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  • CONAKRY, Oct 23- Two years ago, Guinea's first freely-elected president Alpha Conde promised to unite ``every son'' of his nation; today the man with ambitions to become West Africa's Nelson Mandela is struggling to halt a wave of ethnic unrest.

  • Cynosure soars after 3Q profit tops expectations Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:55 PM ET

    WESTFORD, Mass.-- Shares of Cynosure Inc. climbed Tuesday after the cosmetic treatment equipment maker said it swung to a third-quarter profit on higher sales. The company said revenue rose 31 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30 to $37 million, primarily driven by laser treatment sales in North America.

  • Report: Conditions improved at Ohio private prison Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:45 PM ET

    COLUMBUS, Ohio-- A report says conditions are improving at an Ohio prison that was transferred from state to private operation last year. The report says the North Central Correctional Complex in Marion has seen reductions in cases where force was used on inmates and inmate-on-inmate assaults.

  • Oil ends below $87 a barrel Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:38 PM ET

    On the New York Mercantile Exchange:. Benchmark crude fell $1.98 to finish at $86.67 per barrel. Gasoline fell 4.25 cents to end at $2.6050 a gallon.

  • New Convergys CEO Ayers to start Nov. 1 Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:33 PM ET

    CINCINNATI-- Convergys Corp. said Tuesday that its chief operating officer and president, Andrea Ayers, will take over as CEO of the call center company at the beginning of November. Convergys said at that time that Ayers would replace Jeff Fox as CEO. Shares of Convergys, based in Cincinnati, fell a penny to $16.00 in afternoon trading.

  • Oil price drops below $87; pump prices down again Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:31 PM ET

    Benchmark oil dropped $1.98, or 2.3 percent, to finish at $86.67 per barrel in New York. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 2 cents overnight to $3.65. That's why gasoline futures have plunged 12 percent in less than two weeks, including a 4.3- cent drop Tuesday to $2.61 per gallon.

  • WHY IT MATTERS: Health care Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:23 PM ET

    President Barack Obama's health care law will extend coverage to 30 million uninsured and keep the basic design of Medicare and Medicaid the same. Mitt Romney would repeal Obama's health care overhaul; what parts he'd replace have yet to be spelled out.

  • *Canadian lawyer involved in Potter suit disbarred Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:19 PM ET
  • Ariad Pharma downgraded on gains over last year Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:18 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- An Oppenheimer& Co. analyst downgraded shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., saying the company's stock price already reflects potential approval for its leukemia drug ponatinib. Ferreiro said the Food and Drug Administration should approve ponatinib as a treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia in early 2013, as Ariad expects.

  • WHY IT MATTERS: Immigration Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:14 PM ET

    President Barack Obama has pushed for the DREAM Act, a path to citizenship for many young illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. Efforts to pass the bill have repeatedly failed, most notably in 2010 when it stalled in a Democratic-led Senate.

  • Gay GOP group hesitantly backs Romney Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 3:00 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- A prominent gay Republican group offered Mitt Romney its "qualified endorsement" on Tuesday, calling it the right decision for the nation even as it slammed Romney's opposition to gay marriage.

  • AdWatch: Romney has more promises than specifics Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:58 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- TITLE: "The Clear Path". AIRING: Mitt Romney's campaign declined to say where the ad is airing. One is a path represented by the president, which, at the end of four years, would mean we'd have $20 trillion in debt, heading towards Greece.

  • Italy disaster experts quit over quake trial Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:56 PM ET

    A court in the quake-devastated town of L'Aquila convicted seven former members of Italy's so-called " Great Risks Commission" and sentenced each of them to six years in prison, prompting predictions that experts would be discouraged from working in Italy for fear of similar risks of prosecution.

  • Ryan to deliver speech on helping middle class Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:54 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is preparing to explain to low-income voters how he and Mitt Romney would do more to help them than President Barack Obama. The Wisconsin congressman planned to outline the GOP presidential ticket's case during a speech Wednesday at Cleveland State University in political crucial Ohio.

  • WHY IT MATTERS: Global warming Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:49 PM ET

    People love to talk about the weather, especially when it's strange like the mercifully ended summer of 2012. This year the nation's weather has been hotter and more extreme than ever, federal records show.

  • *US crude oil production at a glance Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:47 PM ET
  • The top world oil producers at a glance Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:44 PM ET

    A four-year boom in U.S. oil production is accelerating so fast it could help soon make the U.S. the world's top producer of oil and liquid hydrocarbons. The U.S. passed Russia this year, and is now second behind Saudi Arabia. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

  • Nevada judge invalidates business tax initiative Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:41 PM ET

    The Nevada State Education Association, which has already collected around 60,000 signatures to qualify the initiative, has said it would raise $800 million a year for K-12 education. "The initiative does not prevent the Legislature from supplanting existing education funds with the margin tax," the judge wrote. "

  • WHY IT MATTERS: Debt Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:39 PM ET

    The budget deficit _ the shortfall created when the government spends more in a given year than it collects in taxes and fees_ topped $1 trillion for the fourth straight time in the budget year that just ended Sept. 30. It now borrows roughly 31 cents for every dollar it spends.

  • Texas school finance case focuses on demographics Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 2:38 PM ET

    Steve Murdock, former director of the U.S. Census Bureau and ex-state demographer of Texas, said studies are nearly unanimous in concluding that improved education is the key to bolstering earning power _ and thus could reverse the trend.