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  • Restaurant cell phone distractions still irritate Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:53 PM ET

    ALBANY, N.Y.-- The digital divide is wider than ever between diners who talk, tweet and snap pictures mid-meal and those who wish they'd just shut up, shut down and be present. "There's no place to get away from the chatter," said Julie Liberty of Miami, who started the Facebook page "Ban Cell Phones From Restaurants" earlier this year. "

  • Illinois unemployment dips to 8.8 percent Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:51 PM ET

    CHICAGO-- Illinois' unemployment rate dipped to 8.8 percent in September. And the Illinois Department of Employment Security says the seasonally adjusted figures reported Thursday show Illinois' unemployment rate has fallen 10 times in the past 13 months.

  • Reinsurance Group 3rd-quarter results disappoint Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:48 PM ET

    ST. LOUIS-- Reinsurance Group of America Inc.' s net income rose 7 percent in the third quarter, but the company said its operating income declined, mostly because of higher-than-expected claims in the U.S. and Australia.

  • News Summary: US unemployment aid claims jump Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:45 PM ET

    CLAIMS RISE: Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 46,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the highest in four months after falling sharply the previous week. THE BACK STORY: A Labor Department spokesman said Thursday the last two week's figures were distorted by seasonal adjustments the department makes.

  • PPG Industries 3rd-quarter profit rises 9 percent Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:44 PM ET

    PITTSBURGH-- PPG Industries said Thursday that its third-quarter net income rose 9 percent as it took advantage of cost reductions and strong sales of coatings. The Pittsburgh company said it made $339 million, or $2.18 per share, compared with $311 million, or $1.96 per share, a year earlier.

  • Vivus shares slip after analyst cautions on Qsymia Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:43 PM ET

    Shares of Vivus Inc. tumbled Thursday after an analyst said Wall Street may be over-estimating gains from initial sales of the drug developer's obesity treatment Qsymia. THE BIG PICTURE: Qsymia, Vivus' only approved drug, launched in the U.S. in September.

  • Life Time Fitness 3Q profit up on new members Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:42 PM ET

    CHANHASSEN, Minn.-- Life Time Fitness Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose 19 percent as more people joined its gyms and spent more money at them. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Chanhassen, Minn.- based company earned $32.1 million, or 77 cents per share, up from $27 million, or 66 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

  • Aegerion hits annual high on FDA panel vote Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:38 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Shares of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc. climbed Thursday after the company said a Food and Drug Administration panel recommended that its cholesterol disorder drug lomitapide be approved. THE SPARK: The Cambridge, Mass., company said Wednesday that an FDA advisory panel voted to support approval of lomitapide.

  • Police: 3 arrested for Denver bar killings, fire Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:31 PM ET

    DENVER-- Three people have been arrested in connection with the killing of five people at a bar that was then set on fire, apparently to hide the crime, and the motive was robbery, Denver police said Thursday.

  • Baxter 3Q earnings meet Wall Street estimates Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:27 PM ET

    DEERFIELD, Ill.-- Drug and medical device maker Baxter International reported third-quarter results Thursday that edged 1 percent higher as the company trimmed expenses, meeting Wall Street expectations. The company's profit rose slightly to $583 million, or $1.06 per share, from $576 million, or $1.01 per share, in the prior-year period.

  • House tea party icons face re-election challenges Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:18 PM ET

    Michele Bachmann's tendency to cause a ruckus on Capitol Hill made her a tea party sensation. Allen West of Florida, Steve King of Iowa and Joe Walsh of Illinois are all embroiled in tough and expensive races that are drawing plenty of spending by friends and foes from around the country.

  • GOP's Sen. Brown sorry for remark on Warren ad Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:16 PM ET

    Scott Brown is apologizing for suggesting Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren used paid actors in political ads defending her legal work in an asbestos lawsuit. The Taunton Daily Gazette reported that Brown was asked how Warren got family members of asbestos victims to appear in her ads.

  • Honduran supreme court rejects 'model cities' idea Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:14 PM ET

    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras-- Honduras' Supreme Court has struck down a plan to build a series of model cities with their own independent tax and justice systems, a proposal that was meant to spur economic growth in this Central American country struggling with corruption and crime.

  • Minn. gov promotes trade chief to lead econ agency Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:12 PM ET

    ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday appointed the director of the state Trade Office, who also worked on his 2010 campaign, as the new commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

  • Maine Turnpike board OKs deeper E-Z Pass discounts Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:11 PM ET

    PORTLAND, Maine-- E-Z pass users on the Maine Turnpike will soon see some deeper discounts. The Maine Turnpike Authority Board on Thursday unanimously approved a phased-in plan to offer revised toll discounts to E-ZPass customers starting Nov. 1.

  • Union Pacific 3Q profit up 15 pct. on price hikes Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:06 PM ET

    OMAHA, Neb.-- Union Pacific said Thursday that its third-quarter profit climbed 15 percent because price increases and more automotive and chemical shipments helped the railroad offset a 12 percent drop in coal shipments. Union Pacific, based in Omaha, Neb., said Thursday that revenue grew 5 percent to $5.34 billion from last year's $5.1 billion.

  • *US mortgage rates for past 52 weeks at a glance Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:01 PM ET
  • Cummins to lay off at least 150 at Indiana plants Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:01 PM ET

    The layoffs will affect workers at the company's Fuel Systems Plant in Columbus, Columbus MidRange Engine Plant or the Seymour Engine plant, Cummins spokesman Jon Mills told The Republic for a story Thursday.

  • Briggs & Stratton fiscal 1Q loss widens Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:00 PM ET

    MILWAUKEE-- Engine maker Briggs& Stratton Corp. said Thursday its fiscal first-quarter loss widened, as drought conditions in much of the U.S. and tough economic conditions in Europe cut into its sales.

  • BBC satellite news disrupted in Mideast, Europe Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 1:00 PM ET

    LONDON-- The British Broadcasting Corp. says someone is deliberately disrupting its broadcasts in the Middle East and Europe _ interference that follows previous accusations that Iran has attempted to jam the broadcaster's transmissions.

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