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Gold hits new high as debt talks stall

gold bars
Gold rose to fresh record high on Monday as talks over lifting the debt ceiling appeared to be stalling just days before the August 2 deadline, raising the prospect of a debt default.

Spot gold climbed as high as $1,622.49 an ounce versus Friday's high of $1,607.01 and the previous record of $1,609.51 before easing back to $1,614.66 by 0007 GMT, Reuters data showed.

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders struggled late on Sunday to break a partisan deadlock on a budget deal and bullion dealers said investors were ditching stocks in favor of safe haven assets, such as gold, until the outcome of talks become clearer.

A slightly weaker U.S. dollar at the start of early trading in Asia gave gold its initial lift, though bullion continued to firm even as the greenback later stabilized, according to bullion dealers.

"Gold is moving on its own," a dealer said.


Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accuser Tells Her Story

© ABC News
The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to sexually assault her in a New York City hotel room has broken her public silence in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC's Robin Roberts in an interview to air Monday on Good Morning America and World News with Diane Sawyer and Tuesday on Nightline. "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

Strauss-Kahn may not go to jail. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he has about Diallo's credibility.


US: Entering Police State (for your own good)

Amerikan Police State
© Woodcock
There's a story out of New York by Taylor Hatmaker, Secret Service raids Apple store artist for snapping 1000 spy photos , that caught my attention the other day. The secondary title was a bit more accurate, "A young digital artist secretly recorded shoppers peering into computers at New York Apple stores"; too late, I was already looking for James Bond behind every iPad.

The article indicated Kyle McDonald asked for permission to install a computer program of his own design which would secretly take photographs of potential customers as they contemplated purchasing items at the store. McDonald collected the photographs to make a short artistic video which he posted on the internet; a video which is no longer available for viewing.

Who hit the alarm button, the one to alert Homeland Security, Secret Service, the CIA and MI-6 to save us from having our pictures taken in a public setting? "All units, unauthorized picture taking on 14th Street; seek and destroy. Call out the black ops helicopter and get Maxwell Smart out of retirement; the security of our civilized society is now at Defcom 3". Somebody took photographs in New York City; oh my heavens, call out the guard!
"The stealthy undertaking resulted in the confiscation of McDonald's two computers, his iPod, and some other storage devices, but it isn't yet clear if the McDonald was actually in violation of any laws. While the Secret Service warrant cited 'computer fraud' as the cause for the raid..."
Did you catch that, "it isn't yet clear if the McDonald was actually in violation of any laws"? The "state" always knows best so it must be for our own good.


To the Editor: Obama's Police State

Obama, Police State
© unknown
Every day, Americans are assaulted by government officials in the name of national security and you are powerless to stop it. This new power was developed and enhanced by President Obama and the progressive oligarchs that are currently in power. How many civil liberties will be lost so that Americans will have the illusion of safety?

In May, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled 3-2 that private citizens cannot stop the illegal, unwarranted search of their homes by police officers. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in this manner to "protect" the police from assaults for infringing on individual civil liberties. This same Supreme Court ruled that the police don't have to knock on searches of a home. Do you feel safer knowing that the police can enter your home using force and illegally without knocking? Please do not think that this cannot happen in Michigan.

This month, in Arizona, a police chief declared martial law because citizens protested an illegal tax. It seems that the Tea Party threatened to protest the actions of the city council and the police chief felt a need to "take control of the situation." He subsequently fired the elected mayor. Just where did he get this new power from? Isn't it a citizen's duty to ask questions at a town hall meeting about all new taxes? The last time I checked, this is the reason that the Open Meetings Act was enacted. Why is this police chief siding with elected officials who might be breaking the law? Aren't the police supposed to be impartial and enforce the law equally? Do the people of Arizona feel safe with this new government?


US, Oklahoma: Police state insanity: teens arrested while waiting for parents in OKC curfew sweep

© unknown
Last Saturday, around 20 teenagers were arrested for alleged curfew violations in front of a local movie theater. However, this action flies in the face of the law, no matter how it is interpreted.

The city's curfew statute sets the curfew at 11 PM, which was 20 minutes later than when the teens were rounded up like common criminals and taken to jail. The statute also allows for children to wait for rides from parents after attending a movie, even if it is after curfew, which, incidentally, was not the case here.

Some of the teens who had been attending a movie with adult supervision were also arrested while waiting for the adults to return with their car.

