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  • CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- Federal inspectors must share the blame _ and therefore face a lawsuit _ for a 2006 West Virginia coal mine fire that killed two miners, a lawyer for their widows argued at the state Supreme Court on Wednesday.

  • WICHITA, Kan.-- Hawker Beechcraft says it will no longer pursue the sale of its operations to Chinese-based Superior Aviation Beijing Co.. The Wichita plane-maker announced Thursday that the company protected itself during the exclusive talks by obtaining a $50 million non-refundable deposit that is now the property of the company.

  • HOUSTON-- Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter profit tumbled 30 percent from a year ago, as rig revenue and drilling activity declined. The Houston- based contract driller said its net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 fell to $178.2 million, or $1.28 per share, from with $256.9 million, or $1.85 per share, a year earlier.

  • ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-- Jabil Circuit Inc. is promoting its chief operating officer, Mark Mondello, to CEO, and its current chief executive is set to become chairman. CEO Timothy Main, who has led the electric parts maker for 12 years, will step down in March as Mondello takes over.

  • Property and casualty insurer ACE Ltd. said Thursday that it reached a deal to buy Ally Financial Inc.' s Mexican insurance business for about $865 million in cash. The company has more than 30 sales offices throughout Mexico and distributes its products through nearly 2,000 independent agents, along with auto dealerships, banks and direct channels.

  • BURLINGTON, N.C.-- Laboratory Corp. of America posted a 10 percent rise in third-quarter earnings compared with last year during the same period, when the clinical lab was weighed down by the cost of several acquisitions. For the third quarter, LabCorp earned $148 million, or $1.53 per share.

  • Shares of Abbott Laboratories continued to slip Thursday in premarket trading, a day after the drug and medical device maker reported third-quarter results and delivered an update on its upcoming business split.

  • NEW YORK-- Stock futures slipped Thursday as companies including Verizon, Morgan Stanley and Southwest Airlines posted mixed quarterly earnings, and the Labor Department posted the latest numbers on unemployment benefits. Also Thursday, China reported that growth fell to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent a year ago, the weakest showing since early 2009..

  • JACKSON, Miss.-- Mississippi has long been one of the sickest and poorest states in America, with some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease and more than 1 in 7 residents without insurance. And so you might think Mississippi would jump at the prospect of billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid.

  • U.S. Bancorp's relative strength in a tough quarter for many banks earned it an upgrade early Thursday, setting the stage for a second day of gains for the Minneapolis- based bank. U.S. Bancorp, the eighth-biggest American bank by assets, said Wednesday that its net income rose 14 percent in the third quarter.

  • NEW DELHI-- India's top court lifted a ban on tourism in tiger reserves across the country but asked local governments to regulate visitors. The Supreme Court had ordered a complete ban on such tourism in July while the government formulated new guidelines.

  • The FBI arrested 21- year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis on Wednesday after he tried to detonate a fake 1,000- pound car bomb, according to a criminal complaint. "My son can't do it," his father, Quazi Ahsanullah, said as he wept in his home in the Jatrabari neighborhood in north Dhaka.

  • LOS ANGELES-- Los Angeles County assessor John Noguez, a top aide and a campaign contributor were arrested Wednesday as part of an investigation into influence peddling and slashing of property taxes for political allies. "Instead of acting in the best interest of the citizens of Los Angeles County, he turned his back on them," Cooley said.

  • NEW YORK-- A Bangladeshi man snared in an FBI terror sting considered targeting President Barack Obama and the New York City Stock Exchange before settling on a car bomb attack on the Federal Reserve, just blocks from the World Trade Center site, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday.

  • The Nielsen company said 67 million people watched the first debate a week earlier. NBC had 13.8 million viewers, more than any other network, with ABC second at 12.5 million, Nielsen said. CBS had 8.9 million viewers for the debate, CNN had 5.6 million, MSNBC had 4.9 million and the Fox broadcast network had 4.6 million, Nielsen said.

  • RALEIGH, N.C.-- The Democratic National Convention relied on at least $5 million in corporate donations, despite repeated pledges by top party officials only to use money raised from individuals.

  • KEY IMAGES: The ad uses video from Mitt Romney' town hall-style presidential debate with President Barack Obama in Hempstead, N.Y., to attack the president's performance over the past four years. Median income is down $4,300 a family and 23 million Americans out of work.

  • NEW YORK-- A former stockbroker charged with defrauding a fledgling Broadway production was held without bail Wednesday after a prosecutor called him a "considerable threat" to the community.