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

Lack of Competition Stifles Refinance Program for Underwater Homeowners

Some homeowners are getting stuck with relatively high interest rates even after they participate in the government’s program to help them refinance their mortgages. The biggest banks are not lowering rates as much as they could be — and homeowners have few options to go elsewhere.

Just How Strong Is The Job Market?

The monthly employment report Friday could help answer a key question about the economy: Will the recently strong job growth slow once employers finish replacing the people they fired during the depths of the recession?

Milk Not Jails Makes Partners Out Of Farmers And Ex-Cons

What’s plentiful in upstate New York? Cows and prison inmates, to name a few things.

Reformists in the two communities don’t make natural allies, but organizer Lauren Melodia is trying to do just that.

News organizations protest closure of Guantanamo hearing

WASHINGTON — News organizations including The McClatchy Co., The Washington Post and The New York Times filed an objection Thursday to Pentagon plans to close a terrorism hearing next week where details could emerge of a detainee’s mistreatment at secret CIA prisons overseas.

Iraq unstable, sectarian, with signs of authoritarian rule

BAGHDAD — It was sunset, and the pedestrian-only streets around Baghdad’s famous double-domed Kadhemiya shrine were clogged with Iraqi families and Iranian pilgrims shopping, eating popcorn or making their way toward the glittery sanctuary.

BREAKING: Kraft Becomes Third Corporation To Drop ALEC

Following Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, tonight Kraft became the third major corporation to announce its departure from the right-wing business front group ALEC.

Murkowski Becomes Third Republican Senator To Criticize GOP’s War On Women

The men in the Republican Party may not think they’re fighting a “war on women,” but its female senators certainly do. Yesterday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Kay Bailey Hutchison in criticizing the GOP’s push for legislation to restrict access to contraception and other basic health care services:

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