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

Obama Up In Iowa As Early Voting Begins

President Obama has expanded his lead in Iowa, a state where voters can begin casting their ballots starting tomorrow.

Barnes & Noble And Microsoft Still Aim To Seal Partnership By Fall

Barnes & Noble announced two new Google Android-based Nook tablets on Wednesday without much mention of its new business partner Microsoft, a curious omission given the companies’ big announcement five months earlier that they’d be teaming up on a new company, “Newco,” that would include the entire Nook line, all of Barnes & Noble’s e-books and digital content, and future jointly developed devices and digital services.

Gay marriage arguments reach federal appeals court in latest bid for equality

New York federal appeals court will hear arguments against the Defense of Marriage Act on Thursday, in the latest battle for same-sex equality in the US.

2012 Gender Gap Could Be Historic, But Maybe Not For The Reason You’d Think

A slew of new presidential polls released this week not only confirm a long-established gender gap among voters, but also suggest that the male-female preference divide in this year’s presidential contest could hit historic levels.

Army Seeks To Curb Rising Tide Of Suicides

At Fort Myer, Va., a small Army base across the river from Washington, D.C., Chaplain Mark Worrell is talking to about 100 soldiers, reciting the grim numbers.

Big Quakes Signal Changes Coming To Earth’s Crust

On April 11 of this year, an extraordinary cluster of earthquakes struck off Sumatra. The largest shock, magnitude 8.7, produced stronger ground-shaking than any earthquake ever recorded. And it surprised seismologists by triggering more than a dozen moderate earthquakes around the world.

Activist Mona Eltahawt released after arrest in New York subway protest

Prominent Egyptian-American writer and activist Mona Eltahawy has been released from police custody after being arrested in New York on Tuesday for spray painting a subway poster that equates Muslims with “savages”.

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