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

Top Democratic Aide Says Breakthrough Possible To Avert Government Shutdown

“A top Senate Democratic aide says there’s been a key thaw in discussions between Senate Dem leaders and House Republicans to avert a government shutdown.

The aide said Republican negotiators are once again willing to meet Democrats in the middle, to cut a bit over $30 billion from current spending — just about half the $61 billion House Republicans have proposed.

Vice President Joe Biden is currently meeting with Senate Democratic leadership to discuss the spending cut package. “

Read More: GOP Freshmen Push Back Against Blame For Shutdown
Read More: GOP Is Demanding Budget Riders That Would Increase Federal Spending
Read More: Caught On Tape: Republicans Touting Support For Government Shutdown

White House: Obama Has Yet To Decide Whether To Arm Libyan Rebels

“Amid reports that President Obama had signed a secret order authorizing covert support for Libyan rebels, the White House issued a sweeping statement Wednesday evening saying the President has made no decision about supplying arms to the opposition. “

Read More: Are U.S. Rhetoric, Action In Libya In Line?

GOPers Demand Sean Duffy Salary Tape Be Pulled From The Internet (VIDEO)

“First the Republican Party in Polk County, Wisconsin, pulled the tape of Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) fretting about making ends meet on his $174,000 a year salary from its own website. Now they want it gone from the whole Internet.

For a couple hours, the local county GOP was successful. But we’ve put an excerpt of the video back up. “

Maddow Gets Radio Silence On Michigan FOIA Questions (VIDEO)

“On her show last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow followed up on our story about the labor studies professor FOIAs in Michigan. She found the conservative donors who fund the think tank asking for emails from Michigan professors about, among other things, Maddow herself, less than willing to talk about where they sent their money.”

Obama renews pitch for clean energy to reduce oil appetite

“President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced a goal to cut U.S. reliance on foreign oil by one-third by 2025, saying that demand from growing economies such as China and India probably will force prices up in the long term.”

With New ‘Monkey Bill,’ Tennessee Takes Evolution Education Back To Scopes

“Eighty six years after the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial opened Tennessee classrooms to the teaching of evolution, the state House is trying to slam the door shut again. Tennessee’s House Education Committee approved a bill Tuesday in the name of “academic freedom,” but in reality, it is a thinly veiled attempt to curtail the teaching of evolution. House Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh (D) has even taken to calling it “the monkey bill.” “

KS GOP Rep. Slams Anti-Abortion Bill: I’m ‘Embarrased To Be A State That Bases Its Laws On Untruths’

“HB 2218, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, strictly limits abortions after 22 weeks “based on disputed research that fetuses can feel pain at that point of development.” Though only 1.5 percent of abortions are performed after this period, the bill marks a significant victory for anti-choice activists who “have turned fetal pain into a new front in their battle to restrict or ban abortion.”

But not all Republicans bought the Republican argument that “this is a significant advancement” and “a more appropriate benchmark for late-term abortions.” “It’s based on false research,” said GOP Rep. Barbara Bollier who joined 8 other Republicans who voted against the bill.”

Read More: VIDEO: Indiana GOP Rep Says Women Will Pretend To Be Raped To Get Free Abortions

Key Republicans Seek IRS Investigation Of AARP

“Three members of the influential House Ways and Means Committee released a report Tuesday questioning whether the seniors lobby deserves to keep its tax-exempt status. The lawmakers say AARP stands to make a “windfall” from the new health care law the organization supported.”

Memo From Beijing: China Hedges Over Whether South China Sea Is a ‘Core Interest’ Worth War

“Leaders in Beijing have apparently been happy to let the debate over “core interests” and the South China Sea quiet down.”

Middle East: Bahrain Losing Its Edge as Finance Hub

“After protests in Bahrain, and their brutal repression, banks are acting to relocate employees and capital elsewhere in the region in case conditions worsen.”

Satire: International Criminal Court Announces New ‘3 Strikes’ Genocide Policy

“In an effort to crack down on the systematic killing of entire races and ethnic groups, International Criminal Court officials introduced a new “three strikes” policy Monday that mandates harsher punishments for offenders receiving their third genocide conviction. […]According to the ICC, three-time perpetrators of genocide will face stiff fines and have to issue formal public apologies, pending appeals.”

Good News: Mission To Mercury: Messenger Probe Makes First Ever Orbit

“March 29, 2011: On Tuesday, the Mercury Messenger began broadcasting the first images back to Earth from its historic orbit around the solar system’s innermost planet.”

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