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Top News & Analysis Washington DC

  • BOSTON-- Two members of Congress have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether a specialty pharmacy linked to a nationwide meningitis outbreak violated any federal laws or regulations. Criminal investigators from the Food and Drug Administration were at the Framingham company Tuesday, company spokesman Andrew Paven said.

  • WASHINGTON-- More than 56 million Americans on Social Security will get raises averaging $19 a month come January, one of the smallest hikes since automatic adjustments for inflation were adopted in 1975, the government announced Tuesday.

  • BOSTON-- Investors, concerned about PNC Financial Services Group Inc.' s ability to grow profit amid record-low interest rates and increasing expenses, drove down the bank's shares Tuesday after its third-quarter results.

  • WASHINGTON-- A federal appeals court in Washington is considering whether marijuana should be reclassified from its current status as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use.

  • HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.-- Republican White House challenger Mitt Romney conferred with his debate practice partner while President Barack Obama exercised before his final study review for Tuesday's debate, both hoping it would help them pull ahead in the razor-tight race.

  • WASHINGTON-- The outlook for the U.S. economy brightened a little Tuesday after reports that consumer prices stayed tame and homebuilder confidence rose to the highest level in six years. It will be front and center Tuesday night when President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney meet at New York's Hofstra University for the second of three debates.

  • NEW YORK-- Television ratings for baseball's division series are down from last year. Its two division series broadcasts _ Game 2 of Detroit- Oakland and Game 3 of St. Louis- Washington _ averaged a network-record 1.2 million viewers, whereas two afternoon games on TBS last season averaged nearly twice that. TBS is a unit of Time Warner Inc..

  • The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings rose to a record $5.43 trillion in August. And Japan increased its holdings 0.5 percent to $1.12 billion. Japan now trails China's holdings by just $32.1 billion.

  • BEIJING-- People in China are increasingly worried about corruption, inequality and food safety, according to a survey released Tuesday that also found that about half of Chinese like American ideas about democracy.

  • WASHINGTON-- U.S. industrial production increased only modestly in September, held back by weak growth in factory output. That followed a 1.4 percent decline in August, which partly reflected precautionary shutdowns before Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf Coast.

  • WASHINGTON-- Higher gas costs drove up U.S. consumer prices in September for the second straight month. The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent last month, matching the August increase.

  • WASHINGTON-- More than 56 million Social Security recipients will see their monthly payments go up by 1.7 percent next year. It shows that inflation has been relatively low over the past year, despite the recent surge in gas prices, resulting in one of the smallest increases in Social Security payments since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975..

  • PITTSBURGH-- The PNC Financial Services Group Inc.' s net income rose solidly in the third quarter, boosted by a one-time gain from a sale of Visa shares and higher fees from corporate clients. The bank's income from interest on loans increased, bucking an industry-wide trend, because PNC acquired RBC Bank since last year's third quarter.

  • WASHINGTON-- More than 56 million Social Security recipients will soon find out how much their monthly payments will go up next year. The increase is tied to a government measure of inflation being released Tuesday morning. Social Security payments for retired workers average $1,237 a month, or about $14,800 a year.

  • WASHINGTON-- Production at U.S. factories, mines and utilities likely showed a gain in September, rebounding after a big drop in August. Factories produced fewer cars and Hurricane Isaac triggered shutdowns along the Gulf Coast. The Institute for Supply Management said that its index of factory activity rose to 51.5.

  • WASHINGTON-- Higher costs for gasoline and other fuel likely pushed up consumer prices in September for the second straight month. The Labor Department will release the consumer price index at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday.

  • WASHINGTON-- More than 56 million Social Security recipients will find out Tuesday how much their monthly payments will go up next year. The increase is tied to a government measure of inflation being released Tuesday morning. Social Security payments for retired workers average $1,237 a month, or about $14,800 a year.

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- A former U.S. senator who helped negotiate a peace treaty in Northern Ireland has been appointed to help California energy regulators and Pacific Gas& Electric reach a settlement over a pipeline explosion that killed eight people, the two sides announced Monday.

  • WASHINGTON-- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction with rates on six-month bills rising to the highest level since March 2011. The Treasury Department auctioned $32 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.105 percent, up from 0.100 percent last week.

  • WASHINGTON-- The Department of Justice said Monday that a unit of CVS Caremark Corp. has agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle allegations that it reported false information on prescription drug prices to the government's Medicare program.