Reuters blog archive
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
HONG KONG -- It is seven years since Lone Star bought into Korea Exchange Bank, and four years since the U.S. distressed-asset fund started trying to get out. Lone Star has finally agreed to sell its majority stake in the lender to domestic rival Hana Bank. The sizeable returns it has made explain why buyout groups like Blackstone and KKR are interested in South Korea, although Lone Star itself may not be rushing back.
from Russell Boyce:
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.
People are crushed in a stampede on a bridge in Phnom Penh November 23, 2010. The stampede killed at least 339 people late on Monday and wounded nearly as many after thousands panicked on the last day of a water festival, authorities and state media said. REUTERS/Stringer
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.
For more of this story by Phil Stewart and Andrew Quinn, read here.
N.Korea pulls U.S. back to a "land of lousy options"
North Korea's artillery attack on South Korea poses the second test in three days of Washington's vow that it will not reward what it deems bad behavior with diplomatic gestures, and underscores that options are limited without serious help from 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.
South Korea is prosperous, reasonably free, a budding democracy, and supported by the most powerful government on earth. North Korea is impoverished, repressed and alone. Nearly all North Koreans would benefit immensely if the wall separating their country and South Korea was the world’s next wall to tumble. So why does the conflict between these two states refuse to end?
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.
View this week's Your View showcase here.
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.
Asked at a news briefing about North Korea's latest move, which saw it fire a barrage of artillery shells into the ocean near South Korea, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was blunt:
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.
HSBC chief Michael Geogehan has been championing 'CIVETS' to describe Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa as the next tier of developing economies poised for spectacular growth.
from Global News Journal:
Officials working for the government of communist North Korea seldom appear in public -- especially in front of reporters from countries they view as hostile. But Pyongyang's ambassador to the United Nations, Sin Son-ho, turned to the U.N. press corps in New York on Tuesday to defend his nation against Seoul's allegtions that the North Korean military torpedoed a South Korean naval ship on March 26, killing 46 sailors.