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

The Big Three: Obama’s Top Priorities For His Second Term

Guns. Immigration. Climate Change.

It may not be what Democrats expected to be the White House’s plan in November, but President Obama has repeatedly identified each of these areas as critical parts of his agenda since winning re-election. In addition to his upcoming skirmishes with Republican lawmakers over taxes and entitlements, Obama’s second term could end up being defined by his success or failures on these three domestic policy fronts. As Obama learned after sinking a year into health care reform, it’s easy to get bogged down fighting for just one major item at the expense of the rest, raising the stakes for getting it right across the board.

2012 Was Among Ten Warmest n Recorded World History, Report Finds

The U.S. is not the only country that experienced an exceptionally hot 2012: The average global temperature for the year was 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the ninth-hottest since records began in 1880, according to a new report fromNASA released Tuesday.

White House Death Star Petition Wouldn’t Pass New Threshold

Eliciting an official response to your petition just got tougher. The White House now requires a petition on its We the People platform to get 100,000 signatures within 30 days in order to get an official response.

US Congress employees found downloading pirated content

Employees of the US Congress were found to be downloading a host oftelevision shows and movies illegally on congressional computers, according to a report by anti-piracy service ScanEye.

US denounces ‘terrorist’ act after militants seize Algerian gas plant

The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, has called an Islamist militant attack on an Algerian gas field a “terrorist act” and hinted at a potential military response.

Boeing Dreamliner: US joins Japan in grounding 787s

American regulators followed the lead of Japanese airlines by grounding the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Wednesday night, saying a recent series of safety incidents meant urgent action was needed.

NRA promises ‘fight of the century’ over Obama’s bold gun control plan

Barack Obama mounted the biggest challenge in two decades to America’s deeply ingrained gun culture on Wednesday, announcing a sweeping set of proposals to ban automatic weapons, limit magazines to 10 bullets, introduce universal background checks for all firearms buyers and increase scrutiny of mental health patients.

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