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

The Lede: Latest Updates on Japan’s Nuclear Crisis and Earthquake Aftermath

“On Monday, The Lede continues to supplement reporting from our colleagues in Japan on the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the country on Friday, including the ongoing crisis at damaged nuclear power plants.”

Read More: Japanese Americans Await Word From Loved Ones
Read More: Radioactive Releases in Japan Could Last Months, Experts Say
Read More: 17 in U.S. Navy Treated for Contamination

State Department spokesman steps down amid flap

“State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley is resigning his post, the department said Sunday, after reports that Crowley had called “stupid” the Pentagon’s treatment of a soldier accused of leaking secret documents that appeared on the WikiLeaks website.”

Read More: In Resigning, State Dept. Spokesman PJ Crowley Does Not Back Away From Criticism Of Manning’s Detention

McConnell: All 47 Republicans Will Hold The Debt Ceiling Hostage Unless We Get Entitlement Cuts

“… after backing away from decimating the nation’s economic future, Republicans have now decided to ratchet up the pressure and the take it hostage. A whole host of Republican lawmakers are now angling to use the debt ceiling as leverage to enact severe cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other saftey net programs. Today on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promised his entire caucus would vote against raisin the debt ceiling unless the White House agrees to cut entitlements.”

Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally

“Police estimated up to 100,000 people turned out in Madison, WI yesterday to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) assault on unions, making it bigger than any protests the city has witnessed, even those during the Vietnam War. The Madison rally is part of a much larger Main Street Movement of average Americans demanding fairness in labor laws, social spending, and taxation that has emerged in Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and elsewhere. But yesterday’s rally in Madison is noteworthy because at 85,000-100,000, it was bigger than the biggest tea party protest, the September 12, 2009 rally in Washington, D.C., which turned out only an estimated 60,000-70,000. “

Kristol Wants ‘More Than A No-Fly Zone’ In Libya, Says U.S. Should Attack Qaddafi’s War Ships And Tanks

“While the U.S. and NATO allies work with the international community to get consensus on and authorization for a no-fly zone in Libya to prevent Muammar Qaddafi’s forces from killing his own people from the air, the right-wing war hawks have predictably criticized President Obama’s measured approach. Newt Gingrich said last week that if he was president, he would’ve already bombed Libya, with or without UN or NATO support. Tim Pawlenty moved in Gingrich’s direction a couple days later, dismissing the need for an international coalition on Libya. And today on Fox News Sunday, war hawk leader Bill Kristol said he wants more than just a no-fly zone. Kristol thinks the U.S. should battle with Qaddafi’s forces.”

Can U.S. Nuclear Plants Handle a Major Natural Disaster

“As engineers in Japan struggle to bring quake-damaged reactors under control, attention is turning to U.S. nuclear plants and their ability to withstand natural disasters.

Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who has spent years pushing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission toward stricter enforcement of its safety rules, has called for a reassessment. Several U.S. reactors lie on or near fault lines, and Markey wants to beef up standards for new and existing plants.

“This disaster serves to highlight both the fragility of nuclear power plants and the potential consequences associated with a radiological release caused by earthquake related damage,” Markey wrote NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko in a March 11 letter. “

Read More: BPI Campus discusses technology and natural disasters in Campus Question

In Turkey, Thousands Protest a Crackdown on Press Freedom

“The arrest of several journalists this month has prompted criticism of the government, both at home and abroad.”

Good News: Science Nerds Meet Foodies In ‘Modernist Cuisine’

“When Nathan Myhrvold was 9 years old, he announced to his mother that he was going to cook Thanksgiving dinner — the entire meal, all by himself. Though it wasn’t a smashing success, it did cement his life-long interest in food.

Myhrvold read hundreds of cookbooks and essentially became a self-taught chef. In the mid-1990s, he took a leave of absence from his job to go to a professional chef’s school in France.

That job that he had left was at Microsoft, where Myhrvold served as the company’s chief technology officer. With degrees in mathematics and geophysics, as well as Ph.D.s in mathematical economics and theoretical physics, Myhrvold is more well-known for his work in the world of science and technology than he is for his cooking.

Food continued to be a passion, though, and Myhrvold found a way to combine that love with his love of science.”

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