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

New Polls Suggest Democratic Freakout May Be Premature

While Mitt Romney clearly did some damage in the debate, a raft of swing state polls from major news outlets Thursday indicate President Obama may have put a floor on his drop.

Affirmative Action Takes A Beating Before Supreme Court

Supporters of affirmative action in higher education were dealt a tough blow on Wednesday in blockbuster oral arguments before the Supreme Court, according to legal experts. The question now is whether the impact will be narrow, or whether the Court will toss out affirmative action’s broader legal underpinnings.

Vatican II: A Half-Century Later, A Mixed Legacy

At Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week, the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what’s known as Vatican II.

A Diamond bigger than Earth?

(Reuters) – Forget the diamond as big as the Ritz. This one’s bigger than planet Earth.

New diplomatic push aims to defuse Iranian nuclear crisis

Six global powers will launch a new diplomatic push after the US elections aimed at defusing the Iranian nuclear crisis in the next few months and avoiding the eruption of a new Middle East conflict next year.

Malala Yousufzai taken to specialist hospital

A Pakistani schoolgirl fighting for her life after being shot by Taliban gunmen has been transferred to a specialist hospital in the army garrison town of Rawalpindi.

Meningitis outbreak: second company closes as number of cases reaches 137

Ameridose LLC, a private company that mixes drugs for hospitals nationwide, sought on Wednesday to distance itself from the firm at the center of a deadly US outbreak of fungal meningitis, even though the two pharmacies have common owners.

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