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

World Bank chief warns economy in ‘more dangerous’ phase

“World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said Europe’s sovereign debt concerns are much more serious than those that saw a credit rating downgrade in the United States.”

Read More: Grassley Calls S&P Downgrade A ‘Wake-Up Call’ To ‘Reduce Deficit Spending,’ Then Admits He Hasn’t Read The Report

New U.S. Ambassador To China Assumes Post

“The new U.S. ambassador to China, the first Chinese-American to take up the post, said Sunday that the two countries could solve many of the world’s problems if their governments work together more.

At a news briefing with his family by his side, Gary Locke said the two countries could provide global leadership. He did not directly mention the bilateral issues that are likely to feature in talks between the two, such as human rights and trade.”

Can Turning Foreclosures into Rental Properties Save the Housing Market?

“Earlier this week, the federal government put out a request for ideas on how to transform some of the roughly 250,000 government-owned foreclosed homes into rental properties.

The goal is to create more options in an increasingly expensive rental market, while dealing with the glut of foreclosed homes dragging down the housing market.

In the first six months of this year, more than 1 million properties had foreclosure filings against them. About 800,000 foreclosed properties are owned by banks, and roughly a third of those belong to the federal government through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.”

12 unions tell Dems they’ll boycott convention in N. Carolina

“Casting North Carolina as an anti-union bastion with “regressive policies aimed at diluting the power of workers,” more than a dozen trade unions affiliated with the national AFL-CIO have told the Democratic National Committee that they will sit out the 2012 convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Coming on the heels of some liberals’ complaints that President Barack Obama is giving in to Republicans, the unions’ decision is another sign that key Democratic allies are unhappy with Obama and other party leaders as they gear up for a difficult election season.”

Vacation horror: Why Yosemite is claiming so many lives

“Just three weeks after death laid a heavy hand on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, sweeping three tourists to their deaths over Vernal Fall, life went on for a new crop of visitors wading in the water, oblivious to the danger before them. Today’s urban- and Internet-focused Americans have forgotten that nature is filled with powerful, beautiful forces that can kill.”

Nonprofits Watch Anxiously As Market Wobbles

“The turmoil on Wall Street threatens to wreak financial havoc on a lot of people and institutions — including the country’s 1.2 million nonprofits. Charities of all sizes are only beginning to recover from the recession. Now many are wondering how they’ll survive another market plunge.”

GOP 2012 Presidential Candidates
Michele Bachmann Wins Ames Straw Poll
It’s Official: Rick Perry Announces Presidential Bid
Romney’s ‘Corporations Are People’ Comments Prompt A Second Attack Ad
Pawlenty’s attack on Bachmann cost him Iowa straw poll votes
Perry Doesn’t ‘Buy Into The Premise’ That Rescuing America’s Auto Companies Saved Jobs
Perry Jumps Into Presidential Race Touting Texas Job Growth
Huckabee: Perry making mistake by ignoring Iowa
Commentary: Michele Bachmann’s Iowa circus

Libya rebels enter strategic town near Tripoli

“ZAWIYAH, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebels hoisted their flag in the center of this town near the capital on Sunday after the most dramatic advance in months cut off Muammar Gaddafi’s capital from its main link to the outside world.”

China says will shut plant as thousands protest

“BEIJING (Reuters) – Authorities in northeastern China on Sunday ordered a petrochemical plant to be shut down immediately after thousands of people demonstrated, demanding the relocation of the factory at the center of a toxic spill scare, state media said.”

Good News: Don’t Get In A Pickle: Learn To Can Food Safely

“Call it a reaction to high food prices, food recalls, and a bad economy. Or just call it retro chic. But there’s no doubt canning is newly trendy among people who a couple of years ago probably didn’t give much thought to what goes into a jar.

According to a recent survey by Opinion Research, 43 percent of consumers interested in canning are ages 18-34. And since 2009, searches for “canning recipes” on has increased 61 percent during the summer months, says Judith Dern of the popular website.”

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