One pair of teenage girls were told to shut up when they attempted to explain that they had just been let out of a movie and were waiting in front of the theater while their mother pulled the car around. The teens were never asked if they were there to see a movie, which would be acceptable under the city's statute.

One mother told NewsOK that the thuggish police officers would not listen when her children pointed out their mother's car waiting for them, which had been there minutes before the curfew time of 11.

Bizarro Earth

Malaysia Rules Harsh Interrogation Caused Suicide

Teoh Beng Hock
© unknownTeoh Beng Hock
A Malaysian government official says an opposition aide who died mysteriously is believed to have committed suicide after anti-graft officers subjected him to harsh interrogation.

The finding by a high-level investigative panel is unlikely to appease opposition supporters who suspect that Teoh Beng Hock was killed by officers in the government's Anti-Corruption Commission.

Teoh was found dead in 2009 on a roof next to the commission's office hours after being questioned over alleged misuse of funds by his boss.

Parliamentary minister Nazri Abdul Aziz said Thursday a panel established that Teoh killed himself because of pressure from aggressive interrogation tactics by three officers who violated protocol.

Source: The Associated Press


UK: Body of woman found in Nottingham alley sparks murder inquiry

© unknownPolice carried out house-to-house inquiries in the area
The death of a woman in her 20s whose body was found in a Nottingham alleyway is being treated as murder.

The discovery was made at about 08:45 BST in an alleyway between two houses in Thorneywood Mount, in the St Ann's area.

Police officers have searched bins and gardens in the surrounding streets. A cordon put in place earlier has now been lifted.

Detectives have appealed for witnesses to come forward.


US: Mystery prisoner has Utah jail authorities stumped

© Utah County JailUtah County Sheriff's Office is asking for help identifying a man who was arrested for investigation of criminal trespassing after he was spotted hanging around the parking garage of the Provo City offices, looking into cars. He was arrest July 1, but refuses to give his name.
A mystery man arrested on minor charges more than three weeks ago remains behind bars in Utah while law enforcement officials try to determine his true identity, which he refuses to reveal.

"This is really a strange case," said Lt. Dennis Harris with the Utah County Sheriff's Office. "He just doesn't want to be found."

The unidentified man, who has graying hair, a light beard and is believed to be in his 60's, was arrested on July 1 for trespassing in a parking garage.

He was booked into jail on three misdemeanor charges and has thwarted any chance of release, with or without bail, by refusing to identify himself.

"I've been trying to think from A to Z why he would want to stay here ... why he wouldn't give us any information," Harris said.

"He either has to be wanted by some other state or he could be on some other registry or database that has not shown up," he added.

Law enforcement officials say the man is "fairly well spoken and educated," but very guarded about his identity.

Penis Pump

US, Oregon: Wu Pressed to Resign after Sexual Accusation

David Wu
© Beth NakamuraRep. David Wu is facing pressure to resign in the face of allegations of a sexual impropriety involving the daughter of an old friend in California.
Congressman David Wu, who earlier this year apologized for bizarre behavior during his most recent re-election campaign, was facing calls for his resignation on Saturday over yet another crisis - a young woman's reported accusation that she had an "unwanted sexual encounter" with the Democrat three weeks after his election victory in November.

Wu's spokesman, Erik Dorey, said the seven-term Democrat had a telephone conversation on Saturday with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi about the allegation, which was first reported by The Oregonian. Dorey would not comment on the substance of the conversation. An aide to Pelosi declined Saturday to comment on Wu.

Late Friday, the 56-year-old Wu issued a one-sentence statement about The Oregonian's report: "This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family."

Pressure was building on Wu to address the allegation publicly. There also were calls for his resignation.


Thousands of demonstrators march from cities across Spain to protest in the capital over country's jobs and debts crisis

Thousands of angry demonstrators from across Spain finally arrived in Madrid at the weekend to protest over the country's debts and unemployment queues.

They had marched for a month from their hometowns before converging on the landmark Puerta del Sol Square to show their anger at the country's economic woes.

Five columns converged on the 'urban village' next to the town hall where some protestors had camped out for three weeks in May under blue plastic tarpaulins.

© Biniam Ghezal/ DemotixCrisis: Protesters gather in Madrid from their hometowns to condemn Spain's leaders for the economic troubles in the country
The marchers set off from Barcelona and Bilbao in the north, Malaga in the south, Valencia in the east and Cadiz in the south west on June 25.