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Top News & Analysis Washington DC

  • SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-- South Dakota's largest city is welcoming political figures, family and friends in town to mark the life and career of former Democratic U.S. senator and three-time presidential candidate George McGovern, a legend in state's political history who died Sunday at age 90..

  • HAVANA- Hurricane Sandy, strengthening rapidly after crossing the warm Caribbean Sea, slammed into southeastern Cuba early on Thursday with 105 mph winds that cut power and blew over trees across the city of Santiago de Cuba.

  • AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson said people who held onto their cars through the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009 now have to make a choice between sinking thousands into repairing old vehicles or buying new ones.

  • WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose only slightly, suggesting sales may level off in the coming months after solid gains in the past year. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its seasonally adjusted index of sales agreements rose in September to a reading of 99.5.

  • WASHINGTON-- Average U.S. mortgage rates rose only slightly this week and continued to hover near record lows, a trend that has helped boost home sales and refinancing. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30- year fixed mortgage edged up to 3.41 percent, from 3.37 last week. Three weeks ago, the rate touched 3.36 percent.

  • This isn't anything new. Years ago, viewers celebrated the presidency of Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing." Fans of "The Wire" savored the ascent of Tommy Carcetti from the Baltimore city council to the Maryland governor's office. Michael J. Fox, and then Charlie Sheen, worked for New York Mayor Winston on the sitcom, "Spin City."

  • California: Up 26,935, due to layoffs in all sectors, particularly the service industry. Florida: Up 3,947, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail and services. Ohio: Up 1,936, due to layoffs in transportation and manufacturing.

  • WASHINGTON-- U.S. companies remained cautious in September and held back on orders for long-lasting manufactured goods that signal investment plans. The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders for durable goods jumped 9.9 a percent last month.

  • The latest numbers show that young adults 25-29 are the primary out-of-state movers; they had the biggest gain in 13 years as they struck out on their own to test the job market in urban, high-tech meccas such as Washington, D.C.; Denver; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Austin, Texas.

  • BEIJING-- Police in a heavily Tibetan region of far west China are offering tipsters a reward of $7,700 for information about planned self-immolations in a bid to stem a tide of fiery protests against Chinese rule.

  • WASHINGTON-- U.S. orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods surged in September, buoyed by a jump in volatile aircraft orders that offset another weak month of business investment. The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders for durable goods jumped 9.9 a percent last month.

  • WASHINGTON-- Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment aid fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 369,000, a level consistent with modest hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that unemployment benefit applications dropped by 23,000, from a revised 392,000 the previous week.

  • WASHINGTON-- Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods surged in September by the largest amount in nearly three years, reflecting a rebound in aircraft orders. But a key category that tracks business investment showed weakness for a fourth straight month, indicating companies remain uncertain about the future.

  • LONDON, Oct 25- An Iranian partner of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a Chinese company that has denied breaking U.S. sanctions, last year tried to sell embargoed American antenna equipment to an Iranian firm, according to documents and interviews.

  • The new charge is for Floyd Lee Corkins II, who was arrested in August and charged with opening fire inside the lobby of the Family Research Council building in downtown Washington.

  • LEESBURG, Va.-- In many ways, it's an odd topic to make a central campaign issue: sequestration. Many voters greet the word with a blank stare or slightly glazed eyes, and when Republican George Allen brings up the issue in his Senate campaign, he first has to explain what he's talking about.

  • WASHINGTON-- Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods likely increased in September, reflecting a rebound in volatile commercial aircraft demand and a jump in retail spending. Economists expect orders for durable goods rose 7 percent in September, according to a survey by FactSet.

  • WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits likely stabilized last week after seasonal factors distorted the previous two weeks. The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday. The Labor Department cautioned that the two weeks were affected by technical factors.

  • *Low rates cut interest income by $400 billion since 2008. WASHINGTON, Oct 25- The Federal Reserve's strategy of holding interest rates near zero to spur the U.S. economy is creating a level of uncertainty for American savers that may be softening the policy's punch.

  • The most pressing economic issue facing Washington _ whether President Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney wins _ is a looming deadline for across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases. Some $100 billion will be sliced from federal budgets and taxes will rise by $400 billion if the government goes over the so-called "fiscal cliff" in early January.