Chatter: G8 summit squares up to euro crisis




Antler Agency

Need to know:
G8 leaders
are preparing to meet at Camp David today, for the opening of a summit that will be dominated by the economic crisis.

Europe's debt woes are the first item on the agenda for the power group, which meets on what's proving to be a bad day for the region's markets. Shares are down after Moody's cut the debt ratings of 16 Spanish banks last night, citing a weak economy and the struggling Spanish government.

The euro zone's largest bank, Banco Santander, is among the firms the ratings agency downgraded, late last night. Its long-term debt rating went down two notches, while those of other banks were cut by up to three.

Want to know:
We still don't know for sure what happened the night George Zimmerman shot dead Trayvon Martin, and the chances are we never will. As evidence slowly trickles out, the picture just gets more confusing.

Police reports made public yesterday say that witnesses reported seeing a fistfight between the two. Zimmerman's medical report states he was diagnosed with a fractured nose, two black eyes, lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury after the altercation. Meanwhile Martin's autopsy report shows that the teenager had traces of marijuana in his system when he died. 

Zimmerman's lawyers will use those statements to argue that the neighborhood watch volunteer shot 17-year-old Martin, who was unarmed, in self-defense. The case continues.

Dull but important:
What's the world's biggest social network worth? A cool $104 billion.

That's how much Facebook is valued at by its initial public offering, which has investors snapping up its shares at $38 a pop. Shares went on sale to its underwriters' clients last night, but the fun really starts when they begin trading on the open market this morning, under the ticker "FB."

CEO Mark Zuckerberg won't be in New York to ring the Nasdaq opening bell; he and most of his employees will be watching the frenzy from Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters. Or from Singapore, if you're co-founder Eduardo Saverin and have realized that your favorite ever country coincidentally doesn't tax capital gains.

Just because:
As Egypt's first free presidential race enters the final stretch, Egyptians say the top contenders are failing to address the issue they worry about most: the economy.

Voters worry the candidates are ill prepared to take on the country's growing economic crisis, which include tumbling foreign reserves, negligible foreign investment and a mammoth budget deficit. 

GlobalPost reports from Cairo, where local residents have plenty of ideas of their own about to improve life for the millions of Egyptians left impoverished by decades of self-serving leadership.

Strange but true:
Pity police in Windsor, Canada, for they have the uneviable task of waiting for a jewel thief to – uh – pass a $20,000 diamond they suspect he swallowed.

Richard Matthews, 52, is accused of down the 1.7-carat rock at a jewelry store eight days ago, and leaving a fake one in its place. He was arrested shortly afterward and has been doing his business into a bucket ever since. 

Police started him off on a fiber-rich diet, but have since relaxed the restrictions in the hope his system will also... relax. Careful what you wish for, officers: you're the ones cleaning out that bucket.