PRECIOUS-Gold buoyed by global tensions, U.S. inflation data

north korea gold
By Marcy Nicholson and Zandi Shabalala
NEW YORK/JOHANNESBURG, Aug 11 (Reuters) –

* U.S. July consumer prices rise less than expected
* Platinum hits five-month high
* Silver on track for biggest weekly gain since Gold prices
climbed to two-month highs on Friday, rising for the fourth
straight day as investors sought refuge amid escalating tensions
between North Korea and the United States, while bullion also
received support from weak U.S. inflation data.
U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North
Korea on Friday, saying the U.S. military was “locked and
loaded” as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean Peninsula
to the brink of nuclear war and world powers expressed alarm.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,287.91 an ounce by
2:03 p.m. EDT (1803 GMT), and set for its biggest weekly gain
since mid-April. It earlier hit $1,291.86, its highest level
since June 7.
U.S. gold futures settled up 0.3 percent at $1,294.
“There is a continuation of flight to the safe havens after
remarks on Thursday evening from Trump about North Korea,” said
Quantitative Commodity Research consultant Peter Fertig. “It’s
not very likely that these tensions will ease in the near future
so the outlook seems supportive for gold.”
Geopolitical risks can boost demand for assets considered
safe-haven investments, such as gold.
“There remains huge uncertainty as to how the current
geopolitical crisis will play out and this may support gold
prices over the coming weeks,” said Capital Economics in a
research note.
“On the other hand, if Trump’s threats prove to be nothing
more than inflammatory rhetoric – as on previous occasions – we
would not be surprised to see the gold price retreat as the
focus of investors returns to Fed tightening.”
Data on Friday showed U.S. consumer prices rose less than
expected in July, which was also supportive to gold.

read more via PRECIOUS-Gold buoyed by global tensions, U.S. inflation data

Flossing vs. Water Pick: Which is better?

tooth-flossing

photo courtesy of threesixty gh

Answers from Alan Carr, D.M.D.

Standard dental floss is generally considered the most effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between the teeth. You can also use dental floss to scrape up and down the sides of each tooth.

A water pick (oral irrigator) is a device that aims a stream of water at your teeth. A water pick can help remove food particles from your teeth and might help reduce bleeding and gum disease — but it isn’t generally considered a substitute for brushing and flossing.

If plain dental floss gets stuck in your teeth, use the waxed variety. If you have a hard time handling dental floss, try a floss holder. Other options might include special brushes, picks or sticks designed to clean between the teeth.

via Dental floss vs. water pick: Which is better? – Mayo Clinic

Dentists Advised to Stay the Course in Antibiotics Debate | Dentistry Today

To combat antimicrobial resistance, physicians typically tell patients to complete their full courses of antibiotic treatment. Yet a team of researchers in the United Kingdom not only says that there is no evidence that this approach is helpful, but that it may even make things worse and that patients should stop taking these medications once they feel better.

As physicians and medical organizations such as the Royal College of General Practitioners continue to debate if full or abbreviated treatment is better for preventing resistance, the Faculty of General Dental Practice in the UK (FGDP(UK)) says that nothing should change for dentists, who often prescribe short courses of antibiotics anyway.

“This will be nothing new for dentists. Our advice since publishing the first edition of our guidance in 2001, and in line with the British National Formulary and scientific evidence, has always been that courses of antibiotics should not be unduly prolonged because they encourage resistance and may lead to side effects,” said Nikolaus Palmer, BDS, PhD, editor of the FGDP(UK)’s Antimicrobial Prescribing for General Dental Practitioners.

Read more via Dentists Advised to Stay the Course in Antibiotics Debate | Dentistry Today

Sensitive Teeth? Try Green Tea

green tea

photo courtesy of Dentistry Today

Current approaches to treating tooth sensitivity don’t last very long. Now, a team of Chinese researchers has developed a material based on an extract from green tea that provides longer relief and may help prevent cavities as well.

Sensitivity occurs when teeth are worn down to the dentin and to the hollow microscopic tubes found there. When hot and cold liquids and food contact the underlying nerve endings in the teeth via these exposed tubes, pain follows. Unprotected dentin also is vulnerable to cavity formation.

Typically, these tubes are plugged with nanohydroxyapatite, which doesn’t stand up well to regular brushing, grinding, erosion, or acid produced by bacteria. The researchers, though, encapsuled nanohydroxyapatite and a green tea polyphenol known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in silica nanoparticles, which can stand up to acid and wear and tear.

Read more via Green Tea Extract Fights Tooth Sensitivity and Cavities | Dentistry Today

Dental Health May Come to the Underserved

capitolLast Thursday, the House’s Subcommittee on Health passed the Action for Dental Health Act of 2017. Written by Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), HR 2422 would reauthorize Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) oral health promotion and disease prevention programs, along with Health Resources and Services Administrationgrants to states to support oral health workforce activities. The bill passed the subcommittee as amended by voice vote with bipartisan support. Funding will total $18 million a year for each fiscal year, 2018 through 2022. Next, it will be heard before the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“This bill would take several steps to support and improve dental health for some of our most vulnerable populations, including children and the elderly,” said Chairman Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX). “As a provider who spent much of his 3 decades in practice caring for vulnerable populations, I have the utmost respect for other providers who go out of their way to help those who cannot always help themselves.”

