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Top News & Analysis Chicago

  • CHICAGO, Oct 23- Illinois has dug itself into such a huge financial hole that it may not be able to provide basic services to residents or meet employee benefit obligations, according to a national task force that is due to release a report about the state's finances.

  • BUENOS AIRES, Oct 23- Flooding in Argentina's Pampas grains belt has allowed fungus-based diseases to attack wheat crops already hobbled by scant planting while more wet weather puts off soy and corn seeding until next week, analysts said on Tuesday.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 23- A panel of judges on Thursday will hear arguments that U.S. prosecutors should not have been able to play dozens of FBI wiretaps at the criminal trial of hedge fund tycoon Raj Rajaratnam, a closely watched appeal in one of the biggest insider-trading cases in a generation.

  • CHICAGO-- United Continental Holdings Inc., the parent of United Airlines, reports third-quarter results on Thursday after a tough spring and summer spent trying to absorb Continental Airlines. When Southwest Airlines reported results last week, it said it needed sales to lure business travelers in September, but that things picked up in October.

  • CHICAGO-- Boeing Co. said Tuesday that it has begun building its 777 jet at the highest rate that it's ever made a big passenger jet, aiming to crank out more than eight planes per month. Boeing has long said it would ramp up the pace of 777 production.

  • CHICAGO-- Illinois will share part of an $11 million payment as part of an agreement with insurance giant American International Group Inc.. The announcement was made Monday by Illinois Department of Insurance Director Andrew Boron. Illinois was among seven lead states that started discussions with the company.

  • BOSTON-- Shares of companies that own Medicare- supported health care facilities fell on Tuesday after an analyst reduced ratings on two of the stocks, citing the potential for cuts to the federal health program. Jefferies& Co. analyst Omotayo Okusanya cut his ratings of Ventas Inc. and Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. to "Hold" from "Buy."

  • Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco this year are cell phone-related, police say, and most occur on bustling transit lines. And, in nearby Oakland, City Council candidate Dan Kalb was robbed at gunpoint of his iPhone Wednesday after he attended a neighborhood anti-crime meeting.

  • FAST TRACK: Test runs started zooming along a section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 111 mph Friday. The 30- mph increase from the route's current top speed is a morale booster for advocates of high-speed rail.

  • THE NEWS: HMX Acquisition Corp., the owner of tailored clothing brands including Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. THE CONTEXT: The labels Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx got their start in 1887 in Chicago and have been worn by presidents including Barack Obama.

  • NEW YORK-- HMX Acquisition Corp., the owner of tailored clothing brands including Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- For the first time on a key Midwestern route between Chicago and St. Louis, an Amtrak passenger train topped 110 mph Friday, ripping through fog-shrouded farm fields and blowing past cars on a parallel highway. Illinois and the country was a wasteland when it came to high speed rail, "said U.S.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- An Amtrak passenger train has reached a speed of 110 mph for the first time in Illinois. The five-car, two-locomotive train zipped through the central Illinois countryside, hitting its high speed between the towns of Dwight and Pontiac.

  • The hard-rocking country music star made a whirlwind run around the eastern U.S. on Thursday, announcing shows at Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field and on the University of Georgia campus in the space of 12 hours. Aldean will make the first appearance by a country music performer at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

  • NEW YORK-- ABC News said it wanted to step beyond reporting on the gang violence in Chicago to explore ways of reducing it. There have been more than 400 murders in Chicago this year, with the murder rate four times what it is in New York, ABC said.

  • CHICAGO-- In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs will start zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 110 mph Friday. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov.

  • CHICAGO-- Shares of USG Corp. rose Thursday after the building products maker said its third-quarter loss shrank. In the three months ended Sept. 30, the Chicago company reported a loss of $29 million, or 28 cents per share.

  • TRENTON, N.J.-- Shares of RR Donnelley fell and then partially recovered Thursday amid news the printer and communications consultant had mistakenly filed a draft version of client Google Inc.' s third-quarter financial results to the Securities and Exchange Commission hours before the final version was to be submitted.