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Top News & Analysis Washington

  • SEATTLE-- Alaska Airlines' parent company more than doubled third-quarter profit as traffic grew and its planes were fuller. Alaska Air Group Inc. said Thursday that net income rose to $163.4 million, or $2.27 per share, compared with $77.5 million, or $1.06 per share, a year ago. The figures include Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

  • BELLEVUE, Wash.-- Heavy-duty truck maker Paccar posted a 17 percent drop in third-quarter profit early Thursday. But sales to countries in South America helped offset some of the damage, and Paccar's results topped Wall Street's expectations.

  • SEATTLE, Oct 24- Firm sales numbers for Microsoft Corp's Windows 8 and its new Surface tablet will not be available for three months, but it may be clear long before then if it has a hit on its hands.

  • SEATTLE-- A Seattle real-estate developer who vanished with his wife after a judge demanded they hand over two huge diamonds was arrested Wednesday in a lake town in the French Alps. Police arrested Michael Mastro, 87, and his wife, Linda, at the request of American authorities, said Kayla Celaya, a supervisory deputy with the U.S.

  • SEATTLE-- An elderly, bankrupt Seattle real-estate developer who vanished with his wife after a judge demanded they hand over two huge diamonds was arrested Wednesday in a lake town in the French Alps. Police arrested Michael Mastro, 87, and his wife, Linda, at the request of American authorities, said Kayla Celaya, a supervisory deputy with the U.S.

  • MONTCLAIR, N.J.-- Across New Jersey, most communities approached about hosting one of the state's first legal medical marijuana dispensaries in out-of-the-way industrial zones have just said no, after outpourings of public opposition.

  • LONDON, Oct 24- Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he was unhappy with the level of tax avoidance by big corporations working in Britain and urged authorities to make sure all companies paid their fair share of tax.

  • Boeing is cranking out planes faster, and it's paying off. Boeing has been speeding up production, aiming to get some of its newest planes out the door faster. Boeing's revenue from commercial planes jumped 28 percent to $12.19 billion in the most recent quarter.

  • SEATTLE-- About a thousand more international students are enrolled at the University of Washington's Seattle campus this fall, but school officials say that doesn't mean they have cut back on the number of in-state students at the state's most selective public university.

  • SPOKANE, Wash.-- Avista Corp. is offering more than 900 non-union workers a buyout in an effort to help the utility cut its 2013 budget by about $14 million. Avista spokesman Dan Kolbet says 919 of the utility's 1,550 employees will have until Dec. 14 to decide, and will learn by Dec. 21 if they've been chosen for the buyout.

  • NEW YORK-- Amazon.com is expected to post yet another double-digit revenue increase when it reports its third-quarter results Thursday. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Amazon's forecast for the current quarter will be important.

  • CHICAGO-- Boeing Co. said Tuesday that it has begun building its 777 jet at the highest rate that it's ever made a big passenger jet, aiming to crank out more than eight planes per month. Boeing has long said it would ramp up the pace of 777 production.

  • SEATTLE-- Michael Henrichsen has ideas about how he might celebrate his 26th birthday this week. First, Billy Idol rolls up in a limo and tells him to hop in.

  • NEW YORK-- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is poised to spend $500,000 of his personal fortune on gay marriage campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state, he said Monday, following up on a major political spending push the billionaire businessman-turned-politician announced last week.

  • A unionized job once meant a secure path to a middle-class life. President Barack Obama has signed a series of executive orders that encourage the use of union labor in federal construction projects, ease union financial reporting requirements and more.

  • OLYMPIA, Wash.-- Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $500,000 to the campaign to uphold Washington state's gay marriage law. The donation was announced Tuesday by Washington United for Marriage, which is working to approve Referendum 74. The donation was made on Oct. 15, but didn't publicly post online with the Public Disclosure Commission until Tuesday.

  • BOTHELL, Wash.-- Seattle Genetics Inc. said Tuesday that pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay $25 million plus potential milestone payments for the biotech firm's experimental antibodies to fight cancer.

  • CRAZY WEATHER: Warm spring weather in the Northeast and Midwest tricked apple trees into budding early this year, and then a late frost damaged the blossoms. CROPS CRIMPED: Crops in apple-producing states like New York and Michigan shrank, falling off as much as 90 percent.

  • Starbucks opened its first store in India Friday in Mumbai as the Seattle- based coffee giant seeks growth in a market long associated with tea drinkers. LOCAL GUIDE: Starbucks' partner in India is the salt-to-SUVs Tata conglomerate. The venture will open more stores in Mumbai this year and expand to New Delhi next year.

  • Organizers said some 14 million people, including 9.3 million in California, signed up to participate. The drill was held in some Western and southeastern states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and parts of Canada and Italy.