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

Obama intensifies call for fiscal cliff plan as GOP starts to break ranks

Cracks in Republican opposition to tax rises for the wealthy grew bigger on Wednesday as Barack Obama increased pressure on the party to accept a deal to resolve the fiscal cliff crisis before the holidays.

BP suspended from new US federal contracts over Deepwater disaster

BP has been blocked from seeking new contracts with the US government because of the oil company’s “lack of business integrity” during the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday.

Israel pulls back from threat to topple Palestinian leadership over UN vote

After weeks of shrill warnings over Thursday’s United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, Israel has backed away from threats to cancel the Oslo peace accords and topple the Palestinian leadership.

New York lobbies for $42 billion in Sandy disaster aid

(Reuters) – New York state is seeking $42 billion in aid to deal with damage from superstorm Sandy, but there is no assurance Congress will move quickly as it grapples with a budget crisis, officials from the state said on Wednesday.

SOPA Architect Rep. Lamar Smith To Chair House Science Committee

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) was selected on Wednesday to chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which controls, in part, the budgets for NASA, the Department of Energy the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), FEMA and the FAA, among numerous other critical federal agencies.

Most Massive Black Hole Found By Texas Telescope

Astronomers using a telescope in the Lone Star state have measured what they believe is the most massive black hole yet recorded, The University of Texas at Austin (UT) announced on Wednesday.

Global Sea Level Rising 60 Percent Faster Than Predicted Study Finds

The global sea level is rising 60 percent faster than previous reports issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), according to a new analysis of actual observed sea-level rise data recorded, performed by researchers in the U.S. (Maine), Germany and France.

Reader Comments Welcome. Share news stories you have seen here…please be sure to attribute them. Comments with violations of Fair Use guidelines may be edited.