Noontime News is a snapshot of the news from the past 24 hours.

Groups oppose Duke Energy’s plan to bill North Carolina customers for nuclear in advance

Consumer, environmental and anti-nuclear advocates said Monday they will fight proposed state legislation allowing Duke Energy to more easily pass costs of a new nuclear plant on to N.C. customers.

Quietly, the Republican Party is embracing gays

WASHINGTON —  A quiet transformation is taking place in the Republican Party, which has begun to embrace openly gay candidates – and among gay Republicans, who now feel more comfortable speaking out in a party that may have accepted them but didn’t always show it.

Europe’s path uncertain as Hollande takes office in France, new elections set for Greece

PARIS — The financially besieged European Union embarked on an uncertain path Tuesday, with a new president in France and a call for new elections in Greece, developments that are certain to change the way Europe handles its economic crisis.

NATO invites Pakistan to summit after signs of progress on blockade

ISLAMABAD —  NATO on Tuesday announced that Pakistan would be invited to the alliance’s Chicago summit on the future of Afghanistan this weekend, following signs from Pakistani authorities that they would end their nearly six-month blockade on Afghanistan-bound NATO supply routes through their country.

American Airlines welcomes pacts with 1 union as pilots continue case in court

NEW YORK —  American Airlines got some welcome news from part of its workforce Tuesday as the Transport Workers Union announced that five of seven bargaining units had accepted management’s latest contract offer.

Boehner vows another showdown over debt and taxes

WASHINGTON —  House Speaker John Boehner set the stage Tuesday for another tense, partisan showdown over tax and spending policy later this year, as he vowed to insist on big spending cuts before he’ll agree to a new debt ceiling – much like last summer’s debt showdown debacle – and he also promised a vote before November’s elections on whether to prevent Bush-era tax cuts from expiring at year’s end, as scheduled.

Miami firefighter demoted for Trayvon Martin Facebook posting

A Miami-Dade fire captain has been demoted down to firefighter as punishment for a rant, posted on his personal Facebook page, about the Trayvon Martin case, county officials said Monday.

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