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

The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests

Their names suggest selfless dedication to democracy. Fair Districts Mass. Protect Your Vote. The Center for a Better New Jersey. And their stated goals are unarguable: In the partisan fight to redraw congressional districts, states should stick to the principle of one person, one vote.

A good news story out of Africa brings hope

Even in this remarkable year of uprisings and unpredictable events, it was an inspirational moment that revealed the pace of change sweeping Africa. The veteran leader of a country whose party had become entrenched in office and been plagued by corruption allegations handed over the presidency after losing an election.

Putin’s presidential ambitions signal a return to autocracy

The announcement by the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that he favours taking a back seat and recommending his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, to succeed him in 2012 should hardly come as a surprise. The reality is that Putin, the macho former KGB officer, has never gone away since he stood down in 2008 after serving two terms.

New try at peace talks after Palestinians ask to join UN

UNITED NATIONS — Hours after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made an impassioned appeal for full U.N. membership for an independent Palestinian state, U.S. and European diplomats on Friday proposed a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to begin within a month, with the goal of reaching a deal by the end of 2012.

Romney And Perry Speak In Michigan, Epicenter Of The Auto Industry They Wanted To Let Fail

Both Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) will speak before the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan today. Michigan, of course, is the epicenter of the United States automobile industry, which was rescued by the Obama administration.

At the time, both Perry and Romney opposed rescuing the American auto industry, preferring to watch iconic American companies topple into an uncontrolled bankruptcy, not only destroying themselves, but all of the supplier and contractors that depend on them.

Can Fed’s New ‘Twist’ Prevent Another Recession?

The economic news has been nothing but grim lately: weak expansion, sluggish consumer spending and unemployment holding steady at just over 9 percent.

Overseas, the picture isn’t any rosier, with Greece expected to default on its debts — possibly followed by Portugal and Ireland — and the International Monetary Fund predicting a global economic slowdown.

So is the U.S. heading for a double-dip recession? Or are we there already? And what can we do about it?

Paralyzed Oregon man, living on $22,000 a month and able to pay, fights foreclosure

Robert Galanida was a skinny teenager when a drunken driver rammed the pickup he was riding in, hurtling him to the blacktop and paralyzing him from his shoulders down.

With the help of multimillion-dollar legal and insurance settlements, he and his mother now live comfortably on annuity payments of $22,000 a month.

So they are at a loss as to why his mortgage servicer, Bank of America, has repeatedly tried to evict him from his Tualatin home. Custom-built 14 years ago for less than $400,000, it boasts wide halls and doorways to accommodate his wheelchair and an air purification system to keep his body temperature and breathing in check.

Reader Comments Welcome. Share news stories you have seen here…please be sure to attribute them. Comments with violations of Fair Use guidelines may be edited.