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Top News & Analysis Washington DC

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market.

  • WASHINGTON-- The U.S. trade deficit widened in August from July because exports fell to the lowest level in six months. The deficit grew 4.1 percent to $44.2 billion in August, the biggest gap since May, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Exports dropped 1 percent to $181.3 billion.

  • WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted to 339,000 last week, the lowest level in more than four years. The Labor Department says weekly applications fell by 30,000 to the lowest level since February 2008.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The U.S. trade deficit widened in August, in line with analyst expectations, as U.S. goods exports fell for the fifth consecutive month, a government report showed on Thursday. The monthly trade gap increased to $44.2 billion, from an upwardly revised estimate of $42.5 billion in July, the Commerce Department said.

  • Oct 11- Commerce Department report of U.S. international trade. Trade in goods and services on balance of payments basis,. Aug July Jan-Aug12 Aug11 Jan-Aug11 Balance -44.22 -42.47 -374.37 -44.78 -369.13 Exports 181.28 183.19 1,459.55 178.38 1,389.53 Imports 225.50 225.65 1,833.92 223.16 1,758.66.

  • Oct 11- U.S. Labor Department report of U.S. import and export price changes by percent.

  • *IRS taking' hard line' on accounting issue-lawyer. The dispute centers on an accounting practice- known as the "completed contract method"- that the IRS has scrutinized for years.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 10- In 2008, singer will.i.am provided Barack Obama's presidential campaign with music for its signature anthem, "Yes We Can." On Tuesday, at a rally for Obama in Columbus, Ohio, the performer chose to play something new: the theme song for "Sesame Street."

  • Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday that financial reforms and other actions in response to the global crisis are yielding results, helping the U.S. economy to grow at a pace better than there was reason to expect.

  • LONDON, Oct 11- BAE Systems warned on Thursday that it faced uncertainty in its core market, the United States, a day after the collapse of talks with EADS.

  • WASHINGTON-- Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is promising to get tough on China to help American workers, but his plans could backfire. Romney is pledging, on his first day in office, to designate China a currency manipulator, a step no administration has taken against any country for 18 years.

  • By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa. WASHINGTON, Oct 11- U.S. unemployment remains "painfully high" while inflation is not an immediate concern, giving the Federal Reserve plenty of reason to launch a new stimulus last month, a top Fed official said on Thursday.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits slid last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according to government data that may provide a boost to President Barack Obama a month before voters go to the polls.

  • LONDON, Oct 11- Its $45 billion merger plan shot down, BAE Systems must now hunt growth elsewhere if the British arms maker is to find the cash needed to sustain big dividends and avert the possibility of a break-up. CEO Ian King is under pressure to spur the search for new business with a lucrative deal in Saudi Arabia now seen as crucial to bolster the balance sheet.

  • BEIJING-- China's government has criticized steep U.S. tariffs imposed on Chinese-made solar panels as an improper trade barrier and warned they will hurt development of clean energy. The Commerce Ministry on Thursday called on Washington to repeal the tariffs.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 11- The European Union accused the United States on Thursday of ignoring a World Trade Organisation ruling to stop subsidies to planemaker Boeing and asked the Geneva- based body to investigate, prolonging the world's largest trade dispute.

  • *S&P downgrades Spain; Brazil and South Korea cut rates. TOKYO, Oct 11- The IMF prodded the world's rich countries for swifter action on Thursday as Europe's debt crisis drags on while the United States and Japan show scant progress handling their budget deficits.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 10- In 2008, singer will.i.am provided Barack Obama's presidential campaign with music for its signature anthem, "Yes We Can." On Tuesday, at a rally for Obama in Columbus, Ohio, the performer chose to play something new: the theme song for "Sesame Street."

  • *Chamber, API say SEC failed to weigh costs, benefits. *SEC rule was called for in Dodd-Frank law. A key argument in the suit- filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, and two other groups- is that the SEC failed to adequately weigh the rule's costs and benefits.