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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Gov't: Probe Found No More Toyota Safety Issues

August 11, 2010 4:36 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government investigation into runaway Toyotas has found no new safety defects beyond problems with accelerator pedals that explain reports of sudden acceleration in the vehicles, according to preliminary findings released Tuesday. Safety experts have said vehicle electronic systems could be to blame for the problems that have led to Toyota's massive recalls but the review by the government, while still at an early stage, has not found any evidence of those issues.

China's Manufacturing Slows, Inflation Jumps

August 11, 2010 4:19 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China's industrial growth slowed further in July as Beijing clamped down on a credit boom, fueling expectations it will ease monetary policy to shore up its economic expansion. Inflation spiked to its highest level this year as summer flooding wrecked crops but analysts said the increase will likely prove temporary.

NAM: Tariff Bill To Support 90,000 Manufacturing Jobs

August 11, 2010 4:16 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama will sign a bill on Wednesday that will help U.S. manufacturers by reducing and suspending some tariffs on certain materials they must import to make their products. Obama is scheduled to sign the bill at the White House. The National Association of Manufacturers says it will help create jobs, cut costs for businesses and consumers and boost U.

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Beer Distributor Reopens After Deadly Shooting

August 11, 2010 4:13 am

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — The president of a Connecticut beer distributor where nine people died in a shooting rampage last week says the company will be reopening after a moment of silence. Hartford Distributors Inc. President Ross Hollander says employees will return to work at the company's offices and warehouse in Manchester Wednesday morning.

Texas Attorney General: BP Illegally Released Air Toxins

August 10, 2010 4:59 am | by Sarah Portlock, Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — BP illegally emitted nearly 500,000 pounds of toxic air pollutants at its Texas City refinery during a 41-day period this spring, the state attorney general contends in a lawsuit. According to the lawsuit filed Monday in state district court in Austin, BP's poor operation and maintenance for those days in April and May were the primary cause of the toxic emissions of cancer-causing benzene, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.

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Recliner Maker Expands, Ready To Hire 200 Workers

August 10, 2010 4:45 am

PONTOTOC, Miss. (AP) — A company that makes reclining furniture broke ground Monday for a plantexpansion in northeast Mississippi. Southern Motion said it's investing $7 million in its new 180,000-square-foot production facility in Pontotoc. The company said it will create at least 200 new jobs over the next two years, with the potential to double that number within five years.

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Toyota Cuts 600 Japanese Workers On Sales Drop

August 10, 2010 4:36 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota has cut 600 workers at its Japanese factories, the company said Tuesday, as it prepares for a drop in local sales when incentives for green cars run out next month. Toyota Motor Corp. employed a total of 2,400 contract workers at the end of 2010, it said. Contract workers are hired under different terms from other employees at Toyota, mainly to make it easier to increase or cut the numbers of workers in response to fluctuating demand for cars.

Tata Motors Recovers On Jaguar, Land Rover Sales

August 10, 2010 4:28 am | by Erika Kinetz, Associated Press Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's Tata Motors posted quarterly profit of 19.9 billion rupees ($428.4 million) Tuesday, turning around a loss as reviving global demand for its Jaguar and Land Rover brands made up for rising commodities costs. The company returned to profitability on a consolidated basis for the April to June quarter from a loss of 3.

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HP's Ex-CEO Gets A Payday As Investors Suffer

August 10, 2010 4:27 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Whatever Mark Hurd did that cost him his job as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest technology company, it wasn't enough to cost him a payday that could top $40 million. Meanwhile, with little still known about why an actress and HP contractor threatened Hurd with a sexual-harassment lawsuit, stockholders took a $9 billion hit Monday, and HP's 300,000 workers were left to wonder about its future.

B-2 Stealth Engineer Sold Secrets To China

August 10, 2010 4:23 am | by Mark Neisse, Associated Press Writers

HONOLULU (AP) — A former B-2 bomber engineer who marketed and sold his stealth expertise to China is facing life in a federal prison following his conviction for bartering U.S. military secrets. Noshir Gowadia, 66, was found guilty Monday on charges that he designed a cruise missile component for China and pocketed at least $110,000, which he allegedly used to help pay a $15,000-a-month mortgage on a multimillion-dollar oceanview home he built on Maui's north shore.

