Top News & Analysis Iowa

  • *Nebraska, High Plains still suffering, wheat crop threatened. The portion of the United States under ``exceptional'' drought- the most dire classification- held steady at 5.84 percent and was mostly in western Kansas and Nebraska.

  • Oct 25- Medical device maker Medtronic Inc edited health journal articles and paid doctors millions of dollars for company-sponsored studies of its Infuse bone-grafting product used in spinal surgery, according to a U.S. Senate report published on Thursday.

  • HAVANA- Hurricane Sandy, strengthening rapidly after crossing the warm Caribbean Sea, slammed into southeastern Cuba early on Thursday with 105 mph winds that cut power and blew over trees across the city of Santiago de Cuba.

  • CHICAGO-- People who collapse from cardiac arrest in poor black neighborhoods are half as likely to get CPR from family members at home or bystanders on the street as those in better-off white neighborhoods, according to a study that found the reasons go beyond race. The findings suggest a big need for more knowledge and training, the researchers said.

  • BEIRUT/ CAIRO- Syria said on Wednesday its military command was still studying a proposal for a holiday ceasefire with rebels- contradicting international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi's announcement that Damascus had agreed to a truce.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 24- President Barack Obama says he's confident that if re-elected he will secure within six months a deficit-reduction deal with Republicans equivalent to the ``grand bargain'' he failed to achieve last year. After the newspaper complained in a blog, the White House relented and released a transcript of the interview on Wednesday.

  • BEIRUT/ CAIRO- Syria said on Wednesday its military command was still studying a proposal for a holiday ceasefire with rebels- contradicting international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi's announcement that Damascus had agreed to a truce.

  • The White House released it Wednesday after the editor of the newspaper, which is still deciding its presidential endorsement, wrote a blistering blog complaining of the restriction.

  • The White House released it Wednesday after the editor of the newspaper, which is still deciding its presidential endorsement, wrote a blistering blog complaining of the restriction.

  • MANITOWOC, Wis.-- Around lunchtime each day, the latest missives promoting or pillorying Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney arrive in Diane Ouradnik's mailbox. Senior citizens are getting dueling pieces from Obama and Romney casting the other as detrimental to Medicare.

  • BOSTON, Oct 23- The pharmacy tied to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak escaped harsh punishment from health regulators several times in the years leading up to the health crisis that has raised questions about oversight of the customized drug mixing industry, newly released state records show.

  • LIANGJIAHE, China-- The next leader of China spent much of his youth living in a dug-out cave. Xi Jingping's seven years in this remote northern community meant toiling alongside rural villagers by day and sleeping on bricks by night, in stark contrast to his pampered early years in Beijing.

  • Like other tobacco companies, Reynolds American Inc., the second-biggest U.S. cigarette maker, has ventured into smokeless tobacco and other nicotine products as tax increases, health concerns, smoking bans and stigma cut into demand for cigarettes. In 2009, Reynolds bought Swedish company Niconovum AB, which makes nicotine gum, pouches and spray products.

  • NEW YORK-- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is poised to spend $500,000 of his personal fortune on gay marriage campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state, he said Monday, following up on a major political spending push the billionaire businessman-turned-politician announced last week.

  • RICHMOND, Va.-- Reynolds American Inc.' s third-quarter profit grew nearly 7 percent as higher prices and smokeless tobacco gains helped offset a decline in the number of cigarettes it sold.

  • WASHINGTON-- Unions are shifting more of their political resources to state and local races this year as they try to head off passage of laws that could undermine bargaining rights, make it harder to organize or reduce their political muscle. In Maine and Minnesota, labor leaders hope to overturn Republican majorities in state legislatures.

  • WASHINGTON-- Medicare is coming under scrutiny in the meningitis outbreak that has rekindled doubts about the safety of the nation's drug supply. In 2007, Medicare revoked coverage of compounded inhaler drugs for lung disease.

  • WASHINGTON-- Unions are shifting more of their political resources to state and local races this year as they try to head off passage of laws that could undermine bargaining rights, make it harder to organize or reduce their political muscle. In Maine and Minnesota, labor leaders hope to overturn Republican majorities in state legislatures.

  • On Thursday, Southwest Airlines said demand _ and pricing _ for business travelers grew weaker in September. Revenue seemed to be rebounding this month, Southwest said. But nothing quite says "ka-ching" like $981 for a short-notice round-trip ticket from Minneapolis to New York.

  • CLEVELAND-- Unemployment rates fell last month in nearly all of the battleground states that will determine the presidential winner, giving President Barack Obama fresh fodder to argue that voters should stick with him in an election focused squarely on the economy.