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  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- A precipitous drop in Iran's currency, the rial, shows that sanctions are cutting "deeper and deeper" into its economy, the United States said on Monday, reiterating Iran must rein in its nuclear program.

  • --U.S. pool supply retailer Leslie's Poolmart Inc. is refinancing its existing term loan and paying a dividend to shareholders. --We are assigning a' B' issue-level rating to the company's proposed seven-year $575 million term loan.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 1- U.S. natural gas futures ended higher on Monday for the fifth straight day, with Northeast and Midwest forecasts calling for cool weather for later this week and next week driving the front contract to a new high for the year. As gas prices push well above $3 per mmBtu gas could become less competitive with coal in the power generation market.

  • --U.S.-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. is proposing to issue $500 million senior secured notes due 2020 and $300 million of unsecured notes due 2020. The company will use the proceeds to repay existing debt and for other purposes including acquisitions.

  • Benchmark crude closed up 29 cents at $92.48 in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 20 cents to $112.19 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. Prices at the pump slipped to $3.782 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 1- California's debt service costs will rise as the state plans to issue a combined $12.79 billon in new-money general obligation and lease revenue bonds in its current and next fiscal years, the state treasurer's office said in a report on Monday.

  • NEW YORK-- Wendy Weil, a beloved literary agent known for her low-key but determined style and for an eclectic clientele of groundbreaking and best-selling authors, from Alice Walker and Rita Mae Brown to Fannie Flagg and Mark Helprin, has died. "It's like a face fell off Mount Rushmore," Brown told The Associated Press.

  • Brent November crude fell 20 cents to settle at $112.19 a barrel, having traded from $111.47 a barrel to $113.27 a barrel.

  • With Pocono officially back on the IndyCar schedule after a 23- year absence, Carpenter wanted to pick up as many tips as possible from someone with experience at "The Tricky Triangle." The return to Pocono is being celebrated as a nod to IndyCar's history and tradition.

  • WELLINGTON, Oct 2- Following are some of the lead stories from New Zealand metropolitan newspapers on Tuesday. Link with witchcraft closes therapy clinic: A natural therapy clinic at Whanganui Hospital offering massage and traditional Maori healing has been shelved after a doctor linked it to witchcraft and wizardry.

  • MARIPOSA, Calif.-- California investigators searched Monday for thieves who made off with an estimated $2 million in precious gems and gold from a Central Valley museum during a brazen daytime robbery.

  • Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. were the best performers in the group with gains of 3.4 percent and 2.5 percent. US Airways stock has more than doubled as investors bet on an eventual merger with American Airlines, which is currently under bankruptcy protection.

  • WHAT: Autodata Corp. Total U.S. That's a bit below August's 14.5 mln, but still should be good enough for the third-best reading since April 2008. --by Theodore Littleton of IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

  • Oct 1- Duke Energy Corp:. *Progress energy Florida issues statement regarding filing of crystal river. $900 million to $1.3 billion.

  • Citigroup was second with $32.6 billion in 348 deals and J.P. Morgan Securities was third with $30.7 billion in 265 deals. The New York State Dormitory Authority was the top issuer of debt as of the end of the third quarter, selling $5.5 billion in 31 deals, Thomson Reuters reported.

  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- A new report says it would cost nearly $1.5 billion to repair Progress Energy's damaged nuclear reactor at Crystal River. That's up from the St. Petersburg- based utility's prior estimate of $900 million to $1.3 billion.

  • A new report released on Monday by Soros' Open Society Foundations and the New York- based Foundation Center said that black men and boys in the United States do not have access to the structural supports and opportunities needed to thrive.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Healthcare Services Group Inc. rose Monday after a UBS analyst said the company, which provides housekeeping and food services to hospitals and nursing homes, should be able to sustain its strong growth. THE SPARK: Analyst A.J. Rice began covering Healthcare Services with a "Buy" rating and a price target of $27 per share.

  • Chris Gregoire has directed all state offices to reduce their total building energy use by 20 percent by 2020..

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- The U.S. Export-Import Bank on Monday said it has approved an $118 million direct loan to a Vietnamese state-owned company to buy a telecommunications satellite and other goods and services from Lockheed Martin.