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

Energy Dept. Panel Warns of Environmental Toll of Current Gas Drilling Practices

A federal energy panel issued a blunt warning to shale gas drillers and their regulators today, saying they need to step up efforts to protect public health and the environment or risk a backlash that stifles further development.

EPA Finds Compound Used in Fracking in Wyoming Aquifer

As the country awaits results from a nationwide safety study on the natural gas drilling process of fracking, a separate government investigation into contamination in a place where residents have long complained that drilling fouled their water has turned up alarming levels of underground pollution.

U.S. economy remains at risk from European financial mess

WASHINGTON — Stocks around the globe returned to positive territory Thursday, a day after European worries sparked steep losses. Europe’s woes, however, remain a clear and present danger to the fragile U.S. economic recovery.

Cain’s Lawyer Warns Other Accusers To ‘Think Twice’ Before Coming Forward Or They’ll Be Smeared Too

A story in today’s New York Times offers a disturbing look at the smear tactics and threats the Cain campaign is using to intimidate the four women accusing the candidate of sexual harassment, and any women that might come forward in the future

Study: GOP’s Balanced Budget Amendment Would Double Unemployment Rate, Put 15 Million Out Of Work

In a week, the GOP will again vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, the cockamamie economic proposal they have toyed with several times over the last several months, including during the debate over raising the debt ceiling. The vote is part of the final compromise to raise the debt limit, in which President Obama and Senate Democrats promised to hold a vote on such an amendment, despite the fact that such votes have failed numerous times in the past.

Italy’s Senate set to vote for cuts to save euro zone

Reuters) – Italy’s Senate was set to vote on Friday for austerity measures demanded by the European Union to avert a euro zone meltdown, while a new emergency government is expected within days, ending the Berlusconi era.

Romney and Obama running neck-and-neck in 3 key swing states

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are running nearly in a dead heat in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania — three big battleground states vital to winning the White House next year — according to a new poll released Thursday.

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