According to the bill, more than 181 million Americans don’t see a dentist even though nearly half of those older than the age of 30 years have some form of gum disease and nearly one in 4 children younger than the age of 5 years already have cavities. Also, dentists provide about $2.6 billion in free and discounted care each year to those most in need. Plus, emergency room charges for dental complaints totaled $2.1 billion in 2010, though nearly 80% of them were not urgent and could have been resolved in a dentist’s office. The bill noted the special dental needs of seniors and how dentists and other medical professionals should collaborate for better care as well.

With the bill, the CDC may award grants to or enter into contracts with eligible entities to obtain portable or mobile dental equipment and pay for appropriate operational costs for the provision of free dental services to underserved populations in accordance with state licensing laws. The CDC also may award grants or enter into contracts with eligible entities to improve oral health education and dental disease prevention, improve access to dental services via outreach programs to establish dental homes, reduce barriers to the provision of dental services, reduce the use of emergency departments for dental care, and facilitate the provision of dental care to nursing home residents.

via Congressional Subcommittee Passes Dental Legislation | Dentistry Today

Eat Healthy and Protect Your Heath

fruit heartDiet has a significant effect in the development of dental caries. Yet the role that food plays in systemic inflammation and subsequent tooth loss has not been extensively examined, even though 46% of adults in the United States have periodontitis, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Using data from the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a multi-university research team assessed dietary inflammatory potential using the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII), a composite measure based on the association between nutrients and systemic pro-inflammatory cytokine levels.

Subjects in the highest quartile of the DII, indicating a pro-inflammatory diet, had lost an average of 0.84 more teeth than those in the lowest quartile of the DII, indicating an anti-inflammatory diet. The researchers concluded that an anti-inflammatory diet could be associated with fewer missing teeth.

Georgios A. Kotsakis, DDS, MS, of the University of Washington School of Dentistry Department of Periodontics recently shared his insights about the study with Dentistry Today.

Q: Oral inflammation often is attributed to bacterial factors and infection. How does diet fit into its mechanics?

A: We know very well that dental caries are largely attributed to cariogenic dietary habits, with carbohydrate-rich diets being a key modifiable risk factor for disease prevention. The effect that dietary habits have on tooth loss is such that a diet restricting fermentable carbohydrates (eg, simple sugars and complex carbohydrates) can prevent caries. Nonetheless, little information was available on the effect of diet on periodontitis.

Read more via Anti-Inflammatory Diets Prevent Tooth Loss | Dentistry Today

We hold these truths to be self evident…

Happy-4th-of-July

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah BartlettWilliam WhippleMatthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John HancockSamuel AdamsJohn AdamsRobert Treat PaineElbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen HopkinsWilliam Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger ShermanSamuel HuntingtonWilliam WilliamsOliver Wolcott

New York:
William FloydPhilip LivingstonFrancis LewisLewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard StocktonJohn WitherspoonFrancis HopkinsonJohn HartAbraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert MorrisBenjamin RushBenjamin FranklinJohn MortonGeorge ClymerJames SmithGeorge TaylorJames WilsonGeorge Ross

Delaware:
Caesar RodneyGeorge ReadThomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel ChaseWilliam PacaThomas StoneCharles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George WytheRichard Henry LeeThomas JeffersonBenjamin HarrisonThomas Nelson, Jr.Francis Lightfoot LeeCarter Braxton

North Carolina:
William HooperJoseph HewesJohn Penn

South Carolina:
Edward RutledgeThomas Heyward, Jr.Thomas Lynch, Jr.Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button GwinnettLyman HallGeorge Walton

All well for world economy at mid-year? Up to a point | Reuters

cargo boat

photo courtesy of jobbiecrew.com

So strong is the belief in the growth momentum of the global economy as it enters the second half of 2017, the point has been reached in the economic cycle where data not meeting expectations is dismissed as an aberration.Flash purchasing managers’ indexes for services in Europe in June, for example, were weaker than anyone in a Reuters poll had predicted, but the market paid scant attention. “Way below expectations, but let’s not worry,” was the mantra.

Read more via All well for world economy at mid-year? Up to a point | Reuters

Kids: Healthy Habits for Healthy Teeth

downloadWant to avoid cavities? Brushing twice a day with toothpaste, flossing once a day, and limiting sugary snacks and beverages is how you do it. It’s simple but sometimes life gets busy and you might be tempted to skip it. Don’t. A bright smile makes you feel good inside and out. Make sure to see your dentist regularly, too.

Some things to protect your smile

Sealants

Dental sealants are a type of special plastic coating that act as a barrier, protecting cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and are sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves in other teeth. Sealing a tooth is fast and easy. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing but sometimes a reapplication is needed. Talk to your dentist about sealants. Remember: Just because you have sealants doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush and floss every day. Sealants are added protection against decay!

Read more via Healthy Dental Habits for Preteens – American Dental Association

MINOR METALS-Vanadium prices hit 4-year high on supply crunch

By Eileen Soreng and Sethuraman N R

 

May 16 Vanadium prices have climbed to four-year highs due to tighter supplies created by a shift in production processes and stringent environmental policies in top producer China.

Vanadium is used to strengthen steel and in a new generation of batteries, which advocates say has advantages over lithium batteries in terms of grid storage.

There is a current shift towards more vanadium being produced from ore rather than as a steel by-product while China tackles environmental regulations, traders and analysts said.

Read more via MINOR METALS-Vanadium prices hit 4-year high on supply crunch | Reuters