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Gold soars to record above $1,700 on debt fears

gold
© Reuters/Bobby Yip
Five-tael (6.65 ounces or 190 grams) gold bars are seen at a jewellery store in Hong Kong in this April 21, 2011 illustration photo.
Gold vaulted to record highs above $1,700 an ounce on Monday, surging nearly 3 percent as European Central Bank's buying of Italian and Spanish bonds failed to ease debt fears after Standard & Poor's cut the top-notch AAA credit rating of the United States.

Wall Street plunged nearly 4 percent and other riskier assets collapsed as skittish investors sought a refuge from other safe havens such as U.S. Treasuries in the first session since S&P's downgrade, sending gold's option volatility to its highest level since May 2010 on bets the metal could rally further.

Gold is poised for its biggest one-day gain in nine months as investors bet that nothing short of further government intervention would stave off deepening woes. The Federal Open Market Committee's meeting on Tuesday may hint whether the U.S. central bank will ease monetary policy further.

Eye 1

The World Runs Out of Options

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© Bloomberg
Even Germany's most ardent pro-Europeans seem to have given up trying to find a solution - they are building an alibi for EMU break-up instead.
The Great Reprieve is exhausted. The world has used up the three years' grace gained by extreme stimulus after the debt bubble burst in 2008.

This time we face the risk of double-dip recession without shock absorbers. Interest rates are already at or near zero in much of the OECD club. Fiscal deficits are stretched to the limits of safety.

Far from loosening, the US is on track to tighten by 2pc of GDP next year, and Europe by 1pc to 2pc, into the slowdown.

China has already pushed credit to 200pc of GDP. It cannot repeat the trick.

The Anglo-Saxons can print more money, but the gains in asset prices for the rich are offset by losses from fuel and food inflation for the poor. This is a destructive trade-off.

Bizarro Earth

BP Protest in the Gulf; the Oil's Not Gone

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© Rocky Kistner/NRDC
Exactly a year ago [Aug. 5th], former White House energy advisor Carol Browner informed the world that 75% of the oil from the worst oil disaster in history had been cleaned up, evaporated and dispersed or burned off. "Mother Nature did her part," Browner told the world.

Don't tell that to Cherri Foytlin, the oil worker's wife and mother of six who walked from the Gulf to Washington for the one-year memorial of the BP blowout last April. The media has been largely silent since then, so Cherri and others decided they needed to remind people that "the oil is not gone."

Yesterday [Aug. 4th], protesters staged a protest at BP's gleaming downtown New Orleans offices, where they dumped a batch of black gooey tar balls freshly hauled in from the beaches of Mississippi. After sitting in front of the BP's office building doorway for three hours as police tried to convince them to move, Cherri and two other protesters were arrested and booked for trespass later in the evening. But they had made their point.

X

US: Alaska State Rep. Refuses to Subject Herself to Intrusive TSA Searches


The Transporation Security Administration has received a lot of negative attention lately surrounding security procedures, including full body scans and pat downs.

Now a state representative is speaking out strongly against those measures here in Arizona, but she came a long way to a make a point.

A coffee shop in Tempe hosted an event ot talk about TSA procedures on Saturday. It's a topic that has people fired up, especially after the now infamous breast grabbing incident from a Colorado woman at Sky Harbor airport.

"To be considered a terrorist is really an insult and it's really humiliating..it's a humiliation..it was a horrifying thing," said Alaska State Rep. Sharon Cissna.

Cissna has gone so far as to travel free from the TSA's grasp. All the way from the frosty north country to Texas to highlight her own uncomfortable experience at a Seattle airport.

She's stopping along the way in small settings, but she's received a big response.

Stormtrooper

Wisconsin, US: Investigation Under Way into Death of Tasered Naked Man

Kaukauna - The Appleton Police Department is investigating what led to the Saturday morning death of a man Kaukauna police attempted to subdue with a Taser after he ran naked through the streets of downtown Kaukauna.

Kaukauna police received a call about 5 a.m. Saturday that someone was yelling for help in the 200 block of W. Wisconsin Avenue.

On the way to the scene, officers spotted a nude man running south on the Lawe Street Bridge, toward the intersection of Crooks Avenue and Main Street.

Police said the man behaved strangely when officers approached him, possibly exhibiting signs of a drug overdose.

Police called for an ambulance to provide the man immediate medical attention. The man became agitated when the ambulance arrived and ran away.

Stormtrooper

Virgina, US: Manassas Man Dies After Being Subdued By Taser

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© Prince William County Police
Exact cause and manner of death is not clear.

A Manassas man died Saturday after police subdued him with a Taser, according to a Prince William County Police press release issued late Saturday.

Debro Lamonte Wilkerson, 29, died at a local hospital. The exact cause and manner of death remains unclear. His body is scheduled for an autopsy.

The incident happened at 3:36 p.m. when police went to the 11000 block of Hiram Court in Manassas to help firefighters treat a combative patient.

Police used a Taser, a type of stun gun, in an attempt to place the man into custody. He was transported to an area hospital where he later died, according to the release.

Stormtrooper

US: Student dies after police use Taser at University of Cincinnati

Cause of death not determined

A North College Hill High School graduate attending college preparatory classes at the University of Cincinnati died Saturday after a campus police officer used a Taser on him.

Everette Howard went into cardiac arrest while being attended to by medics. He was rushed to University Hospital, where he could not be resuscitated.

Howard was planning to attend the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., according to his Facebook profile.

He graduated this spring in the top 10 percent of his class, according to Enquirer archives, and was an accomplished wrestler in high school.

Officers rushed to Turner Hall at about 3 a.m. after receiving a 911 call about an assault. The dormitory is located on Jefferson Avenue near the intersection with West University Avenue.

Heart - Black

Maryland, US: Teen Charged with Murdering Blind Man

Image
© Brad Gerick
Donnell Graham, 17, is being charged as an adult for the murder of Patrick Xavier Ward.
The suspect has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and three other crimes.

A 17-year-old Bel Air, MD, boy has been charged with murder in connection with the Friday night stabbing death of a blind man.

Donnell Graham of the 200 block of Fairwood Road has been charged with first- and second-degree murder of Patrick Xavier Ward, according to Monica Worrell, spokeswoman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Graham was arrested Friday at his apartment on Fairwood Road by police, who tracked him with a K-9 unit.

Pistol

US: 8 Shot to Death in Ohio, Including Child

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© The Associated Press / Phil Long
A Fairlawn, Ohio, policeman maintains traffic around a police barrier near a multiple death shooting in Copley, Ohio, Sunday, Aug. 7. 2011. A family argument in the Akron suburb ended in the shooting deaths of eight people in two places, including an 11-year-old, and two more people were wounded, authorities said Sunday
A family argument Sunday in Ohio ended in the shooting deaths of eight people in two places, including an 11-year-old, and two more people were wounded, authorities said Sunday.

One person shot five people to death in one location, then two more were killed nearby before police killed the gunman, police Chief Michael Mier told WKYC-TV.

The shootings happened in a wooded, residential neighborhood of older homes outside Akron, Copley Township officers said. The neighborhood remained blocked off by police Sunday afternoon.

Jeff Kirby of nearby Norton said he was visiting his mother's home a block from the shootings at mid-morning when he heard gunfire - about 15 shots with several pauses between them.

Eye 1

U.K.: London On Fire - Video Of Violent Riots, Looting, Houses Torched

A riot's flared up in north London, as protesters angrily attacked police over the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man last week. Rioters threw petrol bombs at officers, as well as torched buildings, a bus and police patrol cars. Shops were also looted. More than 300 were involved in what began as a march to demand justice for the killing.