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

Telecoms firm hails ‘significant victory’ as judge blocks FBI’s data demands

The Californian telecoms company behind a stunning legal victory that has blown a hole in the FBI‘s highly secretive system for collecting US citizens’ private data has come out of the shadows for the first time and revealed its identity.

US to reinforce missile defense to counter North Korea ‘provocations’

The US is to strengthen its missile defence shield on the Pacific coast in response to North Korea‘s strides in developing nuclear weapons and threats of war, defence secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Friday.

BP asks judge to stop ‘fictitious’ and ‘absurd’ Deepwater oil spill payouts

BP launched its promised appeal against “fictitious” and “absurd” oil spill compensation payouts on Friday and asked a judge to temporarily halt those made on a so-called business economic loss basis.

Wildfires rage in Colorado as fears grow over continued drought

Two wind-driven wildfires erupted in northern Colorado on Friday, prompting the evacuation of about 50 residents and signaling an early start to the wildfire season in the parched Rocky Mountain west.

Anglo-French plan to arm Syrian rebels meets wall of resistance at EU summit

The sudden Anglo-French move to overturn a European arms embargo on Syria in order to equip the rebels seeking to overthrow the Assad regime has run into a solid wall of resistance at an EU summit, with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, dismissing the policy U-turn and others warning of a regional conflagration from which Iran would emerge the winner.

Pope Francis wants church to be poor, and for the poor

(Reuters) – Pope Francis, giving his clearest indication yet that he wants a more austere Catholic Church, said on Saturday that it should be poor and remember that its mission is to serve the poor.

Budget deadlock squeezes military members seeking education

(Reuters) – For Airman First Class Stephen Sinatra, the budget cuts prompted by deadlock in Washington have turned his plans upside down.

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