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

Conservative Think Tank Receives Bomb Threats After Michigan FOIAs

“The Mackinac Center For Public Policy — the conservative-leaning think tank in the news this week after it requested emails from Michigan labor studies professors regarding Wisconsin and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow — says it has called in the FBI after receiving a series of threatening voicemails that promised to bomb their Midland, Michigan headquarters.”

592 American Soldiers Have Died In Afghanistan Since President Obama Announced The Surge

“During the height of the Iraq war, the U.S. media paid close attention to troop deaths and fatalities, often making casualties among American soldiers leading stories in newspapers and on the airwaves. As ThinkProgress previously noted, the American press has essentially withdrawn from covering the war in Afghanistan, with the Pew Center finding that the media only devoted four percent of its coverage to the war during 2010.

Yet America remains a nation at war, and it’s important for Americans to understand the cost of its longest war in history, in Afghanistan.”

Despite Earlier Claims, Steve King Admits That None Of His Constituents Died After Reintroduction Of Estate Tax

“With the estate tax was set to return in 2011, King warned that some American multimillionaires would commit suicide rather than have a portion of their estates taxed after they died.
King conceded that suicides as a result of the estate tax renewal was something that “didn’t happen.” Still, the Iowa Republican remains worried that if the Bush tax cuts aren’t renewed in two years and a slightly higher number of millionaires are subjected to the estate tax, families might have to again decide whether to unplug a loved one on December 31, 2012.”

The Gas Gauge Says Full, But That’s Not Quite True

“After filling your tank, your car’s gas gauge may stay on full for a day or two before the needle starts creeping toward empty. That’s because auto engineers have calibrated our gas gauges to lie to us. Host Scott Simon talks with Ford Motor Company engineer Phil Pierron about why the gauge is intentionally calibrated to be inaccurate.”

Death Penalty Judge: ‘Let’s Stop The Charade’

“”A death sentence in California rarely leads to an execution,” retired Superior Court Judge Donald McCartin wrote in his Los Angeles Times op-ed, “Second Thoughts of a ‘Hanging Judge.'” Host Scott Simon talks with McCartin, known as “the hanging judge of Orange County” when he sat on the Superior Court there.”

Man Wrongly Convicted: Are Prosecutors Liable?

“When prosecutors violate the law to deprive a person of a fair trial, is vindication enough, or should the prosecutors be held liable for damages? This week, a bitterly divided U.S. Supreme Court all but closed the door to such lawsuits.”

Read More: Cruel but Not Unusual: Clarence Thomas writes one of the meanest Supreme Court decisions ever.

Even More Uncertainty Faces Young And Unemployed

“Young adults have had an especially hard time in this economic downturn. The unemployment rate for those in their twenties is double that of the general population. And many young job applicants are finding themselves competing with older, more experienced workers for what used to be entry-level jobs. Meet two twenty-something women who are struggling with unemployment in different ways.”

FDA Proposes Calorie Counts On Restaurant Menus

“Menu labeling requirements proposed Friday by the Food and Drug Administration will require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations, along with bakeries, grocery stores, convenience stores and coffee chains, to clearly post the calorie count for each item on their menus.”

Hundreds Killed in Ivory Coast Town as Conflict Intensifies

“As rebels swept across Ivory Coast aiming to oust the nation’s strongman, Laurent Gbagbo, hundreds of people were killed in one town in the western part of the country last week.”

NATO Airstrike Reportedly Kills Rebels in Libya

“The deaths underscored the challenge that Western allies and rebels face in relying on airstrikes as the sides mix in the battle zone.”

Read More: Obama’s Libya Doctrine Vague Amid False Choices
Read More: From The Tea Party, Mixed Views On Libya

Good News: Humorist Dave Barry Plays Not My Job

“Humor writer Barry has been churning out comedy for more than 25 years, authoring hundreds of columns and more than 30 books. He won a Pulitzer prize in 1988 (which, for us, is what finally legitimized the Pulitzers.)

We’ve invited him to play a game called “You can have a body … like mine.”

Editor’s Note: Snippet from transcript:

Mr. BARRY: A lot of people – Miami, in particular, when I first got here, I thought nobody here knows the traffic laws. And I learned over the years everyone here is driving according to the traffic laws of his or her individual country of origin.
Mr. BARRY: And there apparently are countries where it’s traditional to put on your left turn signal first thing in the morning, you know.

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