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

More Weather Extremes Leave Parts Of U.S. Grid Buckling 

(New York Times Story, paywall may apply)

WASHINGTON — From highways in Texas to nuclear power plants in Illinois, the concrete, steel and sophisticated engineering that undergird the nation’s infrastructure are being taxed to worrisome degrees by heat, drought and vicious storms.

Special Report: Obama’s struggle to mend veterans’ safety net

(Reuters) – On a blistering June afternoon, President Barack Obama slipped into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to spend time with soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the most recent of his nearly weekly gestures intended to reinforce his commitment to America’s troops and veterans.

Anger Games: Cameron, British Press Pounce On Romney’s Olympics Critiques

Mitt Romney’s big international tour got off to a rocky start Thursday morning, as British officials including Prime Minister David Cameron took offense at the Republican candidate’s criticisms over London’s preparedness for the Olympics.

State Dept. Says It Will Fight For Internet Freedom At U.N. Telecom Conference

The U.S. State Department will advocate on behalf of Internet freedom, and oppose proposed plans by other nations to control the flow of content or turn more control of Internet technology standards to the United Nations at an upcoming U.N. conference, U.S. ambassador Philip Verveer, told TPM in a phone interview.

Obama calls for gun control deal in wake of Colorado theatre shootings

Barack Obama
 has broken the silence he has maintained on gun control since the Colorado shootings, making a plea for Democrats, Republicans and community leaders to “arrive at a consensus” on how to reduce gun violence across the United States.

Walmart accused of firing union organizers in bid to intimidate workers

 is facing accusations that the company is engaged in a bold and illegal campaign to stamp out union activity after firing five employees in recent months who were involved in a group organizing the company’s workers.

NYPD ‘consistently violated basic rights’ during Occupy Protests – study

The first systematic look at the New York police department’s response to Occupy Wall Street protests paints a damning picture of an out-of-control and aggressive organization that routinely acted beyond its powers.

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