DINNER PARTY INTEL: Sugary drinks are losing the war
The topics you have to be able to discuss this week
1. Coke sales fizzle out
Sugary drinks are losing the war. Coca-Cola’s sales are down 11% from a year ago, and its profits fell 20%, prompting it to cut 1,200 jobs.
SA has plans to introduce a sugar tax. Though similar plans in some US states have failed, the debate about it has drawn attention to the health effects of consuming too much sugar. Coke may be an iconic product, but changing public attitudes may force it to change the very nature of its businesses.
2. The constitution’s fault
US president Donald Trump blamed the "archaic rules" that govern the US system of checks and balances for his failure, after 100 days in office, to turn his presidential decrees into legislation. Trump’s approval ratings have hit historic lows, probes into his links with Russia are ongoing and relations with US allies are fractured. All that, he says, is the constitution’s fault. "It’s a very rough system," he said. "It’s an archaic system ... It’s really a bad thing for the country."
3. Hunt for a villain
After spending US$1bn to hunt Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony, the US has walked away. Uganda’s military will also end its search for the notorious fugitive. The LRA has abducted tens of thousands of child soldiers and killed 100,000 civilians. But Kony is still at large and northern Uganda is littered with evidence of his 30-year rampage. Aid has been dwarfed by the dollars pumped into his attempted capture, leading some to suggest that the West’s interest has been all about the chase.