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

Mars’ Plate Tectonics Make Life More Likely, Scientist Says

As it turns out, Mars and Earth may be more similar than previously thought in one momentous way: Mars appears to have plate tectonics —giant pieces of the planet’s crust that move, break apart and smash into each other, forming such features as mountains, canyons and volcanoes — and experiences earthquakes, according to a new study of satellite data by a geologist at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Iran earthquakes: Tehran criticised for response to disaster

 Iran‘s government has faced criticism from politicians and the public over its handling of relief efforts after two large earthquakes killed 300 people and injured thousands in the north-west of the country.

Motorola to cut 4,000 jobs in Google restructure

 Motorola Mobility, the once-dominant but now ailing mobile handset maker, has told its staff that it is cutting 20% of its staff – about 4,000 people – and wlll close about a third of its 94 worldwide offices.

Japan’s economic growth slows to 0.3%

 Japan‘s economy grew at a slower-than-expected annualised rate of 1.4% in April-June, adding to worries over the global outlook, as consumer spending flagged following an earlier rebound from last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

 Pope’s butler charged with grand theft over Vatican leaks

 A judge at the Vatican has ordered the pope’s butler and a fellow lay employee to stand trial over leaks from Pope Benedict XVI‘s private apartment.

Anders Behring Breivik could have been halted – report

 Norwegian authorities could have prevented or interrupted the bomb and gun attacks by a far-right fanatic that killed 77 people last year, a government appointed commission has said.

Egypt president sweeps out army rulers

 (Reuters) – Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has driven back the biggest challenge to civilian rule by dismissing top generals and tearing up their legal attempt to curb his power in a bold bid to end 60 years of military leadership.

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