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

Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, dies in Caracas

Venezuelans began seven days of painful and public mourning on Tuesday night after the announcement that their president, Hugo Chávez, had died aged 58 after a long battle against cancer.

Former DEA chiefs call on Obama to crack down on cannabis legalisation

US attorney general Eric Holder is preparing to announce his response to the decision of voters in Colorado and Washington state to legalisecannabis, as the Obama administration comes under mounting pressure within the US and around the world to stop the creeping legalisation of the drug.

Trayvon Martin case: Zimmerman drops stand-your-ground defense

Lawyers acting for George Zimmerman, who shot dead the unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin on a Florida housing estate, have abandoned their attempt to have his murder charge thrown out on the grounds of self-defence.

South Korea says to strike back at North if attacked

(Reuters) – South Korea’s military said it will strike back at North Korea and target its top leadership if Pyongyang launches a threatened attack in response to what it says are “hostile” drills between U.S. and South Korean forces.

Insight: Japan’s “Long War” to shut down Fukushima

(Reuters) – Just months after Quince was deployed to inspect Japan’s tsunami-devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the $6 million robot got trapped in its dark and winding pathways.

Infections With ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Are On The Rise In U.S. Hospitals

Federal officials warned Tuesday that an especially dangerous group of superbugs has become a significant health problem in hospitals throughout the United States.

Judge Intervenes In Heated Battle Over Alabama’s Education Bill

A judge in Alabama has blocked the state’s governor from signing a school choice bill, after a lawsuit alleged that lawmakers bypassed state rules when they substantially revised the legislation in committee. The vote to pass the bill last week was marked by confusion, anger, and accusations of “sleaziness” and “hypocrisy,” as reported.

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