Sara Lee CEO Steps Down Following Stroke

August 9, 2010 5:07 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Sara Lee Corp. Chairman and CEO Brenda Barnes will step down permanently to focus on improving her health following a stroke, the food maker said Monday. Barnes, 56, had been on temporary medical leave since May 14. She will also leave her position on Sara Lee's board of directors.

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Chrysler Recoups In 2Q, Still Loses $172 Million

August 9, 2010 4:54 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — A year after emerging from bankruptcy protection, Chrysler Group LLC said Monday that growing car and truck sales helped it narrow its second-quarter loss to $172 million. The U.S. and Canada are Chrysler's primary markets, and both have seen increased demand for cars and trucks since a recession-related slump last year.

Two Men Crash Firebird Into Ethanol Plant, Gas Line

August 9, 2010 4:52 am

FAIRBANK, Iowa (AP) — Two Fairbank men are dead after the car they were riding in crashed into a natural gas line at an ethanol plant. Authorities say 49-year-old Brad William Higgins died at the scene of Friday's crash. The car's driver, 23-year-old Corey Allen Annis, died Saturday. The Iowa State Patrol says it appears that Annis lost control of the Pontiac Firebird, sending the car into a ditch, where it rolled several times.

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Experts Conflicted On How To Prevent Workplace Shootings

August 9, 2010 4:51 am | by Ben Dobbin, Associated Press Writer

Criminologists call it murder by proxy — rampages by employees who go after their boss, supervisors and even co-workers they link to the source of their outrage. The message is: Look who's doing the firing now. These eruptions of workplace violence often occur in similarly brutal ways.

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China Closes Polluting Factories For Being 'Backward'

August 9, 2010 4:49 am

BEIJING (AP) — China's government has ordered 2,087 steel and cement mills and other factories with poor energy efficiency to close as it struggles to cut waste and improve the country's battered environment. The "backward" facilities produce steel, coke, aluminum, paper and other materials in areas throughout China and must close by late September, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced Sunday.

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HP CEO Ousted Over Sexual Harassment Claim

August 9, 2010 4:47 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The woman at the center of the sexual harassment claim that forced the resignation of Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Mark Hurd revealed her identity Sunday and said she is "surprised and saddened" that Hurd lost his job. Jodie Fisher, 50, an actress and businesswoman, knew Hurd through her contract jobs with HP's marketing department from 2007 to 2009.

Seal Or Sell? BP Has Option On Remaining Oil

August 6, 2010 5:02 am

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The vast oil reservoir beneath BP's blown-out well could still be worth billions of dollars even after it spewed crude into the Gulf of Mexico for more than three months — but the multinational company blamed for causing the disaster isn't saying whether it plans to cash in on this potential windfall.

Convicted Toyota Driver Rejects Offer Of Freedom

August 6, 2010 4:47 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Toyota driver convicted in a crash that killed three people has rejected a prosecutor's offer to ask a judge to vacate his sentence and set him free. Koua Fong Lee is serving an eight-year sentence for criminal vehicular homicide in the 2006 crash. He petitioned for a new trial, saying he did all he could to stop his accelerating Toyota Camry before the crash.

GM CEO Expects To Sell All Stock In 1 Batch

August 6, 2010 4:39 am

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Eager to get out from under government control, GM expects to sell its stock in one swoop when it offers shares to the public sometime later this year, its CEO said Thursday. Some experts had expected General Motors Co. to sell only a partial stake at first, followed by several smaller sales, but Ed Whitacre told reporters at an auto conference Thursday, "Our anticipation is we'd roll it out there all at once.

Boeing Receives Order To Build 3 Satellites

August 6, 2010 4:33 am

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Boeing Co. said Friday it won a contract from British satellite-telecommunications provider Inmarsat to build three communications satellites. Boeing said it was a fixed-price contract with options, but provided no other financial details. The satellites have an expected 15-year life span.

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