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

US to pull troops from Iraq by next year? Pentagon denies report

BAGHDAD — An Associated Press report that the U.S. is abandoning plans to keep troops in Iraq past a year-end withdrawal deadline brought a forceful denial from the Pentagon on Saturday.

Thousands Nationwide Join New York-Born Protest

From coast to coast and North to South, the Occupy Wall Street protest against corporate greed that started out with a few young people in a lower Manhattan park grew to vocal thousands with weekend rallies in about two dozen states and supporters joining in from Canada and overseas.

Tens of thousands nicknamed “the indignant” marched in cities across Europe on Saturday. Violence broke out in Rome and dozens were injured.

Marches in the United States remained largely nonconfrontational, although dozens of people were arrested in New York when police moved to contain overflowing crowds or keep them off private property. Two police officers in New York City were injured and had to be hospitalized.

Eating Healthy: Whose Choice Should It Be?

On a recent visit to McDonald’s, Christie Coleman, a mother of two boys, was surprised to find that her kids’ Happy Meals included fewer french fries and something new: apple slices.

Coleman says her boys are extremely picky eaters, so she was not happy with the change.

“When they do want to eat, they will eat all of their fries, and I don’t think that they should get 15 or 20 less fries because McDonald’s thinks that they need to eat apples as well,” she says.

Wall Street Protesters More Savvy Than Sloppy

Occupy Wall Street protests are planned in cities around the country Saturday. On Friday in New York, a planned clean-up of Zuccotti Park near Wall Street was postponed. NPR’s Margot Adler reports on daily life in the Lower Manhattan park where the protest movement began. At first glance, the lives of the protesters may seem loose and anarchistic, but there’s actually lot of invisible technology, infrastructure, innovation and even some sophisticated finance going on.

Want an apple this year? Washington state governor to Congress: Help

WASHINGTON — With too few hands to pick the apples in Washington state, Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire says the farm labor shortage has prompted a crisis.

In the Wenatchee Valley east of the Cascade Mountains, apple growers have posted their help-wanted signs across the countryside. And for the first time in years, growers in the state have launched a radio campaign, offering pay of $120 to $150 a day, but there have been few takers, much to the governor’s regret.

Iran warns off West over alleged Saudi envoy plot

(Reuters) – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Sunday that Tehran would respond robustly to any “inappropriate measure” by Western powers linked to an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, state television reported.

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