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Top News & Analysis Massachusetts

  • CHICAGO-- In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs will start zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 110 mph Friday. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov.

  • LEXINGTON, Mass.-- Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday that its net income rose 66 percent in the third quarter on greater sales of its antibiotic Cubicin and other products, and lower tax costs. The company said its net income grew to $40.3 million, or 55 cents per share, in the three months through Sept. 30, from $24.2 million, or 33 cents per share, a year ago.

  • BOSTON-- The Appleseed Fund is unusual, and not just because of its strict socially-responsible investing mandate. One reason Morningstar analysts give the fund a bronze-medal rating is its nearly 7 percent average annualized return over five years, a period that includes the 2008 stock market meltdown.

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- Aspen Dental Management and the private equity firm that controls it illegally operate dental clinics across the country and engage in aggressive, misleading profit-driven practices that cause patients economic harm, claims a federal lawsuit filed Thursday in New York.

  • BOSTON-- Investment manager Eaton Vance Corp. said Thursday that its board of directors approved a 5.3 percent increase to its quarterly dividend. The company will pay 20 cents per share to shareholders on Nov. 14 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 31. Eaton Vance shares rose 5 cents to $29.19 in afternoon trading.

  • NEW YORK-- Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets rose $5.84 billion to $2.568 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Assets of the nation's retail money market mutual funds fell $940 million to $886.05 billion, the Washington- based mutual fund trade group said Thursday.

  • WESTFORD, Mass.-- Shares of NetScout Systems Inc., which sells products that gauge computer network performance, rose as much as 7 percent Thursday after the company reported a 41 percent jump in fiscal second-quarter earnings. NetScout made $9.9 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with $7.1 million, of 17 cents per share a year ago.

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Talk show host Montel Williams on Thursday accused opponents of an Arkansas ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana of resorting to "racist" imagery with a television ad featuring an African-American actor portraying a drug dealer.

  • 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. "

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • BOSTON-- Massachusetts gained an estimated 5,100 jobs in September even as the state's unemployment rate crept up two-tenths of a point to 6.5 percent, officials said Thursday. Massachusetts remains below the U.S. unemployment rate, which stood at 7.8 percent in September.

  • WASHINGTON-- Medical device maker Boston Scientific said Thursday it swung to a third-quarter loss, as legal fees and restructuring expenses weighed down already-sluggish sales of the company's implants.

  • BOSTON-- Massachusetts Auditor Suzanne Bump is urging the state to tighten up oversight of its MassHealth program.

  • 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.

  • SALT LAKE CITY-- A Ukrainian man, hung over from a 50- day drinking binge, said he believed the wing of the airplane was on fire when he disrupted a Salt Lake City- bound Delta Air Lines flight and had to be wrestled to the floor by passengers, authorities allege in a criminal complaint.

  • John Freedson, a producer of the off- Broadway musical revue that hilariously tweaks Broadway shows and stars, said Wednesday that its run will be extended through April 28.

  • BOSTON-- Members of a coalition of Massachusetts women's groups on Wednesday disputed Mitt Romney's assertion that he requested the names of potential female candidates for high-level, state positions when he was elected governor.

  • PARIS-- The burglars dashed out the back door with seven masterworks, then sped on screeching tires into the night. If the thieves who robbed Rotterdam's Kunsthal exhibition this week don't have a plan, the stolen art could quickly become a burden.

  • BOSTON-- Jason Aldean will be making history at one of baseball's most historic sites. Aldean will be the first country music star to play a concert at Fenway Park, the iconic home of the Boston Red Sox.