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

Kyl Walks Back Planned Parenthood Claim: It ‘Was Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement’

“As ThinkProgress reported earlier today, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) defended Republicans’ willingness to shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood by falsely claiming that abortion is “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” In reality, just three percent of its work is related to abortion. This afternoon, CNN brought on Planned Parenthood’s Judy Tabar to discuss his comment. During the interview, CNN anchor TJ Holmes relayed a statement from Kyl’s office walking back the comment, claiming the statement was not meant to be “factual”:

HOLMES: We did call his office trying to ask what he was talking about there. And I just want to give it you verbatim here. It says, ‘his remark was not intended to be a factual statement,”

Read More: 72% oppose cuts in Planned Parenthood funding
Read More: House GOP Women Dodge Questions on Abortion at Press Conference

Obama As Budget Referee: It’s a No-Win Situation

“Now that the budget hijinks have come to a close and Washington has oh-so-narrowly averted a government shutdown, let the blame game begin.

Such high stakes political negotiations always involve some level of political fallout. As President Obama likes to say, no one ever gets 100 percent of what they want in a negotiation, and there’s always room to complain. Democrats will no doubt have plenty to complain about when the finer details of Friday’s deal reach the light of day.”

Read More: House GOPers Not All On Board With Budget Agreement
Read More: The Shutdown Matchup: A Preview Of Bouts To Come

RNC Chair Reince Priebus Validates Birther Donald Trump’s Candidacy With Introductory Phone Call

“Real estate mogul and confirmed birther Donald Trump received an “introductory” phone call from Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus Thursday, the same day Trump announced he was sending investigators to Hawaii to research President Obama’s birth. Just a day before, a new poll showed Trump running in a statistical dead-heat with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.”

Read More: CNN Lets ‘You Decide’ About Trump’s ‘Birther’ Claims (VIDEO)

GOP Congressman: ‘Not Fair At All’ And ‘Offensive’ That G.E. Paid No Taxes In 2010

“Despite being America’s largest company and making $14.2 billion in profits last year, General Electric paid zero dollars in federal taxes last year — in fact, it claimed a $3.2 billion “tax benefit.” As ThinkProgress has reported, in a time of strained government budgets, a number of Republican lawmakers have astonishingly defended G.E.’s tax dodging, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich even telling ThinkProgress that “we should celebrate” corporations exploiting tax loopholes “as a good thing.” But on CSPAN’s Washington Journal this morning, GOP Rep. Reid Ribble (WI) called G.E.’s tax dodging “offensive” and unfair.”

Clinton Has Tough Words For China On Human Rights

“The secretary of state unveiled the 35th annual human-rights report Friday — amid a crackdown on dissent in China. Clinton said the struggle for human rights begins by telling the truth — and in China that means highlighting the plight of political prisoners, who are growing in number.”

Read More: Shake-Up Could Affect Tone of U.S. Policy on China

150 Years Later, America’s Civil War Still Divides

“On April 12, 1861, the first shots of the war were fired in Charleston, S.C. And 150 years later, the city is still figuring out how to talk about the war and commemorate the anniversary. How do you honor the Confederate cause without also honoring the institution of slavery?”

News Analysis: In Portugal Crisis, Worries on Europe’s ‘Debt Trap’

“Portugal now follows Greece and Ireland to the European welfare office to get new loans on condition of ever more drastic spending cuts.”

Good News: The World’s Tallest Tree Is Hiding Somewhere In California

“Whoa, this is one very tall tree. Nine years ago, it was the tallest known plant in the world. It’s 369 feet high. That’s about twice the size of the Statue of Liberty (minus the foundation)
Editor’s Note: Includes a cool photo collage, a video on climbing the tree and a poem. What could be better than that?

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