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Top News & Analysis United States

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 9- A rare U.S. outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to steroid injections has claimed three more lives and New Jersey became the tenth state to report at least one case of the illness in a widening health scare, authorities said on Tuesday.

  • SEATTLE, Oct 9- Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has signaled a new direction for the world's largest software company, pointing to hardware and online services as its future, taking a page from long-time rival Apple Inc.

  • COLUMBUS, Ind.-- Indiana- based engine maker Cummins Inc. plans to cut as many as 1,500 jobs by the end of the year. The Columbus- based company has factories in Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico and North Carolina, and several overseas.

  • STUTTGART, Ark.-- The nation's top agricultural negotiator said Tuesday that he expects farm exports to be down between $1 billion and $2 billion this year because of the drought. He added that he doesn't believe a one-year dip would lead to a lasting slowdown in sales to Asia, where China is a major buyer of U.S. dairy and meat, or elsewhere.

  • Oct 9- A U.S. bankruptcy judge approved a $71.5 million settlement on Tuesday between former partners of Dewey& LeBoeuf and the estate of the law firm whose demise in May constituted the largest law-firm bankruptcy in U.S. history.

  • Oct 10- With flu season approaching, a Canadian study offers more reassurance that children with egg allergies can be safely vaccinated against the virus. The researchers, whose findings appeared in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, followed 367 egg-allergic people, mostly children, who got the flu shot over five years.

  • Oct 9- A man who flew into Los Angeles International Airport from Japan wearing a bulletproof vest and flame retardant clothing has been arrested after a smoke grenade, various weapons and body bags were found in his luggage, officials said on Tuesday.

  • MELBOURNE, Oct 10- Australian shares fell 0.4 percent on Wednesday, with some of the biggest declines recorded by gold miners after bullion prices headed lower offshore. eased 0.6 percent to 3,882.8 after U.S. stocks fell on increasing worries about third-quarter earnings and the International Monetary Fund warned on global growth.

  • TOKYO, Oct 10- Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open down on Wednesday and test a one-month low on concerns over companies' latest quarterly earnings results as global growth slows. "The Alcoa results were above market forecast but they were still in the red," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc..

  • *Bents fraudulently told investors that fund was safe- SEC. NEW YORK, Oct 9- A jury is being asked to decide whether money market pioneer Bruce Bent and his son played by the rules when their fund became a victim of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

  • By Sam Forgione and Jennifer Ablan. The PIMCO Total Return Fund, the world's largest mutual fund with about $278 billion in assets, attracted roughly $6.25 billion in new money in the third quarter, according to Morningstar. Meanwhile, the DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund was second with $4.45 billion in assets.

  • *Advocates, state regulators say plan is fatally flawed* Some say they won't rule out suing SEC if changes not made* Groups point to earlier shoddy cost-benefit analyses* Lifting of the advertising ban was required by JOBS Act* Groups urge SEC to completely re-draft the rule By Sarah N. Lynch.

  • WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama has signed an executive order that carries out new sanctions against Iran that Congress approved and that he signed this summer. The sanctions seek to deter Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

  • SLIDING: Oil giant Chevron Corp. said Tuesday that third-quarter earnings will be "substantially lower" than in the second quarter. In addition, results from refining and marketing dropped off as a fire damaged Chevron's refinery in Richmond, Calif., and Hurricane Isaac disrupted production at a refinery in Mississippi.

  • *Massachusetts lawmaker pledges bill to strengthen FDA. *Senators request briefing with FDA, CDC staff. WASHINGTON, Oct 9- Congressional Democrats on Tuesday called for a probe of a deadly meningitis outbreak in nine states, raising questions on issues ranging from the timing of the official response to the possible role of health insurers including Medicare.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 9- Booker-prize-winning author John Banville explores the nature of memory or, as he would prefer to call it, imagination in his latest book.

  • Oct 9- Best Buy Co Inc's chief financial officer, James Muehlbauer, is leaving the embattled retailer after more than a decade, the company said on Tuesday. Best Buy, which appointed a new chief executive in late August, said it was looking for a replacement.

  • *Wells Fargo, the No. 4 U.S. bank, denies allegations. Oct 9- The U.S. government filed a civil mortgage fraud lawsuit on Tuesday against Wells Fargo& Co, the latest legal volley against big banks for their lending during the housing boom.

  • WASHINGTON-- Two Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday called for stricter federal oversight of compounding pharmacies in the wake a deadly meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated injections made by a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy.

  • OTTAWA, Oct 9- Canada indicated strongly on Tuesday it would exclude Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from helping to build a secure Canadian government communications network because of possible security risks.