Noontime News is a snapshot of our RSS feeds from the noon (Eastern time) hour.
“Fueled by anger at drastic government cuts, 500,000 protesters took to the streets of London yesterday in the largest protest since the city’s 2003 march against the Iraq war.
Few parts of British life will remain untouched by the massive $130 billion in cuts to public services now being rolled out by the coalition government. Local budgets are being slashed by up to 30 percent, leading to cuts in child care, public safety, programs for retirees, and library closures — and an increasing privatization of the popular, publicly-funded National Health Services.”
“The USS Essex, an amphibious assault ship, is part of a relief effort to provide supplies and logistical support to Japan. The effort — called Operation Tomodachi, or “friend” — may help bolster the U.S.-Japan alliance, which has experienced friction over the issue of U.S. military bases in Japan.”
“The federal government is reshaping the mortgage market, and there’s strong political support for requiring consumers to make 10 percent to 20 percent down payments. It could also mean the end of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in favor of a shorter-term home loan.”
“The National Front, under the new leadership of Marine Le Pen, is sending shivers through France’s political world in the maneuvering for 2012 presidential elections.”
“Thursday, ThinkProgress reported that the Ohio House had approved the most restrictive voter id law in the nation — a bill that would exclude 890,000 Ohioans from voting. Earlier this week Texas lawmakers passed a similar bill, and voter id legislation — which would make it significantly more difficult for seniors, students and minorities to vote — is now under consideration in more than 22 states across the country.
Conservatives have said voter id laws are necessary to combat mass voter fraud. Yet according to the Brennan Center for Justice, Americans are more likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning than commit voter fraud.”
“After a private company entices Littlefield, Texas, officials with the promise of new revenue, the declining inmate population is forcing the city to pay thousands every month for an empty facility.”
“The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on Arizona’s public financing system. The state says it combats corruption and promotes free speech. Critics say the system is rigged to suppress speech, forcing candidates who use private money to effectively silence themselves.”
“American and European bombs battered Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s tribal homeland of Surt, as rebels seeking his ouster capitalized on the damage from the Western airstrikes.”
“Barry Bonds, the San Francisco Giants outfielder who in 2007 capped his 22-year baseball career by becoming the MLB’s all-time home run leader, arrived in Courtroom 10 of the Phillip Burton Federal Courthouse at 8 a.m. Monday to appear in Case No. 3:07-cr-00732-SI, USA v. Steroid-Using Liar Barry Bonds.
The prosecution has charged Bonds with four counts of perjury and one count of obstructing justice for allegedly lying to a grand jury about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds’ lawyers stated in a press release yesterday they were confident they would receive a “quick and clear acquittal” for their “dishonest cheater of a client.””
Good News: Alexander Technique: A Balm For Back Pain?
“Alexander Technique is a series of posture lessons, devised by a 19th century Australian actor named F.M. Alexander who had troubles with chronic laryngitis whenever he performed.[…]
“We look at what you are doing that causes that problem in the first place, so how you sit at the computer or how you pick up you child or what you do when you’re driving,” says [Josephine] Gray [, certified instructor]. “I look at ways of changing your postural habits so you don’t get into pain.”
These aren’t static postures, though. Those who promote the technique say its more about how you move, and training yourself to release tension.
Editor: Story contains video on techniques.“
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