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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

InBev Worker-Exec Standoff Causes Massive Beer Shortage

January 20, 2010 3:54 am

LEUVEN, Belgium (AP) — The world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, shut down production in its home country Wednesday in an escalation of a standoff with workers at its Belgian breweries over job cuts. Workers began blockading three AB InBev breweries two weeks ago to protest against cutting up to 263 jobs in Belgium as part of plan to reduce the company's European work force by 10 percent.

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Miss. Plant Explosion Injures Three

January 20, 2010 3:42 am

GUNTOWN, Miss. (AP) — Authorities say a plant explosion in Lee County has injured three workers. Lee County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Hall says the explosion happened about 2:26 p.m. Tuesday as workers were cleaning a machine at Columbian Rope Co. in Guntown. Hall says one person was airlifted from the scene to the North Mississippi Medical Center, and another had extensive injuries.

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Chinese Exec Escapes To U.S., Plans 4,000-Job Hybrid Plant

January 20, 2010 3:39 am | by Phillip Rawls, Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former Chinese carmaker planning a hybrid car assembly plant in Alabama has lined up a veteran engineering and design firm while still trying to put together $1.5 billion in financing for the project. Benjamin Yeung, chairman of Hybrid Kinetic Motors Corp.

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Sioux City Meatpacker To Close, Sheds 1,500 Jobs

January 20, 2010 3:33 am

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City officials say the John Morrell & Co. meatpacking plant, one of the city's largest employers, will close this spring. The plant has about 1,500 workers. Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty says Mayor Mike Hobart received the news on Tuesday from plant manager Dan Pacquin, who said the plant would close April 20.

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Food Maker Boosts N.C. Community With 500 New Jobs

January 20, 2010 3:27 am

HALIFAX, N.C. (AP) — A national producer of prepared foods is expanding a North Carolina plant and plans to create 500 jobs, providing a boost to an Interstate 95 corridor that has for years struggled to lower its jobless rate. Reser's Fine Foods Inc. will create the jobs over the next five years at the Halifax Industrial Center in Halifax County.

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Chrysler Recalls 2010 Models For Faulty Brakes

January 20, 2010 3:26 am

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC is recalling 24,177 vehicles because of a defect that could result in brake failure. the recall includes 2010 models of the Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Nitro, Jeep Commander, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty and 2009 and 2010 models of the Dodge Ram pickup.

Finnish Shipbuilder Wartsila To Lay Off 1,400 Worldwide

January 19, 2010 6:44 am

HELSINKI (AP) — Wartsila Corp., a leading maker of ship turbines, said Tuesday it would lay off 1,400 workers worldwide and cut production to save costs and increase competitiveness. The Finnish company said it plans to slash 570 jobs at its propellor and components manufacturing units in Netherlands, where it employs more than 1,500 people.

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Always-Secretive Apple Ready To Unveil 'Latest Creation'

January 19, 2010 3:51 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. is inviting reporters to an event next week to see what it calls "our latest creation." The company e-mail Monday offered no specifics about what it would display at the invitation-only Jan. 27 event in San Francisco. But it comes amid speculation that Apple is close to unveiling a tablet-style touch-screen computer that is bigger than an iPhone but smaller than a standard laptop.

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Calif. Meatpacker Recalls Swaths Of E-Coli Tainted Beef

January 19, 2010 3:42 am

MONTEBELLO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California meat-packing firm has recalled some 864,000 pounds of ground-beef that might be contaminated with E. coli. The Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Monday that no illnesses have been reported from the products sold by Montebello-based Huntington Meat Packing Inc.

Immigration Officials Prepare For Haitian Influx

January 19, 2010 3:38 am | by Curt Anderson, AP Legal Affairs Writer

MIAMI (AP) — U.S. authorities are readying for a potential influx of Haitians seeking to escape their earthquake-wracked nation, even though the policy for migrants remains the same: with few exceptions, they will go back. So far, fears of a mass migration have yet to materialize. However, conditions in Haiti become more dire each day and U.

