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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Celgene Buys Gloucester Pharma For Cancer Drugs

December 7, 2009 3:28 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Biotechnology company Celgene Corp. said Monday it will buy privately held Gloucester Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $640 million, getting access to key cancer drugs. The deal includes $340 million in cash upfront and $300 million in future regulatory milestone payments. Gloucester, headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.

Virgin Galactic To Unveil Passenger Spacecraft

December 7, 2009 3:24 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — After five years of secret construction, the cloak is coming off a privately funded spacecraft designed to fly well-heeled tourists into space. The long-awaited glimpse of SpaceShipTwo, slated for rollout Monday in the Mojave Desert, could not come sooner for the scores of wannabe astronauts who have forked over part of their disposable income for the chance to float in zero gravity.

Cisco Nabs Enough Stock, Approval For Tandberg Buy

December 4, 2009 4:05 am

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. said Friday it now has enough shares and shareholder commitments to take over Norway's Tandberg ASA, the world's largest videoconferencing equipment maker. Cisco had said Thursday that stockholders representing only 89 percent of the shares had accepted its $3.

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Kraft Launches Hostile Cadbury Bid Across The Pond

December 4, 2009 4:00 am

LONDON (AP) — Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc. says it's taken its $16.3 billion (9.8 billion pound) hostile share-and-cash offer for Cadbury PLC straight to the British company's shareholders. The terms released Friday are broadly unchanged from last month's bid. Cadbury has two weeks to respond.

Obama Warming To Congressional Job-Boosting Bill

December 4, 2009 3:56 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's options for spurring job growth may be limited by out-of-control budget deficits, but with the unemployment rate hovering at 10 percent he is warming to moves by his congressional allies for a jobs-boosting bill. Obama got some encouraging news Friday, with the government reporting that job losses in November fell to the smallest number since the recession's start and the jobless rate dropped, from 10.

Whitacre Names New North American Head For GM

December 4, 2009 3:52 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr. said Friday he is putting engineering chief Mark Reuss in charge of GM's North American operations in a management shakeup. Whitacre, in an address to employees Friday, also said he is recombining sales and marketing, placing them under Susan Docherty.

GM Shakes Up Management After Henderson Walks Out

December 4, 2009 3:45 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is set to announce another round of management changes at the troubled automaker that include new responsibilities for Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, two people briefed on the matter said Friday. Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. will make the announcement in a video broadcast to company employees, the people said.

Toyota Unfazed By 4 Million Vehicle Recall

December 4, 2009 3:35 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — The big danger for Toyota isn't the cost of the massive U.S. recall to replace gas pedals, but instead shrinking income from the surging yen, a top executive said Friday. Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Yukitoshi Funo acknowledged the cost was considerable for replacing gas pedals on about 4 million vehicles to prevent a problem of floor mats getting stuck and possibly causing sudden acceleration.

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Britain's Corus Laying Off 1,700

December 4, 2009 3:20 am

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Corus, Europe's second-largest steel producer and a subsidiary of India's Tata Steel, said Friday it will lay off 1,700 workers in northeast England in January because a major customer has broken a contract. Corus said a consortium of four companies has ended a 10-year contract signed in 2004 to buy about 80 percent of the output from Redcar Blast Furnace, Lackenby steelmaking and the South Bank Coke Ovens.

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Ford Fiesta Spurs World's Biggest 'Tweetup'

December 3, 2009 5:03 am

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Fiesta Movement agents and their Twitter friends gathered at the Palladium in West Hollywood Tuesday night and set a new Guinness World Record for the "most attendees at a tweetup" Ford's Fiesta Movement Awards Celebration provided attendees with a sneak peek of the North American Fiesta in advance of its reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show Fiesta Movement agents have traveled more than 1.

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Ford Gambling On Fiesta, Small Cars

December 2, 2009 3:48 am

December 2, 2009 DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s big U.S. gamble on small cars begins Wednesday when it formally unveils American versions of the new Fiesta subcompact at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Ford is hoping that the Fiesta and the U.S. version of the European Focus will take sales from the competition as the market shifts toward well-appointed smaller, more efficient vehicles.

GM CEO Henderson Ousted By Board

December 2, 2009 3:36 am | by Ken Thomas and Tom Krisher, Associated Press Writers

December 2, 2009 DETROIT (AP) — The leader of the new General Motors was done in by an old problem at the nation's largest car maker: Change wasn't happening fast enough. GM's board and CEO Fritz Henderson parted ways Tuesday, the board upset that the automaker's turnaround wasn't moving more swiftly and Henderson frustrated with second-guessing, two people close to the former CEO said.

ConAgra Fined For Deadly Slim Jim Explosion

December 2, 2009 3:29 am | by Emergy P. Dalesio, Associated Press Writer

December 2, 2009 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Workplace inspectors cited ConAgra Foods Inc. and a contractor for dozens of serious safety violations in the June explosion at a Slim Jim plant that killed four people, the state Labor Department said Tuesday. Most of the citations against ConAgra Foods and Energy Systems Analysts Inc.

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Harley Workers To Vote Between Job Cuts Or No Jobs

December 2, 2009 3:25 am

December 2, 2009 HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Workers at the Harley-Davidson plant in south-central Pennsylvania are poised to vote on whether to accept a labor contract that could keep the plant there. However, the contract up for a vote Wednesday also would pave the way for deep job cuts at the York plant.

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Daimler AG: Mercedes Benz, Meet Alabama

December 2, 2009 3:21 am | by George Frey, AP Business Writer

December 2, 2009 FRANKFURT (AP) — German carmaker Daimler AG said Wednesday it will move some of its Mercedes Benz C-Class car production to its Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant to take advantage of a growing market, lower production costs and to avoid currency fluctuations. Daimler said production of the new generation of the C-Class should start there in 2014.

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Northrop Abandoning $35b DOD Tanker Battle

December 2, 2009 3:15 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

December 2, 2009 Northrop Grumman Corp. said on Tuesday it won't bid on a huge contract to make a new Air Force tanker plane unless the Defense Department changes the rules. Northrop has been tussling for years with Boeing Co. over a contract worth at least $35 billion to build 179 new Air Force tankers.

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Another Recession Possible For Midwest

December 1, 2009 4:12 am

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Rural areas in middle America are being hit particularly hard by what could be another dip into recession for the region, according to a survey of business leaders and supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states released Tuesday. November's Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region stood at 47.

Newsprint Plant Still Running Despite Steep Declines

December 1, 2009 3:59 am | by Ruth Jensen

GRENADA, Miss. (AP) — The AbitibiBowater newsprint plant in Grenada now employs 181 people — its lowest number on record — but Manager Wade Taylor says they "have been willing to do whatever is necessary to keep the plant going." Newsprint sales have been shrinking over the years, and this year was difficult, Taylor said.

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Sharp Showcases New LCD Plant, 'Mother Glass'

December 1, 2009 3:50 am

SAKAI, Japan (AP) — Huge sheets of glass are guided by robotic arms, sliding and turning in a towering germ-free plant, the world's first making giant "10th generation" panels for flat screen TVs. Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp.'s futuristic-looking plant doesn't have a single worker on the floor.

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Boeing Completes 'Important Milestone' In 787 Hoopla

December 1, 2009 3:43 am

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Boeing Co. has completed a key test of the long-expected 787 jetliner, which an analyst called an "important sign of progress" Tuesday. The Chicago-based aerospace giant said Monday it completed the test, five months after it delayed the first test flight and said it needed to reinforce small areas near the connection of the wings and fuselage.

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