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

Bronx Family’s Christmas Display Is ‘So Bad, It’s Good’

A few strings of lights and an inflatable Santa are enough for some people when it comes to holiday decorations. But not for the Garabedian family of the Bronx, whose over-the-top Christmas displays have been a traffic-snarling must-see for nearly four decades. And “traditional” is definitely not the right word for this holiday attraction.

One Year After DADT Repeal, Openly Gay Soldiers In Afghanistan Say They’re Better Able To Focus On Mission

One year ago this week, President Obama signed the repeal of the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. The repeal has been quite successful; “there has been no widespread resistance” in the military and even previous critics are comfortable with it.

The Wisdom Of Trees (Leonardo Da Vinci Knew It)

Hurricanes topple plenty of trees, but when you think about it, the more amazing thing is that many trees can stand up to these 100-mile-per-hour winds.

Now a French scientist has come up with an explanation for the resilience of trees. And astonishingly, the answer was first described by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago.

GOP Rep Introduces Measure To Prohibit Detaining American Citizens Without Due Process

As Congress passed the $662 billion defense authorization bill last week, critics worried that the bill authorized indefinite military detention for terror suspects, including American citizens, captured inside the United States. However, the bill does not change existing law on the subject, and CAP’s Ken Gude believes, “It does not limit or expand existing detention authority.”

Sen. Lugar Says Country Can’t ‘Afford’ Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy Views

On CNN this morning, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) — one of the Republican Party’s leading thinkers on foreign policy issues — rejected GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul’s calls for less U.S. intervention around the world as “uncalled for.” “It’s not a message which, really, a president of the United States could ever afford to extend,” Lugar said. Taking the opposite view of Paul’s isolationism, Lugar argued, “We’re the only country that can afford to go everywhere all over the world.”

Egypt’s women protest despite brutal military attacks

CAIRO — Several army soldiers slapped, punched and kicked Mona Seif, hitting her with wooden batons while they dragged her inside the Cabinet Building shortly after they raided Tahrir Square. Minutes earlier she had been told to leave, but she refused unless they released a child she was protecting amid the violence.

Lawmakers spend millions on foreign travel to more than 120 countries

WASHINGTON — Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, Calif., can talk publicly about his upcoming trip to South America. With him, that’s not always the case. Like other Central Valley lawmakers, Nunes periodically travels the world while Congress is out of session. Some trips, though, remain semi-secret, as part of Nunes’ work on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “You can have all the briefings you want,” Nunes said Friday, “but the only way you can do oversight is to go there.” Congressional foreign travel can take several forms, not all of them easily tracked.

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