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  • NEWARK, N.J.-- The New York area's three major airports are experiencing record passenger traffic. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says traffic at LaGuardia, JFK and Newark Liberty airports increased by slightly more than 10 percent in August compared to a year ago.

  • Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Basin Electric Power Cooperative also provided funds for the $284,000 study. The state Industrial Commission said in a statement that the study provides valuable information that will be used in addressing the future power demand and infrastructure needs in 22 western North Dakota counties.

  • LONDON, Oct 24- London copper rose from a six-week low on signs of recovery in top consumer China, though gains were capped by weak euro zone data, including in Germany, and ahead of a Federal Reserve policy statement due later on Wednesday. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.51 percent to $7,871 a tonne by 1015 GMT.

  • BOISE, Idaho-- The state agency that regulates utilities has approved $42 million in expenses incurred by Idaho Power Co. to reduce demand and encourage smart energy use. But it's a sign the commission approves of the costs Idaho Power paid for operating 20 programs that were covered for by a 4 percent rider on bills.

  • Sheila Simon is advocating ways to keep college affordable as new research shows average student loan debt has topped $26,000. Simon presented ideas during a Tuesday visit to the University of Illinois Springfield. According to a Pew Research Center report released this month, students took on an average of about $26,700 in loans.

  • *Wheat up as Ukraine to ban wheat exports in Nov.

  • WALTHAM, Mass.-- Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.' s third-quarter earnings climbed 9 percent, helped by revenue growth in key segments, and the scientific instrument and laboratory supply maker raised its forecast for 2012.. The Waltham, Mass., company said Wednesday it earned $290.4 million, or 79 cents per share, in the three months that ended Sept. 29.

  • MONROE, Mich.-- Steelmaker Gerdau is unveiling new machinery at a Michigan steel facility as part of the company's ongoing expansion. The company on Wednesday is marking the completion of construction of a continuous caster at its North American special steel facility in Monroe, about 35 miles southwest of Detroit.

  • COLUMBUS, Ohio-- American Electric Power's net income fell 48 percent in the third quarter as customers' conservation efforts and a slow economy reduced demand for electricity. AEP earned $487 million, or $1 per share, on revenue of $4.16 billion.

  • JACKSON, Miss.-- A settlement conference is scheduled Thursday in a federal lawsuit brought by a man who was injured in an explosion at an International Paper Co. mill in Mississippi in 2008.. The lawsuit claims International Paper recklessly ignited the boiler when it was filled with combustible gas.

  • Oct 24- Victims of a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak are starting to sue the physicians and clinics that administered tainted steroid shots, and the success of the suits could hinge on whether judges decide the injections are subject to product liability or medical malpractice laws.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 24- Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell sharply last week, registering the biggest percentage decline in a year as demand for both purchase loans and refinancings tumbled, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

  • PORTLAND, Maine-- The four-day Harvest on the Harbor food and wine festival is kicking off in Portland. The festival in the Maine city gets under way Wednesday evening with the Grand Tasting on the Harbor gala, where 20 of the area's top restaurants prepare tastings of their favorite dishes.

  • *Vegas less powerful in casino world after Macau boom. With no full-time staff in Asia and a mission that includes nurturing an industry increasingly dependent on China- controlled Macau, the granddaddy of U.S. gambling regulators may ultimately prove powerless to police a global business of which Las Vegas is no longer the capital, industry veterans said.

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-- The NBC television show America's Got Talent will hold auditions for the upcoming season on Dec. 10 in Birmingham. The manager of the Alabama Film Office, Kathy Faulk, says location for the auditions will be announced later.

  • HELSINKI-- Finnish utility Fennovoima says Germany's E.ON AG is selling its stake in the company, meaning it will pull out of a nuclear power plant project in Finland.

  • *Germany sells 3.3 bln euros of 10- yr bonds, demand good.

  • *Iran, Nigeria supply concerns underpin prices. LONDON, Oct 24- Oil rose on Wednesday, snapping a six-day losing streak, after economic data from China suggested a gradual recovery in the world's No. 2 oil consumer, though weak European data kept the gain slim. Brent crude was up 40 cents at $108.65 a barrel by 1020 GMT.