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Top News & Analysis United States

  • Workers at Wal-Mart Stores Inc pay a surcharge of $10 per pay period if they smoke, for example. "Companies are struggling to get people more engaged in their health, and financial incentives are an increasingly important piece of that puzzle," says Tom Billet, senior consultant for human resource consulting firm Towers Watson.

  • LONDON/ NEW YORK, Oct 10- Dutch bank Rabobank. is weighing three offers for its asset management arm Robeco as it has to choose between bids to split the 2 billion euro plus business or keep it whole, people familiar with the situation said.

  • RALEIGH, N.C.-- A farm business is giving North Carolina State University $10 million for its poultry science program. School officials announced the gift from Prestage Farms in Clinton, N.C. on Tuesday. The program will be renamed the Prestage Department of Poultry Science.

  • NEW ORLEANS-- Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and the NFL players union left little doubt they remain determined to challenge Commissioner Roger Goodell's authority to suspend players in connection with the league's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.

  • CARSON CITY, Nev.-- State education officials say Nevada is being awarded a $21 million federal grant over seven years to continue an education program designed to help low-income and disadvantaged students prepare for college. Nevada officials say 4,000 Nevada students have benefited from $30 million in federal GEAR UP grants received over the past 11 years.

  • AUGUSTA, Maine-- The cost of home heating oil in Maine has inched up two cents in the past week to an average of $3.70 per gallon. Prices are highest in the northern reaches of Maine, where prices are at an average of $3.86 per gallon. The statewide kerosene price average is $4.14 per gallon, up four cents from last week.

  • KENNEBUNK, Maine-- This upscale southern Maine town is known for its ocean beaches, old sea captains' mansions and the neighboring town of Kennebunkport, home to the Bush family summer compound. "There's still some of that puritanical New England left around," said Will Bradford, who owns a copy shop in town. "

  • RICHMOND, Va.-- The large-scale development of wind power off the Mid-Atlantic coast would create more than 70,000 jobs from New York to Virginia, an industry-sponsored study concludes. The study was conducted for the Atlantic Wind Connection and released during the American Wind Energy Association's annual conference in Virginia Beach.

  • *Alcoa beats expectations but cautions of slowdown. *Yum Brands defies China sluggish growth, raises outlook. NEW YORK, Oct 10- U.S. stocks were set for a slightly lower open on Wednesday as earnings season started with a warning from Alcoa about slower aluminum consumption, underscoring concerns about sluggish worldwide growth.

  • *Fed to sell $7 billion to $8 billion in short-dated debt. Treasuries prices fell on Wednesday as traders reduced their bond holdings to make room for $21 billon in 10- year note supply, part of this week's $66 billion in coupon-bearing offerings.

  • PHOENIX-- Electronic parts and computer products distributor Avnet said Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings are expected to come in well below its previous forecast and revenue near the lower end of its guidance.

  • WICHITA, Kan.-- Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service says growers have seeded 65 percent of the 2013 winter wheat crop in the state. Meanwhile, the fall harvest continues to make progress in Kansas. Most of the corn still left to cut is in western Kansas.

  • TOPEKA, Kan.-- Westar Energy Inc. says new wind farms in central and southwest Kansas are now producing power for its customers. The 201- megawatt Post Rock Wind Farm in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties began production Sept. 28. The Ironwood Wind Power Project farm in Ford and Hodgeman counties can produce up to 168 megawatts of electricity for Westar.

  • NEW YORK-- Led Zeppelin will not be reuniting any time soon. Just the mere mention of the topic set lead singer Robert Plant off at their news conference for the bands upcoming concert film, "Celebration Day."

  • DES MOINES, Iowa-- Iowa farmers are close to wrapping up this year's harvest as they work to get drought-damage crops out of the fields as cooler weather arrives. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 76 percent of the corn has been harvested, which is a month ahead of normal. Eighty percent of the soybeans are in from the fields, which is two weeks ahead of normal.

  • Another $18 million has been provided for other types of individual assistance, according to FEMA. FEMA spokesman Ray Perez provided the latest figures Tuesday. More than 194,000 people have registered for FEMA help.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 10- Helen of Troy Ltd:.

  • NEW ORLEANS-- The School of Nursing at Loyola University of New Orleans has received a two-year, $700,000 federal grant from the Health Research and Services Administration. The university said Tuesday that the money is to support doctoral students pursuing the credential of "Advanced Practice Registered Nurse" in primary care.

  • DETROIT-- Members of the Detroit City Council are expected to receive an update on efforts to balance the city's budget and fix its fiscal troubles. The council's Budget, Finance and Audit Standing Committee has scheduled a discussion Wednesday afternoon at City Hall on the monthly report of the Financial Stability Agreement with the state.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 10- U.S. natural gas futures were trading near flat early on Wednesday, with some follow-through buying after Tuesday's modest rally underpinning prices despite milder Northeast and Midwest weather forecasts for next week that should slow demand.