Coca-Cola Moves To Ban Film Claiming Human Rights Abuses

January 19, 2010 3:32 am | by Cassandra Szklarski

TORONTO — It seems that a documentary critical of soft-drink giant Coca-Cola has left a bitter taste with the company. The multinational corporation has told a university film network planning to screen "The Coca-Cola Case" in several cities that the movie contains inaccuracies and violates a confidentiality agreement.

FDA To Big Tobacco: What's In Your Cigarettes?

January 19, 2010 3:30 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is working to lift the smokescreen clouding the ingredients used in cigarettes and other tobacco products. In June, tobacco companies must tell the FDA their formulas for the first time, just as drugmakers have for decades. Manufacturers also will have to turn over any studies they've done on the effects of the ingredients.

Cadbury Agrees To $19.5b Kraft Takeover

January 19, 2010 3:18 am | by Robert Barr, Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) — British candy company Cadbury agreed to a fattened $19.5 billion takeover offer from U.S. food group Kraft in a deal that would create the world's biggest chocolate maker. The board of Cadbury PLC, maker of Creme Eggs and Dentyne gum, gave up a four-month fight to remain independent and on Tuesday recommended shareholders take Kraft's offer of 840 pence ($13.

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Rival Pirates Have Shootout Aboard Combustible Oil Tanker

January 18, 2010 4:03 am | by Malkhadir M. Muhumed, Associated Press Writer

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Two rival groups of Somali pirates had a shootout just before a ransom was delivered to free a supertanker loaded with combustible crude oil, prompting the pirates onboard to call the anti-piracy force for help, a European Union naval spokesman said Monday. Helicopters dispatched from a warship ended the standoff that could have caused a catastrophic explosion aboard the Maran Centaurus, which is carrying about 2 million barrels of crude oil that was destined for the United States.

N.H. Leaders Rally Against New Pollution Regulations

January 18, 2010 3:50 am

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Some New Hampshire business leaders say proposed new federal air pollution regulations could put more than half the state in violation of clean air laws. Michael Licata of the Business and Industry Association tells the New Hampshire Union Leader members should be concerned by the proposal, which was announced Jan.

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Updated Chevy Aveo, Ford Focus Steal Spotlight In Detroit

January 18, 2010 3:46 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — More than any auto show in recent memory, the new cars rolled out this week out at the Detroit auto show will redefine what we drive in the future. As the show opened to the public on Saturday, small cars that push the previous limits on gas mileage, performance, quality and looks took the spotlight.

Montana Seeks Emergency Grant For Smurfit-Stone Workers

January 18, 2010 3:41 am

FRENCHTOWN, Mont. (AP) — Montana labor officials are applying for a federal emergency grant to help businesses and workers affected by the closure of the Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. linerboard plant in Frenchtown. Montana Department of Labor program manager Kathy Yankoff says the grant would protect the state's dislocated worker funds from being depleted.

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Fisker Raises $115 Million For High-Tech Hybrids

January 18, 2010 3:38 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Fisker Automotive, a high-tech startup company, said Friday it has raised $115.3 million to develop high-end hybrid cars, bringing it closer to accessing a government loan it won last year. Fisker spokesman Russell Datz said the money brings the company close to being able to tap a $528.

Tyson Sued, Loses For "Raised Without Antibiotics" Farce

January 18, 2010 3:37 am

BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) — A judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement in a lawsuit that involves the nation's largest poultry producer, Tyson Foods Inc. The company would pay consumers $5 million in refunds to settle a lawsuit accusing the company of falsely claiming that its chickens were "raised without antibiotics.

Miss. Lawmakers Impatient Over Toyota Back Rent

January 15, 2010 3:54 am | by Shelia Byrd, Associated Press Writer

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Some Mississippi legislators are becoming impatient about the interest payments Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to make on money the state borrowed to bring a $1 billion car plant in Blue Springs. State Treasurer Tate Reeves told lawmakers during a fiscal briefing at the Capitol on Thursday that discussions are ongoing about when the automaker would begin making payments.

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