Sorry for the delay, Renah! Our developers were very busy getting our latest release in good shape and I was unable to grab anyone for investigation. It turns out that there may be a bug in the product and I have filed an issue (#JIVE-53131) for them to dig into your two questions further. Someone will give you an update once they investigate it.
sounds like a open case I have where certain characters will not work unless you change the encoding on them.
My workaround was putting in a huge case statement in my code to translate a large number of characters to their HTML friendly codes before posting