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

Mexican Cartels Push Meth Beyond U.S. Market

Mexican Federal Police, some of them covered head to toe in white hazardous-materials suits, paraded Jaime Herrera Herrera in front of the media in handcuffs this week. Officials say he was the methamphetamine mastermind for Mexico’s most wanted man, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who runs the powerful Sinaloa cartel.

Ramon Eduardo Pequeno, the head of the anti-narcotics division of Mexico’s federal police, says Herrera trafficked tons of methamphetamines into Southern California between 2008 and 2009 alone. The Mexican drug cartels started out smuggling marijuana. They then expanded into cocaine. Now they’re making a major push into synthetic drugs.

Greek Bailout Tensions Hit Other Euro Countries

Mounting political tensions and frustration at a lack of resolution over whether Greece will get a vital bailout rekindled fears Thursday that Europe’s debt crisis could spread to other countries.

Why Romney’s Shaggy Dog Story Won’t Die

It’s the story that continues to, well, dog Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney. And, according to some experts, it could jeopardize his standing with voters who care about animals. And yes, it turns out, that is not an insignificant voting bloc.

Iran’s newest nuclear advances could stoke tensions

WASHINGTON — Nuclear advances trumpeted Wednesday by Iran were not unexpected and their announcement may have been driven by domestic Iranian politics, but they still could add to tensions over that country’s nuclear program, U.S. officials and experts said.

Oil well in Alaska’s North Slope suffers a blowout

An exploratory well being drilled on the North Slope by the Spanish oil company Repsol suffered an apparent blowout Wednesday morning when drillers were unable to control pressure from a pocket of natural gas, state and company officials said.

MAP: Health Care Law Could Disproportionately Benefit Republican Districts

In an analysis released yesterday in Politico, three officials from the Kaiser Family Foundation claim that the health care law could disproportionately benefit GOP-represented districts, particularly in lower income Southern and rural areas where residents face higher uninsurance rates and more difficulty finding affordable health care.

Democratic Women Slam GOP’s Radical Contraception Amendment, Claim It ‘Opens Door To Discrimination’

High-profile Democratic women are hitting back against the GOP’s opposition to the Obama administration’s new rule requiring insurers and employers to offer contraception in their health care benefit plans. Obama exempts houses of worship and nonprofits that primarily employ people of the same faith from covering birth control, while religiously affiliated hospitals and colleges can also eschew the benefit. Their employees would obtain the coverage — at no additional cost sharing — directly from the insurer.

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