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

Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks’ Mortgage Shenanigans

Buried in the sweeping mortgage settlement with banks, for which final documents were filed this week, are five whistleblower cases that shed light on the litany of foreclosure abuses by the banks.

After a warm winter, flood threat down in much of U.S.

WASHINGTON — After an unusually warm winter with low snowfall in much of the United States, no part of the country faces a high risk of flooding this spring, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday in its annual forecast of floods, droughts and spring temperatures.

USDA: Schools can opt not to feed ‘pink slime’ to students

WASHINGTON — After a public uproar sparked by a Houston mom’s online petition, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture on Thursday backed off the federal school lunch program’s use of “pink slime” by letting school districts decide whether to accept the controversial beef product.

79,000 unemployed South Carolinians to lose long-term jobless benefits

Extended federal unemployment benefits are being phased out for almost 80,000 jobless workers in South Carolina despite the state’s high 9.3 percent jobless rate.

Senate women lead fight to renew domestic violence law

WASHINGTON — After winning a fight just last week to preserve contraceptive health-insurance coverage for women, Senate Democrats on Thursday battled conservative Republicans who say they don’t want to expand an 18-year-old federal law that created a national strategy to prevent domestic violence against women.

Move blocks Iranian banks from world payments system

WASHINGTON — A move Thursday by a Belgian-based financial-transfers company to block Iran from global transactions is expected to isolate the country further and send it tumbling back toward a barter economy.

TREAT Act would speed up drug approval process

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of thousands of people die each year from diseases for which there are no cures. But legislation being pushed by patient advocates and biotech firms could shave years off the federal drug approval process to get promising treatments to those who need them.

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