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

For U.S. Troops, One More Big Push In Afghanistan

Several thousand soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division are taking part in what is being called the last major combat offensive of the Afghan War.

Their task is to clear Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold and a key prize because it straddles the major roads to Kabul and the insurgent supply routes into Pakistan.

Pope Breaks Silence Over Vatileaks Scandal

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI broke his silence Wednesday over the leaked documents scandal that has convulsed the Vatican, saying he was saddened by the betrayal but grateful to those aides who work faithfully and in silence to help him do his job.

Peru declares state of emergency after violence at mine protests

LIMA, Peru — The Peruvian government on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in a southeastern province after eight days of protests over a proposed expansion of a huge copper mine left at least two residents dead and 70 police injured.

War hero, 91, among the Floridians purged from voter rolls

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Using an American war veteran as the face of their cause, two South Florida congressmen called on the governor Tuesday to immediately stop the state’s purge of the voter rolls.

Obama awards medals to Bob Dylan, Toni Morrison, others

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama took a point of personal – and professional – privilege Tuesday, bestowing the nation’s highest civilian honor on a group of people whom he said included some of his own heroes.

Romney Economic Adviser Says Romney Plans To Break Up New Consumer Protection Agency

Mitt Romney, who last night secured the Republican presidential nomination with his win in Texas’ primary, has already made clear his desire to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, enacted in response to the financial crisis of 2008. But according to Glenn Hubbard, one of Romney’s economic advisers, even if Romney can’t get rid of the law wholesale, he’d still like to dismantle important aspects of it:

CHARTS: How The Debt Ceiling Debacle Hurt The Economy

House Republicans last year used the imminent approach of the nation’s credit limit to force Congress into enacting a series of spending cuts. The hostage scenario led to the nation’s first ever credit downgrade, with the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s repeatedly citing the GOP’s intransigence on revenue as a key justification.

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