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

North Korea: Pyongyang’s bellicose rhetoric at odds with calm atmosphere

The shrill rhetoric from Pyongyang seems to presage impending war on the Korean peninsula – but there are rollerbladers in the heart of the city, soldiers at work on construction sites and preparations underway for an upcoming marathon.

Egyptian doctors ‘ordered to operate on protesters without anaesthetic’ 

Senior Egyptian army doctors were ordered to operate without anaesthetic on wounded protesters at a military hospital in Cairo during protests against military rule, according to an investigation commissioned by president Mohamed Morsi. The report into military and police malpractice since 2011 also alleges that doctors, soldiers and medics assaulted protesters inside the hospital.

Guantanamo Bay hunger strike could be deadly, warns detainees’ lawyers

Lawyers representing hunger-striking detainees at America’s controversial Guantánamo Bay prison have warned they fear some of the protesters could soon die in the ongoing protest.

Senate votes to open debate on gun control

(Reuters) – The Senate cleared the way on Thursday for an emotional, weeks-long debate on proposals to curb gun violence, rejecting an effort by conservative Republicans to block consideration of gun-control legislation prompted by December’s Newtown school massacre

China bird flu threatens KFC’s parents winning streak

(Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc, the biggest foreign fast-food chain operator in China, is in danger of breaking its 11-year streak of double-digit profit growth as it scrambles to deal with food scares and bird flu in its most lucrative market.

Japan carmakers recall 3.4 million vehicles for Takata airbag flaw

(Reuters) – Four Japanese automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co, are recalling 3.4 million vehicles sold around the world because airbags supplied by Takata Corp are at risk of catching fire or injuring passengers.

Venezuela election to test Chavez socialist legacy

(Reuters) – The late Hugo Chavez’s self-declared socialist revolution will be put to the test at a presidential election on Sunday that pits his chosen successor against a younger rival promising change in the nation he polarized.

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