Noontime News is a snapshot of our RSS feeds from the noon (Eastern time) hour.

Powerful Video

“Many of you probably remember the exchange earlier this year when Lt. Dan Choi gave Harry Reid his West Point ring and said he wouldn’t take it back until DADT was repealed. Today, Reid gave him the ring back. Powerful video. Watch after the jump. “

Obama: DOMA Should Be Repealed, Lawyers Looking At ‘Range Of Options’

“President Obama, although he still supports civil unions over same-sex marriage, said yesterday that he believes the Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed.

“Repealing DOMA, getting ENDA [a bill to protect LGBT people from discrimination] done, those are things that should be done,” Obama told The Advocate the night before signing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal into law. “I think those are natural next steps legislatively. I’ll be frank with you, I think that’s not going to get done in two years. We’re on a three- or four-year time frame unless there’s a real transformation of attitudes within the Republican caucus.””

White House Drafts Executive Order for Indefinite Detention

“The White House is preparing an Executive Order on indefinite detention that will provide periodic reviews of evidence against dozens of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, according to several administration officials.”

GOP Rep. Conaway Predicts Segregation Of Gay And Straight Troops After DADT Repeal

“Ahead of President Obama’s signing of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal today, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) — who sits on the House Armed Services Committee — predicted that ending the military’s discriminatory policy would lead to a segregation of gay and straight troops. “You’re going to accommodate folks’ preferences as to whether or not they want to be in the same sleeping arrangements or bathroom facilities, all those kinds of things,” Conaway told the Wichita Falls Times Recorder Monday:

Conaway said he thinks the military will have to provide heterosexual troops with separate arrangements if they don’t want to bunk with gays or lesbians, as well as do the same for gays and lesbians who don’t want to share living quarters with heterosexuals.”

Vitter Blames Undocumented Immigrants For Loss Of Louisiana Congressional Seat

“Yesterday, the Census Bureau released a new congressional apportionment map which gives more Congressional seats to the South and the West at the expense of the Northeast and the Midwest. One of the states that will lose a congressional seat is Louisiana.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) released a statement yesterday expressing his outrage. According to Vitter, undocumented immigrants are to blame for Louisiana’s loss of a congressional seat:

“Even though we’ve been expecting this, the confirmation that Louisiana will lose a congressional seat is frustrating. Last year, I tried to prevent this from happening with my amendment to require a citizenship question on the census and to prevent the counting of illegal immigrants for the purpose of apportionment,” said Vitter.”

In Historic Vote, Senate Ratifies New START

“President Obama became the first Democratic President in history today to have an arms-control treaty ratified on his watch. The New START Treaty was approved in the Senate by a vote of 71-26. Thirteen Republicans, a quarter of the Republican caucus, broke with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). This is the first time an arms control treaty has ever passed without the support of the minority leader. As Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said yesterday, “In today’s Senate, 70 votes is yesterday’s 95.””

Obama: ‘We Are Not Doomed To Endless Gridlock’

“President Obama ended a busy day in Washington with a news conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House.”

Alaska Supreme Court denies Miller’s Senate challenge

“The Alaska Supreme Court today ruled against Joe Miller, leaving his challenge of the U.S. Senate race on life support. The court ruled the state followed the law in counting misspelled ballots for Sen. Lisa Murkowski. His only remaining chance is in federal court.”

Raucous crowd cheers as Obama ends ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

“President Barack Obama signed the repeal of the military’s prohibition against gays serving openly in the armed force on Wednesday at a ceremony that was packed with 500 advocates, lawmakers, members of the military and former soldiers who’d been discharged for their sexual orientation. The crowd was jovial and a little rowdy, chanting “Yes, we did!” and “U-S-A, U-S-A.” Many shouted out, “Enlist us now.””

The ‘Subsidy’: How Merrill Lynch Traders Helped Blow Up Their Own Firm

“Two years before the financial crisis hit, Merrill Lynch confronted a serious problem. No one, not even the bank’s own traders, wanted to buy the supposedly safe portions of the mortgage-backed securities Merrill was creating.

Bank executives came up with a fix that had short-term benefits and long-term consequences. They formed a new group within Merrill, which took on the bank’s money-losing securities. But how to get the group to accept deals that were otherwise unprofitable? They paid them. The division creating the securities passed portions of their bonuses to the new group, according to two former Merrill executives with detailed knowledge of the arrangement.

The executives said this group, which earned millions in bonuses, played a crucial role in keeping the money machine moving long after it should have ground to a halt.”

African Farmers Displaced as Investors Move In

“Across Africa and the developing world, a new global land rush is gobbling up large expanses of arable land.”

Siberian Fossils Were Neanderthals’ Eastern Cousins, DNA Reveals

“Fossil analysis shows that almost 5 percent of the DNA of people from New Guinea comes from a little-known human group called the Denisovans.”

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