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Top News & Analysis Washington DC

  • VATICAN CITY, Oct 2- Pope Benedict's former butler, on trial for stealing papal documents, told a Vatican court on Tuesday that during the first weeks of his detention he was held in an isolation room so small he couldn't stretch out his arms and with light on constantly.

  • WASHINGTON-- In a story Sept. 28 about a presidential decision to block a Chinese company's business deal in Oregon over national security concerns, The Associated Press erroneously cited when another Chinese firm, Huawei Technologies, had abandoned plans for its purchase of a U.S. computer company, 3 Leaf Systems.

  • Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano described it as a "logical development in close security, economic and people-to-people" ties between the U.S. and Taiwan.

  • Sales rose for most automakers, led by gains of more than 30 percent for Toyota and Volkswagen. Toyota sales rose 42 percent from a year earlier, while Volkswagen jumped 34 percent from September 2011. Nissan, which has been hurt as Toyota and Honda recover from last year's earthquake in Japan, saw sales fall 1.1 percent.

  • BERLIN, N.H.-- Mitt Romney is a part-time resident of this tiny state, and his fiscally conservative, socially moderate tenure as governor of neighboring Massachusetts once seemed a good match for New Hampshire's independent and libertarian-leaning electorate.

  • *Tells court he had no direct accomplices but influenced by others, malaise in Vatican. VATICAN CITY, Oct 2- Pope Benedict's former butler, facing trial for stealing papal documents, told a Vatican court on Tuesday that he was held in a tiny room with the light on constantly and put under pyschological pressure in the first few weeks of his detention.

  • WASHINGTON-- The government is considering whether American International Group is large enough to threaten the broader financial system, a designation that would subject the bailed-out insurance giant to greater federal oversight.

  • WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama is designating the California home of labor leader Cesar Chavez as a national monument, a move likely to shore up support from Hispanic and progressive voters just five weeks before the election.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 2- Tighter military budgets in the United States and Europe reduced the revenues of top weapons makers by one percent in the first half of the year and are likely to continue to depress sales in the full year, a new study by Deloitte LLC showed.

  • HENDERSON, Nev.-- Sometimes all President Barack Obama has to do is look out the window to get a firsthand look at the country's economic woes. This week in this town, the presidential motorcade speeds past opulent homes lining manmade Lake Las Vegas as he heads to the sprawling luxury development where he's preparing for the upcoming debates with Mitt Romney.

  • BAGHDAD-- Iraq on Tuesday signed a $14 million deal with a U.S. consortium to modernize a major port in the country's southern province of Basra in a move aimed at developing key infrastructure neglected during years of war and sanctions.

  • CoreLogic, a private real estate data provider, also said Tuesday that prices rose 0.3 percent in August from July, the sixth straight monthly gain. Housing prices are rising in most areas, according to CoreLogic.

  • Oct 2- LPL Financial LLC, the largest U.S. independent broker-dealer by revenue, said on Tuesday it landed San Diego- based independent advisory firm Washington Wealth Management LLC with $750 million in client assets.

  • DETROIT-- Chrysler's U.S. sales rose almost 12 percent last month as the company reported its best September in five years. Volkswagen also reported a large sales increase, up 34 percent from a year earlier. "We remain optimistic about the health of the U.S. new vehicle sales industry and our position in it," said Reid Bigland, Chrysler's head of U.S. sales.

  • *New York's top prosecutor opened a new front in efforts to hold banks accountable for the financial crisis by filing a civil lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase& Co, alleging widespread fraud by the company's Bear Stearns unit in the sale of mortgage-backed securities. *The judge overseeing the patent dispute between Apple Inc.

  • WASHINGTON-- The AFL-CIO has endorsed a nationwide consumer boycott of American Crystal Sugar products to protest its 14- month lockout of union workers.

  • *Spain seen requesting bailout, but uncertainty weighs. NEW YORK, Oct 2- The euro continued to strengthen against the dollar on Tuesday on expectations that a request by Spain for a bailout is imminent, but major stock markets fell on uncertainty of when Madrid will make its request and growing uneasiness over third-quarter earnings.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 2- Federal and state officials pledged on Tuesday to bring more cases against misconduct that fueled the financial crisis, after New York sued JPMorgan Chase& Co late Monday over mortgage-backed securities packaged and sold by Bear Stearns.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 2- Last year's sale from U.S. emergency crude oil reserves has helped battle shrinking capacity or "creep" at the 62 salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana that form the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Energy Department's inspector general said on Tuesday.