Not a good day for a whole lot of countries.
- RUSSIA—Two female suicide bombers—suspected to be members of the Chechen “Black Widows”—kill 38 people in attacks on two Moscow subway stations.
- SOUTH KOREA—Divers reach the sunken halves of ROKS Cheonan, but hear no signs of life. A North Korean mine (one of 4,000 purchased from the former Soviet Union) is thought to be the most likely culprit.
- ISRAEL—Lack of U.S. support for Israel’s negotiating position (“a Palestinian state shorn of some sovereign powers and which recognized Israel as a Jewish state”) inevitably means an emboldening of hardliners on other side. An Israeli minister’s naïveté is perplexing, though, as I’m sure the US position was carefully crafted to achieve the desired outcome.
- GREECE—In Athens, a bomb planted at an institute for training public officials ended up killing a passerby—a 15-year-old Afghan boy. The blast also injured his 45-year-old mother and 10-year-old sister.
- CHINA—Investors are starting to come around to the idea that China is a bubble economy fuelled by currency manipulation. One Financial Times pundit thinks that China is in the process of decoupling its political and economic ties to the United States.
And on a marginally lighter note:
- CANADA—Organisers of a Halifax military tattoo think HM the Queen is too frail to safely mount a twelve-foot-high reviewing platform. The ascent is a mere 17 steps at a 60 degree angle. The Sovereign disagrees, pointing out that she regularly ascends the 47 steps of Buckingham Palace’s grand staircase. The organisers would not relent, so the Queen has struck the event from her itinerary. Look, if the Sovereign says she can hack it, then she can hack it. Let her climb the stairs, already.