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    Hong Kong protests offer gold some support

    Precious metals prices continued lower early on Monday in Europe but at a slower pace than in recent weeks, with pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong providing a boost to safe-haven buying. Violent clashes between protestors and the police were reported in Hong Kong over the weekend and this morning, with tear gas and water cannons being used to disperse huge crowds blocking access to the financial district. Having traded as low as $1,215.30 at one point this morning, spot gold managed to make back some of the losses and was last a modest 60 cents above Friday’s closing level at $1,219.40/1,220.20 per ounce. The pattern was repeated in silver, which…

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    China gold demand picking up again?

    One of the depressing factors with regard to the gold price so far this year has been the reported fall-off in Chinese gold demand, although by world standards it remains pretty healthy. But there are now signs that it is beginning to pick up again. While the full year total is still not expected to match the record 2013 level a recent pick-up in withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) suggests the lower prices may be beginning to stimulate demand again. Koos Jansen, who is almost certainly the most consistent analyst and follower of Chinese gold demand data, has noted the pick-up and points out on www.bullionstar.com that the…

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    NEW ZEALAND

    New Zealand is one of the most beautiful exotic countries. Its astonishing sceneries, with volcanoes, lakes, large forests and wildlife, attract each year waves of visitors. Not only tourists seem fond of New Zealand. The producers for Lord of the Rings picked New Zealand as Middle Earth. Furthermore, the country’s Maori population has inhibited the islands since 1200 AD. Their traditions, lifestyle and beliefs have survived for centuries. New Zealand earned the rank of the freest country in the world and you can clearly see that among the locals. They are non-judgmental and lack hierarchies. While the preservation of culture and community events are important, what one does as an…

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    AUSTRALIA

    Australia is more than kangaroos, koalas, desert and hot weather. It’s one of the most civilized countries, ranging even higher than the US in terms of individual and financial freedom. Plan a trip to Australia if you’re interested in Aborigine cultures, the country has one of the oldest ones. Relatively isolated from the other countries, Australia has its own distinctive culture, different from the British or the other Anglo-Saxon ones. Many great sportsmen were Aussies. However, most of the foreigners know Australia for its convicts since Britain used the territory to send off his felons. Due to the wildlife in the area (and the adventures of Steve Irwin), people’s perception…

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    Best Golf Travel Bags

    What makes a great golf travel bag? Of all the points to consider when looking for a bag to protect your favorite golf gear on the road to St. Andrews or Pebble beach or wherever your golf game may take you this year, the two most important are probably price and protection. Beyond these two, there is quite an assortment of bags on the market that will likely meet your needs. Protection The first decision for you to make is hard or soft shell? Hard shell cases do offer the most protection for your valuable golf clubs, but there are a few significant strikes against them to think of as…

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    Cristoforo Colombo Rome Hotel Review

    For those travelers looking for an affordable hotel right in the commercial center of Rome, the Cristoforo Columbo Hotel is a good choice. The lower rate of the Cristoforo Columbo somewhat offsets the fact that the hotel lacks a great many of the amenities provided by larger in-town hotels. The Cristoforo Columbo provides guests with the opportunity to enjoy the historical sites of the city while remaining outside the primary tourist zones where prices are significantly higher. Wows and Woes The hotel staff can help guests find their way into the tourist zones using the city’s bus system. They’re happy to draw maps or direct customers to the nearest bus…

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    QR Codes Aren’t Sweet Without Strategy

    QR codes represent a unique mix of technology and advertising that is steadily improving with evolving new forms and functions. But their functional improvement is meaningless if the platform is not applied with the right strategy and tactics in the real world in order to connect with consumers. Most people within the marketing community are no strangers to seeing QR codes attached to advertisements and products these days. Even many tech-savvy consumers know how to create QR codes for promotion or information sharing, which is the beauty of their open platform design. Anyone can use them, read them, and get creative. QR codes have created a new way for brands…

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    Twitter Verification Implications for Brand Marketers

    With recent news that Twitter’s verification process has become linked to monthly advertising, there has been conversation and debate about blurry lines in the sand. What does this change mean for your brand or company on Twitter? Is verification critical to your Twitter strategy? Twitter verified accounts are used to denote the authenticity of certain pages on Twitter. The verified badge helps users identify that a legitimate source is authoring the account’s Tweets (or at least officially ghost-tweeting on behalf of a legitimate source). Beginning primarily with the rise of celebrities’/politician’s use of Twitter, verified accounts then spread to other categories such as news outlets, companies and more. Confirmation that…

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    About Backcountry Vacations

    Strictly speaking, backcountry vacations entail non-motorized treks into remote, wilderness areas. Ideally, these involve backpacking or the use of pack animals with a hiking itinerary that involves at least one overnight camp. But newcomers to backcountry travel may want to ease into the experience starting with day hikes. The Originals Hikers get the picture in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Hikers get the picture in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. John Muir (1838-1914) and Bob Marshall (1901-39), principle founders of the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society, respectively, are the patriarchs of contemporary backcountry travel devotees. Muir wrote of venturing into Yosemite National Park backcountry, and Marshall could hike 50…

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    Why Didn’t Obama Visit Paris or Send Biden or Holder?

    There was a massive march in Paris this past week and million attended including more than 40 world leaders. The Obama administration sent a campaign bundler, Jane Hartley, who is the U.S. ambassador to France. Eric Holder was actually in Paris at the time but did not attend. The U.S. President, Vice President, and Secretary of State did not attend. Why? The likely reason is because of what French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “We are at war — not a war against a religion, not a war against a civilization, but to defend our values, which are universal,” Valls said. “It’s a war against terrorism and radical Islamism, against…