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

Romney vs. Gingrich rhetoric grows rougher in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney intensified their bare-knuckles rhetorical brawl Thursday, with Gingrich verbally savaging the former Massachusetts governor, the campaign ads he’s run in Florida and even the Republican Party establishment

Defense budget plan doesn’t cut as deeply as Pentagon says

WASHINGTON — Pentagon officials unveiled the outlines Thursday of what they called a pared-down defense budget, but their request increases baseline spending beyond the projected end of the Afghan war, even as they plan to reduce ground forces.

Rep. Rivera introduces modified DREAM Act for military

WASHINGTON — Inspired by a discussion about immigration during Monday night’s Republican presidential-candidate debate, Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., has filed his own bill that would give young people who serve in the military a path to U.S. citizenship.

Cuba’s offshore oil drilling platform under intense scrutiny

The Scarabeo 9 is a state-of the-art oil rig leased by a Spanish company, built in China and Singapore, owned by an Italian company and flagged in the Bahamas. But there’s one part of its international pedigree that has some Floridians up in arms: it will be exploring for oil in Cuban waters.

Bill Would Require Independent Study of X-Ray Body Scanners

Sen. Susan Collins, the top Republican on the homeland security committee, plans to introduce a bill in the coming days that would require a new health study of the X-ray body scanners used to screen airline passengers nationwide.

New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bills That Prevent Police From Protecting Domestic Abuse Victims

Since the 1970s, New Hampshire police have operated under a progressive policy for handling domestic violence cases that has saved countless lives. Under current law the presumption is that an arrest will be made when police observe evidence of abuse. They have a large degree of discretion and don’t need to witness the assault firsthand or obtain a legal warrant before they can separate the alleged attacker from his victim.

All that will change if Republicans get their way. The state’s GOP legislators are pushing two bills that will reverse a half century of progress, the Concord Monitor reports:

Ohio’s GOP Secretary Of State Calls For Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Voter Law To Be Repealeda>

Earlier this year, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a radical elections law that shortens the state’s early voting period, bans in-person early voting on Sundays, and prohibits boards of election from mailing absentee ballot requests to voters. If this law had been in effect in 2008, over 200,000 voters in Columbus, Ohio alone would not have been able to cast their ballot in the way that they did.

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