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

Russia to monitor ‘all communications’ at Winter Olympics in Sochi

Athletes and spectators attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February will face some of the most invasive and systematic spying and surveillance in the history of the Games, documents shared with the Guardian show.

US special forces raids target Islamist militants in Libya and Somalia

US special forces have carried out raids in Libya and Somalia targeting Islamist militants.

Syria chemical weapons disarmament begins

International inspectors have begun destroying Syria‘s chemical weapons and the machinery used to create them, the United Nations has said.

Republicans defiant over US shutdown compromise amid Treasury warning

The Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, on Sunday accused Congress of “playing with fire” as the White House and Republicans remained entrenched over the government shutdown and the extension of the debt ceiling.

Tropical storm Karen no longer a threat to Gulf coast states

The remnants of tropical storm Karen, which had already been downgraded to a depression, have dissipated over the Gulf of Mexico, the National Weather Service said on Sunday.

US scientists boycott Nasa conference over China ban

Nasa is facing an extraordinary backlash from US researchers after it emerged that the space agency has banned Chinese scientists, including those working at US institutions, from a conference on grounds of national security.

Car-Centric Spain Begins To Embrace The Bicycle

For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain.

Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That’s due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars.

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.