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Top News & Analysis United States

  • 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. State and local public employment has fallen 3.2 percent since peaking in August 2008, representing "a source of drag on growth prospects," S&P said.

  • LONDON, Oct 9- Clean tanker rates for refined petroleum products on top export routes were broadly steady on Tuesday with lighter business capping earnings in the transatlantic market.

  • NEW YORK-- A Raymond James analyst upgraded shares of industrial manufacturer Trinity Industries Inc. on Tuesday, saying he expects better results for its inland barge and railcar businesses.

  • LOS ANGELES-- NBC slashes Jay Leno's "Tonight" pay in half, but forks out more than $8 billion to renew its broadcast rights to Sunday Night Football. Yes, according to observers, who say NBC is making the right moves by saving where it can and spending where it should under new owner Comcast Corp..

  • Oct 9- An Austrian daredevil called off his death-defying skydive from a balloon 23 miles over the New Mexico desert on Tuesday due to winds at the launch site. Felix Baumgartner, a 43- year-old helicopter pilot, hot-air balloonist and professional skydiver, had been preparing to break a longstanding altitude record.

  • "This incident raises serious concerns about the scope of the practice of pharmacy compounding in the United States and the current patchwork of federal and state laws," said the letter co-authored by the panel's top Democrat Henry Waxman and fellow members, representatives Frank Pallone and Diana DeGette.

  • TDC's ratings are based on above-average underwriting performance and profitability relative to medical professional liability insurance peers, favorable loss reserve levels, strong statutory capital position, and an experienced management team that employs a conservative operating strategy that is focused on long-term underwriting profitability.

  • 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.

  • AMSTERDAM-- World stock markets fell Tuesday on a gloomy forecast from the IMF and worries over Europe's debt crisis ahead of the start of earnings season.

  • *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.