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

World welcomes Pope Francis as humble champion of poor

Reuters) – Latin America’s Roman Catholics rejoiced that the new Pope Francis is one of their own, while elsewhere the world has hailed him as a humble champion of the poor and wished him the strength to lead the Church out of crisis.

U.S. Senate panel backs Obama bid to renew assault weapons ban

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s bid to renew a ban against military-style assault weapons narrowly won the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday and now goes to the full Senate, where it was expected to fail.

Google to shut Reader web feed application, users vent

(Reuters) – Google Inc said it will shut Google Reader on July 1, citing declining usage for the application that compiles content served by web feeds, as it forges ahead with its strategy to focus on fewer products that have more impact.

Egyptian police ‘killed almost 900 protesters in 2011 uprising’

Egyptian policemen were to blame for the deaths of nearly 900 protesters during Egypt‘s 2011 uprising, according to a leaked report commissioned by president Mohamed Morsi.

US unemployment claims drop in further sign of labor market recovery

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped for a third straight week last week, the latest indication the labor market recovery was gaining traction.

Alabama’s Governor Signs Education Bill Allowing School Choice

Alabama’s Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a sweeping education bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. The bill became law one day after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a lawsuit against it was premature.

Physicists Say They Have Found A Higgs Boson

GENEVA (AP) — The search is all but over for a subatomic particle that is a crucial building block of the universe.

Physicists announced Thursday they believe they have discovered the subatomic particle predicted nearly a half-century ago, which will go a long way toward explaining what gives electrons and all matter in the universe size and shape.

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