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Top News & Analysis Washington DC

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- A precipitous drop in Iran's currency, the rial, shows that sanctions are cutting "deeper and deeper" into its economy, the United States said on Monday, reiterating Iran must rein in its nuclear program.

  • On Sunday, a report from a news website "Freebeacon," that describes itself as an alternative to "the professional left," said that Chinese hackers had breached a White House military system. The White House would not identify the group responsible for the attack, or give specifics about its timing and target.

  • INDIANAPOLIS, Oct 1- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday delivered a broad defense of the U.S. central bank's controversial bond-buying stimulus plan, saying it is necessary to support a flagging economic recovery.

  • The Supreme Court struggled with all types of questions Monday as it tried to figure out what kind of floating structures fall under maritime law, a question that could have a profound impact on popular businesses like floating casinos, hotels and restaurants.

  • WASHINGTON-- The Washington Post Co. is getting into the health care business with the purchase of a majority stake in Celtic Healthcare Inc., a provider of home health care and hospice services. Mars, Pa.- based Celtic provides home health care and hospice services in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- The U.S. Export-Import Bank on Monday said it has approved an $118 million direct loan to a Vietnamese state-owned company to buy a telecommunications satellite and other goods and services from Lockheed Martin.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- The top U.S. derivatives regulator said on Monday that his agency aimed to complete rules dictating the amount of margin, or collateral, needed to back uncleared swaps trades by early next year.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- A precipitous drop in Iran's currency, the rial, reflects relentless international pressure on the country over its suspected nuclear weapons program, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- American Express will refund $85 million to customers to resolve charges that three subsidiaries broke consumer protection laws across the credit card business, U.S. regulators said on Monday.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal by Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch unit of a ruling that allowed black brokers who accused it of bias to pursue their lawsuit as a class action.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 1- U.S. natural gas futures were higher on Monday for the fifth straight day, with Northeast and Midwest forecasts calling for cool weather for later this week and next week driving the front contract to a new high for the year.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a Michigan blogger's challenge of the use of full-body scanners and thorough pat-downs at airport checkpoints.

  • WASHINGTON-- Eventually, the economic recovery will pick up steam _ whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is in the White House. But first, Obama or Romney, together with Congress, will have to pull back from the widely deplored "fiscal cliff," the politically created budget abyss facing the nation at year's end.

  • WASHINGTON-- A typical middle-income family making $40,000 to $64,000 a year could see its taxes go up by $2,000 next year if lawmakers fail to renew a lengthy roster of tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year, according to a new report Monday.

  • WASHINGTON-- American Express is paying $112 million in refunds and fines to settle regulators' accusations that it charged unlawful late fees and deceived customers to pressure them to pay off old debts or buy extra credit card services. American Express is refunding $85 million to about 250,000 customers and is paying $27.5 million in civil fines.

  • In addition to the refund to about 250,000 customers, American Express will pay civil penalties totaling $27.5 million to the CFPB, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • BELLEVUE, Wash.-- The average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington remains above $4 a gallon. The AAA auto club reports the average price in the state Monday is $4.03.

  • Peer Steinbrueck has long been critical of a proposed treaty that would see Germany receive billions of euros from Switzerland in return for dropping a demand to get the names of suspected tax cheats.

  • New Mexico- based Sunland Inc. has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products.

  • WASHINGTON-- U.S. builders spent more to construct homes in August, further evidence of a housing rebound. Overall construction spending dipped 0.7 percent in August from July, the Commerce Department reported Monday. The decline lowered construction spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $834.4 billion.