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Top News & Analysis Washington DC

  • WASHINGTON-- The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling a half-million bottles of spray-on lotion after reports that a handful of people have caught on fire after applying the product and coming in contact with open flames.

  • WASHINGTON-- Medicare is coming under scrutiny in the meningitis outbreak that has rekindled doubts about the safety of the nation's drug supply. In 2007, Medicare revoked coverage of compounded inhaler drugs for lung disease.

  • But times are tough for unions in the Rust Belt, even in a longtime bastion like Michigan.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- For the first time on a key Midwestern route between Chicago and St. Louis, an Amtrak passenger train topped 110 mph Friday, ripping through fog-shrouded farm fields and blowing past cars on a parallel highway. Illinois and the country was a wasteland when it came to high speed rail, "said U.S.

  • When the University of Phoenix, the country's largest university, announced this week it's closing 115 campuses and satellite locations, it signaled more than a sudden availability of commercial real estate near highway interchanges, where for-profit colleges like to set up shop as a student convenience.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- An Amtrak passenger train has reached a speed of 110 mph for the first time in Illinois. The five-car, two-locomotive train zipped through the central Illinois countryside, hitting its high speed between the towns of Dwight and Pontiac.

  • WASHINGTON-- The unemployment rate in the nation's capital continues to decline. District of Columbia officials say preliminary September estimates show an 8.7 percent jobless rate, down from 8.8 percent in August.

  • Rates dropped in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina. They were unchanged in New Hampshire and Virginia. With just 18 days until Election Day, polls show GOP challenger Mitt Romney gaining momentum with voters in key states.

  • KEY WEST, Fla.-- Delta Air Lines Inc. and U.S. Airways are planning to begin nonstop seasonal service between Key West and both New York City and Washington D.C. in time for the Christmas travel season. U.S. Airways is a unit of US Airways Group Inc..

  • LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- The Sierra Club along with environmental groups in Kentucky and West Virginia are attempting to block permitting at two mountaintop surface mines, alleging in federal lawsuits that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not consider potential health impacts on residents.

  • WASHINGTON-- U.S. sales of previously occupied homes fell in September after hitting a two-year high in August, in part because there were fewer homes available for sale. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales dipped 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million.

  • The FDA is not required to follow the committee's advice, though it often does. In its review posted ahead of the meeting, the FDA said Kynamro was linked to both benign and cancerous tumors. Jefferies analyst Eun Yang expects "very limited use of Kynamro if approved," due to the safety concerns brought up at the FDA meeting.

  • WASHINGTON-- Mitt Romney's transition team is quietly talking with government officials and Capitol Hill to develop a plan, if he's elected, to prevent massive cuts to the defense budget and extend tax cuts first passed under President George W. Bush. The economic policy planning is a major element of what's dubbed " The Readiness Project" inside the campaign.

  • PARMA, Ohio-- Lest anyone forget the importance of Ohio's white, working-class voters, President Barack Obama sent a clear reminder on Thursday. Clinton implored voters to reward Obama for bailing out the auto industry, which has deep roots in Ohio. Ohio is at the center of both Obama and Republican Mitt Romney's campaign strategies.

  • Todd Akin raised about $1.6 million for his Senate bid in the months after Republican Party officials sought to distance themselves from his comments on "legitimate rape," according to his filings with the Federal Election Commission.

  • Organizers said some 14 million people, including 9.3 million in California, signed up to participate. The drill was held in some Western and southeastern states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and parts of Canada and Italy.

  • CHICAGO-- In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs will start zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 110 mph Friday. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov.

  • WASHINGTON-- Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes likely slipped last month from a two-year high reached in August, the latest sign that the recovery in housing is slow and uneven. The National Association of Realtors will release the report at 10 a.m. Eastern time Friday.

  • "The extraordinary safety record that has been achieved in the United States ironically could be the single biggest reason the isn't able to act proactively and ensure safety into the future," said Bill Voss, president of the industry-funded Flight Safety Foundation in Alexandria, Va., which promotes global airline safety.

  • WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama has presided over a heyday for the gun industry despite predictions by the National Rifle Association four years ago that he would be the "most anti-gun president in American history."