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

BP and government lawyers prepare for battle over environmental cost of spill

Dolphin calving season has just begun in the Gulf of Mexico and marine biologists are reporting an alarming trend. Between 2000 and 2009, an average of 25 to 30 dolphins were found dead on the beaches of the Gulf each year. This year, 13 dead dolphins were found between 13 January and 14 February alone; 11 were aborted or newborns. Biologists have been following this trend for three years, since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster claimed 11 lives and triggered the worst oil spill in US history.

Obama pins cuts blame on Republicans as sequestration looms

President Barack Obama issued a stark warning on Saturday that the looming sequestration budget cuts will have a devastating impact on the American economy and even threaten national security.

Thwart assault on voting rights or risk return to ‘old poison’, NAACP warns

The lawyer who will next week go before the US supreme court to defend the Voting Rights Act has warned that if a key provision of the law that prevents discrimination at the polling booth largely in southern states is struck down, it would “set the hands of the clock winding backwards” for millions of minority voters.

George Osborne under pressure as Britain loses AAA rating for first time

Britain was stripped of its AAA-rated debt status for the first time ever on Friday night in a move that puts pressure on George Osborne, who had pledged to use his austerity measures to protect the rating.

Iran announces uranium finds, days before nuclear talks

(Reuters) – Days before resuming talks over its disputed atomic program, Iran said on Saturday it had found significant new deposits of raw uranium and identified sites for 16 more nuclear power stations.

Boeing proposes full 787 battery fix to FAA: sources

(Reuters) – Boeing Co on Friday gave U.S. aviation regulators its plan to fix the volatile battery aboard its new 787 Dreamliner, even though investigators have not yet determined what caused the batteries to overheat on two planes last month.

Obama administration urges justices to overturn anti-gay marriage law

(Reuters) – The Obama administration outlined its argument on Friday why the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and woman.

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