agency lost $2 billion from April to June, compared with a net loss of $740 million in the same period of last year.

The postal service is now trying to “determine if delivering groceries to residential and business addresses would be feasible from an operations standpoint and could be financially beneficial for the organization,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

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Amazon declined to comment beyond saying in a statement: “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver packages to customers.”

It already uses the postal service for Sunday deliveries, and intends to roll out that feature to “a large proportion” of the country this year.

The company has steadily expanded its online grocery business, targeting one of the largest retail sectors yet to be upended by online commerce. The company has plans to launch AmazonFresh, which has operated in Seattle for years, in roughly 20 urban areas in 2014, including some outside the United States.

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The tie-up was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Bernard Orr)

[Image: Two freshly delivered Amazon boxes are seen on a counter in Golden, Colorado on Aug. 27, 2014. By Rick Wilking for Reuters]

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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French model tycoon at heart of Epstein scandal accusations

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A formerly powerful French modeling tycoon has emerged as a key figure in the scandal surrounding US billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in jail while facing charges of sexually trafficking minors.

Jean-Luc Brunel, regarded as a close friend and ally of the disgraced US financier, has been accused in court documents of procuring young girls for Epstein, as well as of rape. He has in the past unequivocally denied the accusations.

The model scout, an influential figure in the industry, has always been a low-profile figure and like some other former Epstein allies vanished after the financier was charged in early July.

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‘Megalomaniacal, paranoid, and psychopathic’: Economist sounds the alarm on Trump’s ‘bottomless malevolence’

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Economist Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, has written a frightening warning about President Donald Trump's "paranoid and psychopathic" leadership style, and he says it could have disastrous consequences for the world if he wins a second term.

In an essay published at progressive news website Common Dreams, Sachs argues that it would be a grave mistake to treat Trump like a cynical politician, when in reality he is an impulsive and vindictive narcissist who acts on his angry whims.

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Trump baselessly accuses Democratic lawmaker of ‘violence’?? in insane tweet

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President Donald Trump, in a strangely giddy and unhinged tweet on Tuesday baselessly accused Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of “violence.”

“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” Trump tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”

It’s unclear what the president was referring to when he accused the Michigan Congresswoman of violence, but his other remarks appear to be directed at a press conference she held Monday.

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