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

U.N. Votes To Give Palestinians ‘Non-Member Observer State’ Status

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a resolution upgrading Palestine to a “non-member observer state,” from a “non-member observer entity.”

How Much Income Taxes Could Rise: A Breakdown Of The Options

“No substantive progress has been made.” That’s what House Speaker John Boehner had to say Thursday about efforts to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases at year’s end.

Native Americans To Soon Receive Settlement Checks

Federal officials are working to send out $1,000 checks in the next few weeks to hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. The money stems from a settlement of the Cobell case, a landmark $3.4 billion settlement over mismanagement of federal lands held in trust for Native American people.

Egypt’s draft constitution approved by Islamist-dominated assembly

Islamists have approved a draft constitution for Egypt without the participation of liberal and Christian members, seeking to pre-empt a court ruling that could dissolve their panel with a rushed, marathon vote that further inflamed the conflict between the opposition and the president, Mohamed Morsi.

Syria shuts off internet access across the country

Syrian officials shut down nationwide internet access on Thursday and closed Damascus airport as rebels mounted offensives nearby and tried to advance on the capital from four directions. Phone networks were also crippled in much of the country, causing fear and confusion on both sides and fuelling claims that a new rebel push was gaining momentum.

Undocumented immigrants file lawsuit against Arizona over denied state IDs

Alejandra Lopez, 19, is one of thousands of young Hispanic “Dreamers” who grew up in the US and have been authorised to live and work here under Barack Obama’s deportation reprieve.

Scientists discover frozen organic material on Mercury

Despite searing daytime temperatures, Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, has ice and frozen organic materials inside permanently shadowed craters in its north pole, Nasa scientists say.

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