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

Texas Redrawn: Voting Rights, States’ Power In Court

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a tangle of Texas redistricting cases, with repercussions beyond the Lone Star State. Consolidated into one test, the cases pit the Voting Rights Act and its protections for minority voters against state legislative powers — with an overlaying sheen of sheer political calculus.

Venezuelan Diplomat Expelled From U.S.

The Obama administration is expelling Venezuela’s consul general in Miami after allegations surfaced that she discussed possible cyber-attacks on U.S. soil while she was stationed at her country’s embassy in Mexico.

U.S., Iran Play Economic Knockdown

Tensions with Iran these days are as high as they’ve been in years, and managing them will be one of the top challenges facing the Obama administration this year. With Iran threatening to block U.S. ships from entering the Persian Gulf, and the United States vowing not to back down, the stage seems to be set for war. And yet, what’s happening with Iran right now may be more of an economic confrontation than a military standoff.

MSNBC Ousts Contributor Pat Buchanan Over Racist Book

Conservative contributor Pat Buchanan’s tenure at MSNBC may have finally come to an end. AP reports that MSNBC president Phil Griffin has indicated the controversial former presidential candidate will not be allowed back on the network after the release of his latest book. “Suicide of a Superpower” has been roundly condemned for its racially-charged content, including chapters titled “The End of White America” and “The Death of Christian America.” Griffin said, “When Pat was on his book tour, because of the content of the book, I didn’t think it should be part of the national dialogue much less part of the dialogue on MSNBC.” As ThinkProgress has reported, Buchanan has a long history of bigotry and has made many offensive statements while in the network’s employ. 275,000 people signed a petition calling on MSNBC to fire him.

Black Man Confronts Gingrich On Food Stamps Comments: ‘Stop Using Blacks As A Punching Bag’

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended himself today against charges of racial insensitivity by noting that he’s worked with African-American leaders in the past.

Focus On The Family Distorts Another ‘Fatherless’ Study To Oppose Marriage Equality

Focus on the Family’s duplicity is not always obvious, but execution of their anti-gay rhetoric is becoming more transparent. In a post yesterday, FOTF’s director of Global Family Formation Studies Glenn T. Stanton boasted that a new study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business proves that boys benefit behaviorally from having “a home with a mom and a dad

Fidel Castro publishes lengthy column on war, climate change

MIAMI – Putting to rest rumors that he had died, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has published his first column in nearly two months – a 3,121-word exposition on nuclear war, climate change and other threats to the survival of the human species.

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