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

California wildfire grows but officials say fire crews making progress

Officials say fire crews made progress overnight against a large wildfire threatening San Francisco’s water supply, several towns near Yosemite national park and historic giant sequoias.

Colin Powell calls George Zimmerman trial verdict ‘questionable’

Former secretary of state Colin Powell said on Sunday the jury verdict that freed the killer of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was “questionable”, but he isn’t sure it will have staying power in the public consciousness.

U.N. inspectors reach Syria gas victims despite coming under fire

(Reuters) – U.N. chemical weapons inspectors inSyria met and took samples from victims of an apparent poison gas attack in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus on Monday after the U.N. team themselves survived a sniper attack that hit a vehicle in their convoy.

Merkel allies stage 11th-hour revival behind young leader

(Reuters) – Philipp Roesler, the young leader of Germany’s Free Democrats (FDP), looked like a dead man walking at the start of the year, until he took a major risk that turned his and his party’s fortunes around.

Tens of thousands of Filipinos protest “pork barrel” funds

(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Filipinos angry at official corruption marched through the center of Manila and other cities to demand the abolition of a misused fund for legislators’ pet projects, the biggest protest aimed at Benigno Aquino’s government.

Sweet Cigarillos and Cigars Lure Youths To Tobacco, Critics Say

The good news: cigarette sales are down by about a third over the past decade. Not so for little cigars and ‘cigarillos’. Their sales more than doubled over the same time period, in large part due to the growing popularity of these little cigars among teenagers and 20-somethings.

Ginsburg Calls Out Roberts: ‘One Of The Most Activist Courts In History’

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg signaled that she is in no hurry to step down from what she described as “one of the most activist courts in history” in a candid interview published Sunday.

Reader Comments Welcome. Share news stories you have seen here…please be sure to attribute them. Comments with violations of Fair Use guidelines may be edited.