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

Kerry Slams ‘Tea Party Downgrade’

“Senator John Kerry (D-MA), appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, blamed Republicans and in particular Tea Party intransigence for the unprecedented S&P downgrade of U.S. credit from AAA to AA+.

“I believe this is without question the Tea Party downgrade,” he said. “This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered the will of even many of Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal.””

Read More: Paul Ryan Signals Willingness To Raise Revenues, Shifting Positions Following Downgrade
Read More: Financial crisis: full force of US downgrade is felt around the world
Read More: Asian Stock Markets Sink After U.S. Credit Downgrade

Geithner To Stay On As Treasury Secretary

“In a statement released Sunday, the Treasury Department said Timothy Geithner had informed President Obama of his decision to remain in the administration. Geithner is the only remaining top official on Obama’s original economics team.”

Illegal Border Crossings Fewer But Just As Deadly

“Over the last decade, the U.S. government has spent billions beefing up surveillance, manpower and fencing along the border with Mexico. Fewer people are attempting to cross, but hundreds of migrants still die every year, and not a day goes by without a rescue by border patrol agents.

Officials and humanitarian groups are ramping up efforts to find illegal crossers before the worst happens, and they’re hoping new deterrents convince people not to cross in the first place.”

Manatee Scars Come From A Fight They Can’t Win

“Spot a manatee, the friendly, charming and prehistoric marine animal common in Florida’s waters, and you’re likely to think they’re constantly besieged by sharks or other toothy killers. Many bear heavy scars and other marks of attack. But, as essayist Diane Roberts writes, manatees have no natural predators. What’s attacking them? Boat propellers.”

Women Veterans Breaking Silence, Beating Trauma

“The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that it will devote nearly $60 million to help homeless and at-risk veteran families. Women veterans are four times more likely to be homeless than male veterans, according to government data.”

Somalia famine refugees killed in looting at Mogadishu aid camp

“At least 10 people dead after government troops, who witnesses claim also tried to steal food, opened fire at UN distribution site”

Bahrain remains sectarian and tribal, keeping democracy out

“Shia and Sunni narratives in Bahrain, like in Northern Ireland, remain hard to reconcile – both see themselves as victims”

Saudi king recalls ambassador and demands end to Syria bloodshed

“Statement is sharpest criticism yet directed by Saudi Arabia against Arab state since Middle East unrest began”

Satire: First National Bank Announces: ‘Suckers, We’re Keeping All the Money’

“BOSTON—The First National Bank of Boston, the nation’s largest commercial bank, announced yesterday that it will no longer hold on to its customers’ money and instead keep it all for itself to use in any way it pleases. Bank officials cited the expense of several ambitious projects, including the construction of an immense corporate palace, as cause for the policy change.

“Possession is nine-tenths of the law, so it is with the law on our side that I say to all First National customers, you are s*** out of luck,” CEO J. Ephraim Gunderloy said at a press conference.”

Good News: Baby’s Palate And Food Memories Shaped Before Birth

“Want your child to love veggies? Start early. Very early. Research shows that what a woman eats during pregnancy not only nourishes her baby in the womb, but may shape food preferences later in life.”

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