Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/5/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/5/2011The S&P ratings agency today downgraded U.S. sovereign debt from AAA (the highest) to AA+. The decrease was due to the agency’s assessment that the inability of the government to rein in spending or increase revenues had put the long-term prospects for debt repayment at risk. The other two major ratings agencies have not yet downgraded American debt, so S&P’s action is not expected to have a severe effect on the bond market.

In other news, Muslims in Sumatra celebrated the start of Ramadan by burning down two protestant churches. Meanwhile, a mosque teacher in Lancashire has pleaded guilty to four counts of assault for hitting some of his pupils with a length of plastic piping. The mosque has a “no hitting” policy.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to Blue Ridge Forum, C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Diana West, Gaia, heroyalwhyness, JP, KGS, Nick, Van Grungy, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.