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

Senate Breaks GOP Filibuster To Approve Disaster Relief, Putting Ball In Cantor’s Court

Senate Democrats finally passed a natural disaster relief package this evening, getting eight Republicans senators to help them overcome a GOP filibuster of the bill. Despite the unprecedented number of natural disasters this year, Republicans have demanded the new funds be offset by spending cuts elsewhere, even though such aid is not traditionally offset. Now the bill heads to the House, where Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been outspoken is his demand for the offsets — will he hold up the aid package that FEMA says it needs?

With Record Number Of Americans Falling Into Poverty, Rand Paul Says The Poor Are Getting Rich

Census data revealed today that a record 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty in 2010. But in an aptly-timed hearing entitled “Is Poverty A Death Sentence,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) flat out rejected the idea that poverty in the U.S is worrisome. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Health subcommittee, Paul offered a dissertation-length statement on how the correlation between poverty and death is only found in the Third World and to claim such a connection within the U.S. is nothing more than “socialism” and “tyranny.”

Census: 2010 Saw Poverty Rate Increase, Income Drop

The nation’s poverty rate rose last year to 15.1 percent, the highest level in 17 years, according to new data from the Census Bureau. The agency’s latest poverty report, released Tuesday, shows that 46 million people were poor and that the median income dropped last year by more than two percent to about $49,445.

Cherokees Told To Take Back Slaves’ Descendants

A federal order for one of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes to restore voting rights and benefits to about 2,800 descendants of members’ former slaves threw plans for a special election for a new chief into turmoil Tuesday.

Navy fights to keep explosives data secret from residents

WASHINGTON — It’s been eight years since Glen Milner first asked the Navy just how big an explosion could be triggered by an accident or an attack at its munitions depot on Indian Island, Wash.

Might flying steel fragments blast downtown Port Townsend, the community just a couple of miles across the bay? What’s the emergency response plan at the military’s biggest ordnance storage site on the West Coast?

Despite Sweeping Scandals, Big States Don’t Check for Cheating by Teachers

This summer, as students enjoyed their summer vacations, education officials in many states were busy handling sweeping investigations into teacher cheating. In one school district in Atlanta, at least 178 teachers and principals were implicated in a widespread falsification of student test scores. They had taken students’ standardized test sheets, erased wrong answers and replaced them with the right ones. One teacher told investigators that the district was “run like the mob” and that she was afraid of retaliation if she didn’t participate.

Palestinians face mounting pressure to drop UN statehood bid

Efforts to persuade the Palestinians to change tack before next week’s UN meeting on the creation of a state of Palestine accelerated this week with a series of high-level delegations sweeping through Jerusalem and Ramallah aiming to avert a diplomatic collision in New York.

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