Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chimp Attack!

Having seen on the news that a 55 year-old woman was critically injured by her friend’s pet chimpanzee, I think the government should set up stricter control on keeping pets. In addition, the chimp’s owner should be prosecuted.

According to, a pet is defined as any domesticated or tamed animal that is kept as a companion and cared for affectionately. However, I don’t think a chimpanzee is included in this category (domesticated and tamed animal). Even though Herold, the chimp’s owner, said the chimp was her life after her daughter was killed in a car accident, does it make any sense to keep a 200-pound chimpanzee at home as a substitution of her lost-daughter?

Sadly, not only has Herold lost her daughter, but also her friend, Nash, who is still in the hospital in a critical condition, having suffered losing her arms and nose and incurring a brain injury.

Therefore, as the government gives the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) more authority to set up stricter rules – having the authority to remove any animals from the home of anyone who violates the statute and refuses to relocate the animals, and an increase of civil penalties from $1,000 to $2,000 per day and imprisonment of up to one year for owners of the animals who refuse to relocate them – similar tragedies can be prevented from happening again.

Among the new rules, I think pet owners should take the responsibility to train their pets and refrain from disturbing public safety. Therefore, public education of keeping pets should be given to pet owners. It is also essential for the DEP to impose stricter rules such as charging a fee to pet owner whose pet meets the following criteria: larger than a certain size, heavier than certain weights, etc. Furthermore, setting up more severe punishments such as lengthening the period of imprisonment and civil penalties would be the most effective to deal with similar cases. I know that if I had to go to prison or pay $2000 a day, I’d probably think twice about bringing a 200-pound chimpanzee to live in my home.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

More Coke in China

With 80% of its business derived from overseas, Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is penetrating deeper into the lucrative China market with its robust balance sheet in 2009.

In February, despite many companies cutting dividends to retain cash on their balance sheet, Coca-Cola decided to raise its dividend by 7.9%. Last week, Coca-Cola opened its $90 million innovation and technology center in Shanghai, China. Coca-Cola also announced its plan to invest $2 billion in China over the next three years, including new plants, R&D, sales and marketing. Coca-Cola’s $2 billion investment plan is also a response to its rival PepsiCo Inc.’s $1 billion investment plan in China over the next four years. Currently, Coca-Cola is still waiting for Chinese government’s approval on its acquisition deal with China’s largest juice maker Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd. for $2.4 billion in cash. If complete, the deal will be Coca-Cola’s largest overseas acquisition.

Coke’s latest move will definitely increase investors’ confidence in its overseas business and will bring in more revenue to the company in the future. It will also provide more pleasure to Chinese consumers.

If Coca-Cola successfully acquired Huiyuan, will Coca-Cola create a new product line that focus on Chinese customer’s taste? How about a Chinese-tea-flavored Coke?