From Protests to Space Capsules: A Week of Global Buzz

In a instant week, the world witnessed a spectrum of events. Pro-Palestinian student protests echoed calls for justice, while cease-fire talks in Israel sought to quell conflict. Workplace romances sparked debates, and Eli Lilly’s shift away from DEI raised eyebrows. Boeing’s Starliner, after delays, aimed for the cosmos. Actor Bernard Hill’s passing left a void, and a White House gate incident underscored security vigilance. Amid it all, volleyball divisions showcased athleticism and passion. The global buzz reverberated from Earth to the stars.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Stake Reduction in Apple:

Context: Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett, reduced its stake in Apple during the first quarter of 2024.


Stake Reduction: Berkshire’s stake in Apple fell by 22% to $135.4 billion as of March 31, down from $174.3 billion at the end of 2023. This reduction occurred even though Apple’s share price only declined by 11% during the same period.

After-Tax Gain: The sale resulted in Berkshire realizing an impressive $11.2 billion after-tax gain in the quarter from its sale of Apple stock.

Cash Holdings: The proceeds from the sale contributed to the rise in Berkshire Hathaway’s cash holdings, which reached a record $189 billion.

Buffett’s View:

Despite reducing its holdings in Apple, Warren Buffett expressed confidence in the company. He expects Apple to remain Berkshire’s largest stock investment.

Buffett views Apple as a “wonderful” business, similar to other major holdings like Coca-Cola and American Express. His assessment is that these companies will continue to be significant unless unforeseen events occur.

Warren Buffett’s Praise for Apple:

Context: Despite decreasing Berkshire’s stake in Apple, Buffett had positive words for the tech giant.

Comparison to Other Investments:

Buffett stated that Apple is “an even better business” than two of Berkshire’s oldest investments: American Express and Coca-Cola.

This praise underscores his confidence in Apple’s long-term prospects and its position as a valuable asset for Berkshire Hathaway.

Pro-Palestinian Student Protests:

Context: These protests are in support of Palestinian rights.

Significance: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a long history, with territorial disputes, human rights concerns, and geopolitical complexities. Pro-Palestinian student protests aim to raise awareness about the situation and advocate for justice, peace, and human rights for Palestinians.

Pro-Palestinian Student Protests
Palestinian student protest Columbia

Cease-Fire Talks and Conflict in Israel:

Context: Cease-fire negotiations are ongoing amid tensions between Israel and Hamas.

Significance: The conflict involves historical grievances, religious claims, and competing national identities. Cease-fire talks are critical to prevent further loss of life and find a peaceful resolution. The international community closely monitors these negotiations.

Workplace Romances:

Context: A former Fulton County prosecutor mentioned that “workplace romances are as American as apple pie.”

Significance: Workplace romances can be both commonplace and controversial. They raise questions about professionalism, ethics, and potential conflicts of interest. Balancing personal relationships with work responsibilities is essential for maintaining a healthy work environment.

DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion):

Context: Eli Lilly’s annual shareholders’ letter last year mentioned DEI 48 times, but this year, the acronym is absent.

Significance: Diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial in organizations. They promote fairness, representation, and equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of their background. Companies that prioritize DEI foster innovation and better serve diverse customer bases.

Presidential Race:

Context: A tight presidential race is shaping up, with battles between issues and attributes.

Significance: Presidential elections involve candidates from different political parties presenting their visions for the country. Voters consider policy positions, leadership qualities, and personal attributes when making their choices. The outcome determines the nation’s direction for the next term.

Boeing’s Starliner Space Capsule:

Context: Boeing is set to try again with its Starliner space capsule after years of delay.

Significance: Space exploration is a frontier of human achievement. Boeing’s Starliner aims to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Delays highlight the challenges of engineering, safety, and coordination in space missions.

Actor Bernard Hill’s Passing:

Context: Bernard Hill, known for roles in “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings,” has passed away at 79.

Significance: Hill’s acting career spanned decades, and his performances left an indelible mark on cinema. His portrayal of Captain Edward James Smith in “Titanic” and King Théoden in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy resonated with audiences worldwide. His legacy lives on through his memorable roles.

White House Gate Incident:

Context: A vehicle crashed into the White House gate, resulting in one fatality.

Significance: Security breaches at high-profile locations raise concerns about safety protocols. The White House, as the official residence of the U.S. President, has stringent security measures. Incidents like this prompt investigations and adjustments to prevent future breaches.

Volleyball Divisions:

Context: Volleyball has various divisions and leagues worldwide.

Significance: Volleyball is a popular sport played at different levels. From local amateur leagues to professional tournaments, players showcase their skills, teamwork, and athleticism. Major divisions include national leagues, international competitions, and collegiate volleyball.