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

HART squeezed by ridership increase, revenue decline

TAMPA — HART bus driver Carlos Duran discharged his last two passengers at Route 34’s final stop in West Tampa on Wednesday at 10:55 a.m. — seven minutes late.

Vladimir Putin sworn in as Russian President amid protests

Vladimir Putin has taken the oath of office for a third term as Russia’s president, saying he considers “service to the fatherland and our nation to be the meaning of life.”

Spring poses special dangers to boaters and swimmers in Tampa Bay waters

On a clear spring day, Brian McClure was boating with friends in the smooth waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Then the weather turned against them.

French and Greek elections renew fears for euro’s future

Europe was plunged into fresh volatility on Monday as leaders and financial markets digested the outcome of elections that exposed deep fissures over efforts to settle the debt and currency crisis.

Not Just the Economy: Polls Show Obama’s Swing State Strength (CHART)

President Obama’s first three and a half years in office have been fraught with economic stagnation unseen for decades. The signature achievement from his first term, health care reform, remains unpopular with the American people (although before it’s been fully implemented). And his approval rating, while even over the last two months, was underwater for most of 2011.

Tornado Recovery Offers Joplin Students New Lessons

Graduation is supposed to in part be about celebrating the future, but last year in Joplin, Mo., shortly after the high school graduation ceremony, an EF-5 tornado — the highest-strength rating — destroyed one-third of the city and killed 161 people, including one teen who had received his diploma that day.

‘Wired to Run’: Runner’s High May Have Been Evolutionary Advantage

Endurance athletes sometimes say they’re “addicted” to exercise. In fact, scientists have shown that rhythmic, continuous exercise — aerobic exercise — can in fact produce narcotic-like chemicals in the body.

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