Gold topped $1'600 a troy ounce and the Swiss Franc reached an all-time high against the euro as economic uncertainties remained in the United States and Europe. Deadlock between the US administration and Republicans in Congress over the US debt ceiling continued with the 2 August deadline drawing uncomfortably close. However there was better news in Europe when all 17 eurozone members approved French-German proposals for a second bail-out for Greece and for stricter controls of national budgets.

The appearance of Rupert Murdoch and his son James at a UK Parliament Select Committee to answer questions about phone-hacking and other matters at News International attracted global TV coverage. Later, James Murdoch was accused of giving a misleading answer to a question about the key issue of the extent of his knowledge of phone-hacking at the News of the World.

In its opening week in the United States the eighth and final Harry Potter film took $16.9m at the box office, an American record. The production company Warner Brothers said that the previous seven Harry Potter films had earned $6.3bn over ten years.


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