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Top News & Analysis Massachusetts

  • 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.

  • ENFIELD, Conn.-- Northeast Utilities says it is setting aside nearly 1,000 acres in a land trust to help preserve open space in Connecticut. The Hartford- based parent company of Connecticut Light& Power announced Thursday that the land trust will include 723 acres in Sharon, 188 acres on the Connecticut River in Enfield, 57 acres in Newtown and 13 acres in Waterford.

  • It's the latest snapshot of the growing burden of student debt and it's another discouraging one: Two-thirds of the national college class of 2011 finished school with loan debt, and those who borrowed walked off the graduation stage owing on average $26,600 _ up about 5 percent from the class before.

  • Armstrong was dumped by Nike, Anheuser-Busch and other sponsors, and he gave up the top spot at Livestrong, his beloved cancer-fighting charity, a week after an anti-doping agency released evidence of drug use by the seven-time Tour de France winner.

  • U.S. home construction is making a comeback that could invigorate the economy's still-weak recovery. Builders last month started construction on single-family houses and apartments at the fastest rate in more than four years, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

  • BOSTON-- Satcon Technology Corp. on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following years of financial struggles and a severe downturn in the solar power industry.

  • Home theaters and wine cellars have trickled down to the masses. What follows are truly exceptional features that you won’t see in just any mansion!

  • Ernest Hawk, vice president of cancer prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and formerly of the National Cancer Institute. Hawk reviewed the study for the American Association for Cancer Research, which is meeting in Anaheim, Calif., where the study was to be presented on Wednesday.