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

Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is A ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’

In expressing his deep skepticism Wednesday for the constitutionality of a centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act, Justice Antonin Scalia questioned the motivations of Congress for repeatedly reauthorizing it since it was initially passed in 1965.

Breaking: House Republicans Backing Down On Violence Against Women Act

After nearly a year of resistance that has damaged them politically with women voters, House Republicans have found a clever way to back down on the reauthorization of an expanded Violence Against Women Act, aides confirmed to TPM late Tuesday.

Top U.S. Companies File Brief In Support Of Gay Marriage

A number of high-profile U.S. companies on Thursday will file a brief with the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage, Fortune reported.

Newtown Victim’s Dad Testifies He’s Still Waiting For An Answer On Guns (VIDEO)

During an emotional testimony Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns, the father of a boy slain in the Newtown, Conn. massacre said he is still waiting for an answer on why assault weapons are legal under current law.

US drugs prosecutors switch sides to defend Colombian traffickers

US prosecutors and other senior officials who spearheaded the war against drug cartels have quit their jobs to defend Colombian cocaine traffickers, saying their clients are not bad people and that United Statesdrug policy is wrong.

Iran hails turning point in nuclear talks

ran has declared that negotiations with a group of world powers have reached a “turning point” after it was offered a series of concessions, including sanctions relief on gold and petrochemical exports, in return for acceptance of limits on uranium enrichment.

Pope Benedict bemoans ‘great burden’ and lack of privacy as head of church

As his papacy entered its final hours, Pope Benedict XVI admitted on Wednesday that his eight-year spell as head of the Roman Catholic church had had its “difficult moments” when he felt that God “seemed to be sleeping”.

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