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Top News & Analysis United States

  • Oct 25- Canadian oil and gas producer Nexen Inc said it still expects a $15.1 billion takeover bid by China's CNOOC Ltd to close in the current quarter. Ottawa has promised to release a set of clear guidelines for large foreign investments when it announces its decision on the CNOOC takeover bid around Nov. 11.

  • NEW YORK-- The New York Philharmonic announced Wednesday that it is extending the contract of Music Director Alan Gilbert through the 2016-17 season. "Alan Gilbert is an innovative and visionary leader for the New York Philharmonic," said the orchestra's chairman, Gary W. Parr. "

  • HARTFORD, Conn.-- Connecticut's tourism industry is getting a boost from documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. Burns announced Wednesday that he has partnered with a luxury tour group, Tauck Tours of Norwalk, on a redesigned eight-day tour of New England' s "hidden gems," which will include a two-day stop in Hartford.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 25- The outcome of a court hearing set to begin on Thursday will determine whether a major regional healthcare system in Pennsylvania is driven into bankruptcy or will be allowed to seek other suitors after a $475 million merger deal with insurer Highmark Inc crumbled.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 25- U.S. consumers will have to dig deeper into their pockets next year to pay for costlier healthcare, more expensive grocery bills and higher taxes, an extra drag on the country's already slow-moving economy.

  • Andrew Cuomo said state government will put the promotion of beer, wine and liquor made in New York "on steroids" to boost jobs and help the small, yet growing industries. They include promoting New York wine, beer, whisky and brandy at the State Fair.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. hit a 15- month high Thursday after it reported third-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street's expectations. The Miami company earned $367.8 million, or $1.68 per share, compared with $399 million, or $1.82 per share, a year earlier. Royal Caribbean said it saw strong last-minute bookings and the third quarter.

  • The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage grew 67 billion cubic feet to 3.843 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Oct. 19. Analysts expected a rise of 63 billion to 67 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

  • LOS ANGELES-- Occidental Petroleum saw third-quarter profit fall 22 percent as an increase in production was offset by lower oil and natural gas prices. Occidental reported net income of $1.38 billion, or $1.69 per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

  • WASHINGTON-- Medical device maker Medtronic Inc. helped write and edit medical journal articles attributed to outside physicians, which downplayed the risks of the company's best-selling bone graft, according to a report by Senate investigators.

  • WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.-- Agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd.' s third-quarter net income more than doubled as revenue rose on strength in its agribusiness division. Bunge said Thursday that crop supplies need to approach record levels to rebuild stocks. For the period ended Sept. 30, earnings rose to $289 million, or $1.92 per share.

  • SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-- South Dakota's largest city is welcoming political figures, family and friends in town to mark the life and career of former Democratic U.S. senator and three-time presidential candidate George McGovern, a legend in state's political history who died Sunday at age 90..

  • NEW YORK-- Hershey reported a 10 percent drop in third-quarter net income as one-time charges led to the first such decline in four quarters, but it raised its profit outlook for whole year. The maker of Reese's Pieces, Hershey's Kisses and Jolly Ranchers earned $176.7 million, or 77 cents per share in the three-month period ended Sept. 30.

  • HOUSTON-- Linn Energy LLC posted a $430 million loss for the third quarter on Thursday because of losses from commodity derivatives intended to reduce fluctuations in cash flow. The company said that without the hedging losses, it would have earned $89.8 million, or 45 cents per share.

  • LOS ANGELES-- Imax Corp. said Thursday its third-quarter profit jumped 79 percent, as the company installed its systems in more theaters and made more money from converting movies to the Imax format. The news pleased investors and Imax shares jumped in morning trading.

  • HAVANA- Hurricane Sandy, strengthening rapidly after crossing the warm Caribbean Sea, slammed into southeastern Cuba early on Thursday with 105 mph winds that cut power and blew over trees across the city of Santiago de Cuba.

  • AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson said people who held onto their cars through the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009 now have to make a choice between sinking thousands into repairing old vehicles or buying new ones.

  • SPRING, Texas-- Investigators say a man suspected of trying to steal copper wire has been found dead at an electrical substation near Houston. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office on Thursday said investigators believe 37- year-old Harold Gene Schneider was electrocuted in the theft process.

  • SIDNEY, Neb.-- Cabela's Inc. said Thursday that its net income rose 28 percent in the third quarter, which was in line with Wall Street expectations, as the outdoor sporting goods retailer's new, smaller store formats outperformed its more cavernous stores. Cabela's also noted that its free shipping offer also hurt results for the segment.

  • ST. LOUIS-- The worst U.S. drought in decades is showing little signs of easing as farmers close out their corn harvests and pivot toward growing winter wheat that's now struggling in the dry conditions. Drought Monitor update released Thursday shows that more than roughly 62 percent of the land in the lower 48 states is experiencing some degree of drought.