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Top News & Analysis North America

  • MORGANTOWN, W.Va.-- If American agriculture is going to meet the challenges of the next 40 years, it's going to need more schools like West Virginia University producing people who see careers in the field and have a passion for science. Rexroad is an associate administrator of the Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • DETROIT-- General Motors Co. said Friday that it plans to close its hydrogen fuel-cell research operation near Rochester, N.Y., and move about 220 jobs to Michigan. The Detroit- based automaker said the move will bring together experts on engine and transmission technology.

  • *Chairman Harold Kahn among those who resigned. Oct 5- Wet Seal Inc replaced four board members with Clinton Group nominees, putting the activist investor in a stronger position to push for a sale of the struggling clothing retailer.

  • NEW YORK-- Federal officials have cited a company for safety violations in connection to a Manhattan crane crash in April that killed a 30- year-old laborer working on the extension of the No. 7 subway line. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday it had cited Yonkers Contracting Co. Inc. with 10 serious violations.

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- New York taxpayers paid more than $5 million in the last two years to settle more than a dozen sexual harassment cases against state workers, according to records obtained Thursday. The cases include $1.79 million paid to a woman who worked for the state prisons system in western New York.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 5- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed the highest number of enforcement actions in its 38- year history in the 2012 fiscal year, the agency said on Friday.

  • *Nonfarm payrolls rose 114,000 in September* Unemployment rate falls to 7.8 percent, lowest since 2009* Household survey shows most job gains since 1983* Average hourly earnings gain 7 cents* Report is second to last before Nov. 6 elections By Lucia Mutikani.

  • Phil Bryant is renewing his focus on promoting energy-related development. He said Mississippi should focus on energy development because it has natural advantages in the area and because the field produces high-paying jobs. "Most energy jobs pay twice the average household income in Mississippi," the governor said.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- U.S. stocks extended gains on Friday, and the Dow Jones industrial average hit its highest in almost five years, after government data showed a surprise drop in the unemployment rate. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 82.57 points, or 0.61 percent, to 13,657.93.

  • DENVER-- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says drought conditions are expected to stick around for the fall in Colorado. Colorado and Wyoming had their warmest summers on record this year, and parts of eastern Colorado and Wyoming are experiencing exceptional drought, which is the most intense level reported by the U.S.

  • On Friday, Lehman Brothers Inc. and Lehman Brothers International said that their agreement would allow them to proceed with plans to allocate and distribute assets to customers and creditors. Bankruptcy Judge James M. Peck and an order of the English High Court.

  • Christie vetoed the bill in July, saying at the time that some of the reforms had already been implemented at the Port Authority. The legislation would have forced the Port Authority to hold more public meetings before voting on toll hikes and publish its board of commissioners' meeting minutes.

  • DETROIT-- The union representing Detroit Water and Sewerage workers says a five-day strike has ended and that 36 employees fired for walking out will get their jobs back. American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 207 said in a statement Thursday that its executive board voted to end the strike after negotiations with management.

  • Benchmark oil closed down $1.83 to $89.88 per barrel in New York. But those extra commuters might not budge the needle on gas demand, which was down 2.5 percent from a year earlier in the four weeks ended Sept. 28, according to Energy Department figures released Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- A measure of future U.S. economic expansion eased modestly last week though the annualized growth rate continued to climb, a research group said on Friday.

  • LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Analysts following Yum Brands Inc. will be looking for signs of a profit rebound in the fast-food restaurant's key China operations when the owner of the Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC chains reports third-quarter results after the markets close on Tuesday.

  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- A law letting utilities charge customers now for future nuclear reactors even if they never get built fails to provide regulators with "adult supervision," a lawyer told the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- U.S. natural gas futures mostly edged up slightly on Friday, backed by cold U.S. weather forecasts for the next week that should stir more demand despite early pressure from Thursday's bearish weekly inventory report and a mild mid-month outlook. I don't see how you get bullish here, "a Texas- based cash trader said.

  • NORFOLK, Va.-- Virginia International Terminals Inc. defended its record as the operator for the Virginia Port Authority on Thursday, saying its past success is irrefutable. The state created Virginia International Terminals in 1983.. VIT promotes Virginia and Virginia only, "said Joseph Ruddy, executive vice president for Virginia International Terminals.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- U.S. The U.S. Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August, compared with economists' expectations for the jobless rate to rise to 8.2 percent. "Treasuries sank after the jobs report," said Cary Leahey, economist and senior advisor to Decision Economics in New York. "