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

Big Oil’s Scary Haul: $100 Billion And Counting

The combined profits of the Big Five oil companies — ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron — has already exceeded $100 billion this year. Tabulated by Oil Change International’s Ross Hammond, the profits from the first three quarters of 2011 are a combined $102.85 billion, much of it plowed into stock buybacks and outrageous executive compensation, taken at the gas pump from hardworking American families. The Big Five are on track to rake in more than $140 billion over the year, as they benefit from billions of dollars of government subsidies.

Former GOP Ohio Supreme Court Judge: Ohio’s Anti-Labor Law Is ‘Tragic For Our Communities,’ ‘Must Be Rejected’

In eight days, Ohio voters will go to the polls to decide whether GOP Gov. John Kasich’s deeply unpopular anti-labor law, Senate Bill 5, should remain on the books. Thousands of Ohioans, including right-wing radio host Bill Cunningham, have urged Ohioans to stand behind teachers, police officers, and firefighters and repeal the law by voting no on Issue 2.

High Court Upholds Ruling Ordering Removal Of Crosses In Utah

The United States Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling that ordered the removal of 12-foot high crosses placed along highways in Utah to commemorate state troopers killed in the line of duty.

Facing Stiffened Opposition, Obama Goes It Alone

President Obama, faced with what he described as an “increasingly dysfunctional” Congress, has turned repeatedly in recent weeks to the time-honored, but often controversial executive order to unilaterally make policy.

On Monday, Obama signed an executive order designed to require drug companies to report anticipated manufacturing shortages in advance. Last week, he said he would issue an executive order designed to help ease home-refinancing rules. And earlier in the same week, the president issued a directive to cap student loan payments.

U.S. citizenship applications are rising in South Florida

Amid applause and tears, 205 immigrants from 35 countries took their oath of allegiance to their adoptive country last week and became U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony at the Miami office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The ceremony was no different from many others that have taken place there. Yet the new citizens are part of an increase of citizen applications in South Florida and the rest of the country due to the growing interest among immigrants in the 2012 presidential election, immigration officials say.

Perry’s Tax Plan Would Cost More Than $500 Billion A Year While Increasing Taxes On Most Of The Middle-Class

2012 GOP presidential hopeful and Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a tax plan last week that would institute a 20 percent “flat tax,” while giving taxpayers the option of continuing to use the current tax code and all of its deductions and credits. Perry claims that he will be able to balance the budget while making the tax code simpler and fairer.

We already knew that Perry’s plan is the epitome of complicated and unfair, as it layers a new tax code on top of the old, and makes the new code incredibly advantageous to the wealthy by entirely exempting investment income from any taxation at all. And according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center, Perry’s plan would blow a gigantic hole in the deficit, while increasing taxes for those at the lowest end of the income scale.

Greek referendum deepens euro zone crisis

(Reuters) – The leaders of France and Germany scrambled on Tuesday to limit damage after Prime Minister George Papandreou decided to let Greeks vote on a bailout package — a move that stunned markets and threw Greece’s euro zone membership into question.

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