I was listening to a radio programme about the history of military music (please bear with me) and a woman recounted a story about the first time she heard the "Last Post" being played at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday. The woman (sadly I don't remember her name), said that what really struck her was that after the moment of total silence was broken by the first notes of the Last Post she knew that every one of the thousands of people standing in Whitehall would be sharing the same thought - that of someone who they had loved and lost. Three stories this week put me in mind of this woman as I looked at images of people grieving for lost ones. The difference being that for each person lost the world was watching their story albeit only momentarily; the crushed people in Cambodia, the miners in New Zealand and the four people killed by the shelling by North Korea of the tiny island of Yeonpyeong.
from Tales from the Trail:
Happy Thanksgiving! Washington Extra will return on Monday.
Here are our top stories from Washington today…
U.S. vows unified response to North Korea, eyes restraint
The U.S. urged restraint following a North Korean artillery attack on South Korea and vowed to forge a "measured and unified" response with major powers including China.
from Gregg Easterbrook:
For a generation, the arc of international events has been mainly positive -- the Cold War concluded, the Germanys reunited, apartheid is over. But a few conflicts refuse to end, and one became worse today as North Korea and South Korea exchanged artillery fire, killing two South Korean soldiers. It’s not yet clear how the incident began. Presumably the United States, which has substantial forces in South Korea, Japan and Guam, is at the moment watching closely.
from Our Take on Your Take:
The silhouetted figure in the foreground and square crop differentiate this image from an underwear fashion show in Seoul. The crop gets rid of distracting elements on the sides and focuses the attention on the male models.
from Tales from the Trail:
North Korea -- you have been warned.
The State Department on Monday held out the possibility that the isolated Stalinist state's belligerent rumblings could earn it a powerful new foe on the world stage: animal rights activist group PETA.
from Global Investing:
Given the ubiquity of BRICs and PIGS, it seems everyone else in the financial and business world is attempting to conjure up catchy acronyms to group economies with similar traits. All with varying degrees of success.
Prudential shares rise -- modestly -- after UK newspaper reports that its largest shareholder -- Capital Group -- is working on a plan to split the group up. The U.S. investor is not happy with Pru's planned $35.5 billion acquisition of AIA, the Asian life insurer. It is working with Clive Cowdery's acquisition vehicle Resolution, insurer Aviva and a third, unknown group, the reports say. An unlikely scenario? Perhaps, but it does show some serious discontent among shareholders.
Rather predictably, the probe into Goldman Sachs overshadowed the group's first quarter results on Monday. Somewhat less predictably, Goldman's rivals have been using the furore to elbow in front of the leading Wall Street bank. As an example, rival investment bankers have been lobbying authorities in China to drop Goldman as an underwriter for the more than $20 billion IPO of state-owned Agricultural Bank of China.