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  • LOS ANGELES, Sept 30- While the U.S. restaurant industry fights national and state efforts to increase the minimum wage, a new survey released on Tuesday showed that 83 percent of restaurant patrons support raising it and adjusting it annually for inflation.

  • WASHINGTON, Sept 30- Four members of an alleged international computer hacking ring were charged with stealing more than $100 million worth of software and data- some of it used to train military pilots and some related to Microsoft Corp's Xbox gaming console- the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

  • CARACAS, Sept 30- Venezuela has kept its economic growth figures under wraps this year but empty store shelves, closed factory gates and idled construction projects tell their own story- the economy is contracting and some sectors are in deep trouble. Fedecamaras estimates the OPEC nation's economy has contracted 4 percent so far this year.

  • Kendall is the top U.S. official working on the joint Defense Trade and Technology Initiative with India that has identified 17 specific defense projects.

  • WASHINGTON, Sept 30- The United States is keen to include investor protection in a trade pact being negotiated with the European Union and will work with EU officials to find the right balance, a senior U.S. trade official said on Tuesday.

  • Oil, rail industries want 7 years to fix tank cars Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 1:24 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— The oil and railroad industries are urging U.S. regulators to allow them as long as seven years to retrofit existing tank cars that transport highly volatile crude oil, a top oil industry official said Tuesday. The cars have ruptured and spilled oil during collisions, leading to intense fires.

  • NEW YORK, Sept 30- A federal judge said Novartis AG must face a U.S. government lawsuit accusing the Swiss drugmaker of paying multimillion-dollar kickbacks, including a $9,750 dinner for three at a Japanese restaurant, to induce doctors to prescribe its drugs.

  • School spending by affluent is widening wealth gap Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 12:40 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Education is supposed to help bridge the gap between the wealthiest people and everyone else. Ask the experts, and they'll count the ways:. When the Great Recession struck in late 2007 and squeezed most family budgets, the top 10 percent of earners— with incomes averaging $253,146— went in a different direction: They doubled down on their kids' futures.

  • Obama turns to economy with Illinois speech Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 12:25 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama will deliver an economic address this week seeking to promote the recovery as the campaign season heads into its final weeks before midterm congressional elections.

  • Feds say hackers targeted Microsoft, game makers Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 12:11 PM ET

    WILMINGTON, Del.— Two members of an international hacking ring that gained access to a U.S. Army computer network while targeting computer giant Microsoft and several video game developers pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges Tuesday in federal court in Delaware.

  • Treasury targets those tied to Pakistan extremists Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 10:38 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Treasury Department is taking action against individuals and networks linked to two terrorist groups based in Pakistan. Treasury's action on Tuesday targets the leader of Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, which operates throughout India, Pakistan and Afghanistan and maintains terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan.

  • US consumer confidence slides in September Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 10:17 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— U.S. consumer confidence deteriorated in September after hitting the highest level in nearly seven years in August. Some suggested that the result may have been influenced by heightened global tensions as the conflict against Middle East militants widens.

  • Sagebrush habitat fuels $1B in recreation spending Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 9:02 AM ET

    Hunters, campers, fishermen and others spent more than $623 million directly within 50 miles of Bureau of Land Management property in sagebrush ecosystems across more than 61 million acres, said the report by ECONorthwest, an economic consulting firm founded in Oregon in 1974..

  • US home prices rise at slowest pace in 20 months Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 9:02 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— U.S. home prices in July increased at the slowest pace in 20 months, reflecting sluggish sales and a greater supply of houses for sale. The Standard& Poor's/Case-Shiller 20- city home price index rose 6.7 percent in July from 12 months earlier. That's down from an 8.1 percent gain in June and the smallest increase since November 2012.

  • *1st export of Alaskan crude to South Korea in more than a decade. NEW YORK/ SEOUL, Sept 30- The first U.S. export of Alaskan crude to South Korea in more than a decade set sail at the weekend, according to a company source and shipping data, marking another milestone as booming shale oil output forces domestic drillers to seek new customers.

  • DUBAI/ RIYADH, Sept 30- The decision by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to join air strikes in Syria reflects an increasingly muscular foreign policy by the Gulf Arab heavyweights that has already started to reshape the balance of power in the Middle East.

  • SHEKHAN, Iraq, Sept 30- For Salah Paulis, it came down to a choice between his faith and his crop. A wheat farmer from outside Mosul, Paulis and his family fled the militant group Islamic State early last month. The group overran the family farm as part of its offensive that captured vast swathes of territory in northern Iraq.

  • BRUSSELS, Sept 30- The EU's nominee for health chief pledged on Tuesday to oppose the import of some U.S. foodstuffs such as chemically-treated meat that Washington hopes to be able to sell to Europe under a planned multi-billion-dollar transatlantic trade deal.

  • EU says Apple gets illegal tax benefits in Ireland Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 6:13 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— Apple risks having to repay Ireland tax rebates worth billions of dollars after the European Union's competition watchdog said Tuesday the company appears to be benefiting from illegal tax deals there.

  • Ahead of the Bell: US consumer confidence Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 | 6:12 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Conference Board releases its September index on U.S. consumer confidence. The report will be issued at 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday. STRONG CONFIDENCE: The expectation is that the index for last month will come in at 92.3, very close to the 92.4 of August.