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

Crisis Or Opportunity? Leaders Eye Up Paths Ahead After S&P Downgrade

“It’s a staple of business management books that the Chinese character for “crisis” also stands for “opportunity.” Despite the fact that this isn’t actually true, it has also filtered into the political discourse. The S&P downgrade presents a classic crisis/opportunity situation, namely: will political leaders use this moment to bridge their differences and agree on a credible plan that involves both spending cuts and additional revenues? Or will they simply use it as a chance to say, “I told you so!” and slag off the other side? So far the signs are mixed.”

Read More: China State Media Blasts U.S. Over Debt Downgrade
Read More: National Journal: ‘It’s hard to read the S&P analysis as anything other than a blast at Republicans’
Read More: A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion
Read More: American Pride Takes A Hit With S&P’s Downgrade
Read More: Global leaders race to stem panic over US credit rating downgrade

Facing Backlash For Disenfranchising Voters, Gov. Walker Reverses Course On Plan To Close Several DMV Offices

“In a sharp reversal, the state of Wisconsin announced yesterday it will expand Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) services to accommodate the increased demand for photo identification in the wake of a controversial new Voter ID law. As ThinkProgress reported last week, after signing a Voter ID law earlier this year that disenfranchises tens of thousands of Wisconsin voters, Gov. Scott Walker (R) then called for closing as many as 16 DMV offices across the state, making it even more difficult for residents to obtain the ID they needed to regain their electoral voice.

Walker’s undemocratic plan prompted widespread criticism and has apparently compelled the administration to completely change its position.”

Town Hall Attendee Tells GOP Rep. Joe Walsh: ‘Let’s Tax The Rich’

“At a Thursday town hall meeting in Wauconda, Illinois, Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) railed against defense cuts and entitlement programs, telling attendees that Americans refuse to have a discussion about how best to rein in the nation’s deficit and debt. But when Walsh asked how Americans planned to pay for those programs, he was caught off guard by a quick answer from one of the event’s attendees:

WALSH: This country, for years, has put off the discussion, how are we going to pay for that? Let’s have the discussion!

MAN: Let’s tax the rich.

WALSH: Let’s tax the rich, they say! (Applause) All I’m saying is —

MAN: We used to!

WALSH: Don’t know where you’re going to get the money.”

Thousands Of Verizon Workers Strike Over Contract

“Tens of thousands of unionized Verizon Communications Inc. workers from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., voted to go on strike early Sunday after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new labor contract.”

GOP 2012 Presidential Candidates
Mystery Romney Donor Revealed As Bain Executive
GOP 2012 Candidates Agree Obama Deserves The Blame For S&P Downgrade… But Disagree Over Why
Texas Gov. Rick Perry Prays For America At Massive Christian Event

Jobless Numbers Don’t Tell The Whole Story

“If the monthly jobless numbers aren’t saying much, the longer-term employment trends in the United States speak volumes about the economy. The people the numbers leave out are those who’ve given up hope of finding work.”

Helicopter Taliban downed was carrying Navy SEALs

“A U.S. official in Washington confirmed that most of the dead were Navy SEALs and the AP reported that they were members of SEAL Team Six, the unit that also provided the troops for the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan. The deaths marked the highest single-incident toll of either the war in Afghanistan or Iraq. It was the worst catastrophe for the U.S. military since January 2005.”

Read More: World fails Afghanistan despite spending billions

London rioters battle police after shooting protest

“LONDON (Reuters) – Rioters throwing petrol bombs battled police in a economically deprived district of London overnight, setting patrol cars, buildings and a double-decker bus on fire in some of the worst disorder seen in the British capital for recent years.”

Quarter-million Israelis march for economic reform

“TEL AVIV (Reuters) – A quarter-million Israelis marched on Saturday for lower living costs in an escalating protest that has catapulted the economy onto the political agenda and put pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Good News: Fighting Decline, Micronesia Creates Shark Sanctuary

“Micronesian islands have declared vast areas of the Pacific Ocean to be a sanctuary for sharks. It’s the latest move in a trend to create zones where sharks can live undisturbed.

These top predators are in serious decline around the world because they are being over-fished. Mostly, they are caught to feed an insatiable appetite for shark-fin soup in Asia.

This conservation strategy effort started out small. Two years ago, the tiny Pacific nation of Palau declared its territorial waters a shark sanctuary. Next came the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. This June, Honduras said it too would ban shark fishing in its waters. And last month the Bahamas followed suit.”

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