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Top News & Analysis North America

  • Oct 9- Three more people have died from fungal meningitis linked to steroid injections, bringing the total to 11 deaths since the outbreak began last month, the Centers for Disease Control said on Tuesday. The CDC said the number of meningitis cases in the United States linked to the outbreak reached 119 on Tuesday, up 14 from Monday.

  • RICHMOND, Va.-- The U.S. government is asking a federal appeals court to rehear a challenge to a Food and Drug Administration requirement that tobacco companies to put large graphic health warnings on cigarette packages to show that smoking can disfigure and even kill people.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- A federal judge who appointed a special master to help mediate hundreds of foreclosure disputes in Rhode Island's courts said Tuesday he's "incredibly pleased" with the process so far, but is looking for ways to improve it.

  • KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- A Kansas City biodiesel plant plans to expand, allowing it to increase production by 40 percent. The facility is a joint venture of Paseo and Cargill and is near the Paseo Bridge in Kansas City. Jay Nixon traveled to Kansas City for the announcement.

  • *Alcoa settlement also includes alumina supply contracts. DUBAI, Oct 9- Alcoa Inc will pay $85 million in cash and enter long-term raw material supply contracts with Aluminum Bahrain to settle the Bahraini firm's racketeering and fraud lawsuit against Alcoa, the companies said on Tuesday.

  • --Atlanta- based industrial distributor HD Supply Inc. is offering $750 million of new senior unsecured notes and we expect it to use the proceeds to redeem a portion of its outstanding subordinated notes due 2015.. Rating Action On Oct. 9, 2012, Standard& Poor's Ratings Services affirmed all its ratings on HD Supply Inc., including its' B' corporate credit rating.

  • JACKSON, Miss.-- Trustmark Corp. says it will delay its takeover of BancTrust Financial Group because regulators haven't approved the deal yet. Jackson- based Trustmark had been scheduled to close its $55 million purchase of BancTrust by Dec. 31.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 9- U.S. natural gas futures reversed course and turned higher midday Tuesday after early selling, backed by a slightly colder turn in noon computer weather model projections. "It's all about weather, and it looks like the noon run turned a bit colder for the 11- to 15- day forecast," a New York- based trader said.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Gasoline prices are holding steady in Rhode Island. AAA Southern New England said Tuesday that the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $3.96, unchanged from last week. Drivers in Rhode Island paid an average of $3.54 a gallon at this time last year.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 9- United Refining Inc has agreed to buy Phillips 66' s marine terminal and associated assets near New York Harbor, a deal that will add a five-million-barrel oil storage facility to the company's northeast assets, the two companies said on Tuesday.

  • *Solar panel makers have also filed action in Europe against Chinese manufacturers. WASHINGTON/ LOS ANGELES, Oct 8- The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday will announce final duties on billions of dollars of solar panels from China in a high-profile case that has raised fears of further damage to an already fragile industry.

  • Oct 9- Standard& Poor's Ratings Services said on Tuesday it expected state and local governments in the United States to grow less in 2013 than previously forecast.

  • JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-- Businesses affiliated with the husband of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill have received almost $40 million in federal subsidies for low-income housing developments during her first five years in office, though it appears only fraction of that has made it to the family's bank accounts, according to an Associated Press analysis.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 9- U.S. venture capital firms raised $4.98 billion dollars last quarter, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters said on Tuesday, accelerating a trend in venture capital where funds are heading to extremes in size. Sequoia Capital raised $950 million last quarter, while GGV Capital raised $524 million.

  • NEW YORK-- The former teen whom Roman Polanski was convicted of having sex with _ leading to one of Hollywood's most notorious scandals and the director's flight from the U.S. _ is writing a memoir. Samantha Geimer, now 47, has a deal with Atria Books for "The Girl: Emerging from the Shadow of Roman Polanski."

  • Drake, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, One Direction and Usher earned three bids apiece. Carrie Underwood, Chris Brown, fun., Gotye, J. Cole, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan, and Pitbull are each double nominees. Drake, Bieber, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Rihanna are also in the running for artist of the year.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 9- Oil prices jumped on Tuesday, snapping a string of two lower settlements, as the threat of supply disruption in a tense Middle East countered concerns about slower growth and resulting sluggish demand for oil.

  • TORONTO, Oct 9- Canada's main stock index hit its lowest level in over a week on Tuesday, tracking a fall in world markets, on caution over the upcoming earnings season and prospects for global growth. dropped 2.8 percent to C $39.96, Suncor Energy was down 0.3 percent to C $32.91, and Royal Bank of Canada lost 0.6 percent to C $57.10.

  • Oct 9- RBC Wealth Management, a division of the Royal Bank of Canada, said on Tuesday it added a team of veteran advisers from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management to join its Dallas office.

  • *Congress considering broader sanctions on Iran. WASHINGTON, Oct 9- A reduction in natural gas exports from Iran would not have much impact on world energy markets, but could hurt Turkey and part of Azerbaijan, according to a U.S. report due to be released on Tuesday.