Top News & Analysis Washington DC

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 3- The United States has taken steps to shut down several fake tech support scams that have cost consumers tens of millions of dollars, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

  • Clinton says Tehran is responsible for the country's economic problems and Iran's currency hitting a record low against the U.S. dollar. Speaking Wednesday beside Kazakhstan's foreign minister, Clinton acknowledged that international sanctions have contributed to Iran's economic woes.

  • *Case pits Arkansas commission against U.S. Army Corps. WASHINGTON, Oct 3- The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday in a case about the degree to which the federal government must pay damages when it releases water from a dam that causes temporary flooding for a property owner downstream.

  • WASHINGTON-- Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue, sometimes called "America's Main Street," is being listed among the nation's endangered landscapes because of neglect and deferred maintenance by the National Park Service.

  • Light synthetic crude for November delivery last sold for $9.75 a barrel over benchmark West Texas Intermediate, compared with $12 a barrel over WTI on Tuesday, according to Shorcan Energy Brokers. November Western Canada Select heavy blend was quoted at $11 a barrel under WTI, an 80- cent wider discount than on Tuesday.

  • WASHINGTON-- Unemployment rates fell in August in nearly 90 percent of large U.S. metro areas, mainly because more people gave up looking for work. The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates dropped in 329 large cities, the most in four months.

  • WHAT: Labor Department Initial Jobless Claims, weekly. IFR COMMENTARY: "Initial unemployment insurance claims were volatile around and after the Labor Day holiday, but we look for them to settle in now at around 365 k. We look for continuing claims for the week ended Sept. 22 to move up a bit from 3.271 mln to 3.280 mln.

  • *SEC says eBX gave outside firm customer order data. *eBX to pay $800,000 to settle SEC charges. The SEC alleged that eBX erroneously told its users that their buy and sell orders would not be shared outside the company, but an outside technology firm was allowed to use the data for its own business interests.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 3- Colder U.S. weather should increase demand for natural gas this winter, placing slight upward pressure on prices, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 3- Boston- based dark pool operator eBX LLC on Wednesday agreed to pay an $800,000 penalty to settle civil charges that it had failed to protect its subscribers' confidential trading information.

  • ANNAPOLIS, Md.-- The Washington Redskins on Tuesday urged their fans to support a ballot question in Maryland to expand gambling, a high-profile endorsement for efforts to allow a casino in the Maryland county where the team plays its home games near the nation's capital.

  • WASHINGTON-- U.S. service companies grew in September at the fastest pace in six months, helped by a sharp increase in customer demand. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 55.1, up from 53.7 in August.

  • "The picture that emerged for this winter is one of increased demand for natural gas that is easily matched by ample production and gas in storage," said Greg Vesey, vice chairman of the Natural Gas Supply Association.

  • KHASAB, Oman, Oct 3- The fibre-glass skiffs hurtle across the water at break-neck speed, skirting the rocky cliffs on the last leg of the perilous journey from Iran to the sleepy backwaters of Oman's Musandam peninsula.

  • CAIRO, Oct 3- A trickle of foreign donor aid looks like Egypt's best hope of averting a balance of payments crisis for now because many of the investors who fled the country last year are loath to return until the government seals a loan from the IMF.

  • INDIANAPOLIS-- Campaign cash from outside political groups is flooding into conservative states with close Senate races like Indiana, Arizona and Montana, where residents are more accustomed to local news promos between football games than the relentless, often snarky attack ads.

  • VATICAN CITY, Oct 3- Pope Benedict's former butler stole highly sensitive papers the pontiff had marked "to be destroyed" and compromised Vatican security through his actions, the Holy See's police told his trial on Wednesday.

  • CLINTON, Iowa-- Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Tuesday that he and running mate Mitt Romney would help more Americans find jobs so that they can pay taxes, offering a defense of Romney's remark that nearly half the country doesn't pay federal income taxes and supports President Barack Obama.

  • CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the middle class has been "buried" during the past four years, a statement that Republicans immediately seized upon as an unwitting indictment of the Obama administration.

  • NEW YORK-- U.S. births fell for the fourth year in a row, the government reported Wednesday, with experts calling it more proof that the weak economy has continued to dampen enthusiasm for having children. But there may be a silver lining: The decline in 2011 was just 1 percent _ not as sharp a fall-off as the 2 to 3 percent drop seen in other recent years.