“The reports could not be independently confirmed.” I think this means, it’s somewhere between gossip and guesswork.
“Led by Gold”. Stock markets aren’t flocks of sheep. They are not led.
“Sold stocks and turned to bonds.” Every stock sold was bought by somebody. Except in the case of new issue, every bond bought was sold by somebody. People don’t “move out” of market segments, because they can’t. Individuals can, but the market as a whole cannot.
“whopping”. You’re supposed to be more impressed with the following word, which is usually “increase” or “decrease”. If it’s big, the percentage change should be enough. There certainly wasn’t any “whopping going on.
Kofi Annan’s peace plan (for Syria). This abject failure to have any effect is a tragedy. It is not a peace plan. It is imho a bunch of hot air with little to sway Bashar Assad from his current course of action.
Israeli Settlement. Each of these is, imho, an illegal land grab, a clear violation of international law. They are not settlements, they are part of Israel’s final solution for the Palestinians: if they live, they will live in disconnected ghettos with checkpoints everywhere, most useful goods (such as rebar and cement) blockaded, and tax revenues collected but not returned as infrastructure.