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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Shooting At St. Louis ABB Plant Claims Three Victims

January 7, 2010 10:33 am | by Jim Salter, Associated Press Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An employee of a St. Louis manufacturing plant walked in with an assault rifle and a handgun on Thursday morning and opened fire, killing at least three people and wounding five others, authorities said. Several hours after the shooting, police were still inside Swiss-based ABB Group's plant, going room to room in a search for both the gunman and additional victims, police Capt.

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Google Picks Fight With Apple Over New Hardware

January 6, 2010 4:04 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — The once-cuddly relationship between Google Inc. and Apple Inc. is morphing into a prickly power struggle as the ambitions and ideas of the technology trendsetters increasingly collide. The growing use of high-powered phones for Web surfing has become a flash point in the brewing battle because both Google and Apple view the mobile market as a key to their continued success in the next decade.

Electric Car Maker Reopens Plant In Downtrodden Elkhart

January 6, 2010 3:44 am

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — An electric car maker plans to open a factory in a northern Indiana plant that once made parts for recreational vehicles. State and local officials joined executives from Think North America for an official announcement Tuesday. The plant in Elkhart will be Think North America's first in the U.

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U.S. Automakers Hopeful After Worst Year In Decades

January 6, 2010 3:38 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Automakers in the U.S. ended their worst year in almost three decades with hints of a recovery in December. Many, especially those selling small or inexpensive vehicles, reported improvements last month and expressed hope for a mildly better 2010. It was a positive finish to one of the toughest years on record for the industry, with U.

Coal Miners Afflicted By Mysterious Razor Blades

January 6, 2010 3:33 am

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — The Campbell County Sheriff's Office is investigating a series of incidents involving razor blades at the North Antelope-Rochelle coal mine in Campbell County. Officials say someone put a razor blade in a pair of gloves used for working with high-voltage equipment in October.

Senator Bingaman: Cap-and-Trade Unlikely This Year

January 6, 2010 3:27 am | by Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Tuesday that it's unclear whether Congress will be able to pass cap and trade legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions this year. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said there's no consensus on what form a cap-and-trade system would take, but strong desire exists in both the Senate and House to pass other energy-related bills that would curb pollution blamed for global warming.

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GM Sales Decline 30 Percent In 2009

January 6, 2010 3:25 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors said Tuesday its 2009 sales fell 30 percent and December sales fell 5.7 percent. BY THE NUMBERS: Sales fell to 207,538 vehicles in December from 220,030 a year earlier. For all of 2009, sales fell to 2.1 million vehicles from about 3 million. THE DIVISIONS: In December, car sales fell 9 percent to 79,417 from 87,506 while light truck sales fell 3 percent to 128,121 from 132,524.

Three Arrested In $100,000 Scrap Metal Theft From GM

January 6, 2010 3:23 am

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say three people suspected of stealing metal from an idled General Motors Corp. plant in Flint have been arrested. Police said two men and one woman were arrested about 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the Buick City complex about 55 miles northwest of Detroit and are being held at the Genesee County Jail.

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Japanese Auto Sales Hit 38-Year Low

January 5, 2010 3:55 am

TOKYO (AP) — Auto sales in Japan declined to their lowest in 38 years, slumping 9 percent to 2.9 million vehicles for 2009, an industry group said Tuesday. Auto sales have been hammered by the economic slowdown as consumers tightened their pursestrings, despite tax breaks and cash-for-clunkers incentives introduced by the government.

FDA Seeks Closure Of N.J. Factory For Infected Cheese

January 5, 2010 3:51 am

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — Federal food safety officials want to shut down a New Jersey-based cheese producer, alleging the company has failed to correct unsanitary conditions and that recent inspections turned up cheeses contaminated with Listeria. The FDA filed a complaint Monday in U.S. District Court in Newark seeking a permanent injunction to stop production at Quesos Mi Pueblito in Passaic.

Chinese Factories Shut Down To Curb Power Use

January 5, 2010 3:47 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Some Chinese factories were ordered Tuesday to shut down to ensure sufficient power to heat homes as demand surged amid record-setting winter cold, a utility company said. No outages were reported, but coal supplies were running low at power plants in central China, said Liu Xinfang, a spokesman for State Grid Corp.

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Northrop Grumman To Move Corporate Office To D.C.

January 5, 2010 3:46 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. said Monday it's moving its corporate office from Los Angeles to the Washington, D.C., area to be closer to key government customers. The company said it expects to make the move by 2011. Northrop said it was looking for a location in the Washington area, including the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

Job Satisfaction Slips To 22-Year Record Low

January 5, 2010 3:38 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — We can't get no job satisfaction. Even Americans who are lucky enough to have work in this economy are becoming more unhappy with their jobs, according to a new survey that found only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their work. That was the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board research group in more than 22 years of studying the issue.

German Manufacturer To Build $300m Miss. Plant

January 5, 2010 3:37 am | by Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press Writer

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A German company will build a $300 million plant in northwestern Mississippi to manufacture stainless steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, Gov. Haley Barbour and a company executive announced Monday. The plant in Tunica County — about 20 miles south of Memphis, Tenn.

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Electronics Makers Introduce Innovations At CES Show

January 4, 2010 4:09 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Electronics sales rebounded in the just-ended holiday season, but the industry's biggest event will still have the recession hanging over it. The International Consumer Electronics Show, which opens Wednesday, will be smaller than usual, with key products unveiled at prices that are far from extravagant.

Survey: Midwest Manufacturing Still Weak, Losing Jobs

January 4, 2010 4:02 am

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha economist says a December survey in nine Midwest and Plains states suggests that the region's economy will recovery weakly over 2010. The Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region rose above growth neutral last month, reaching 50.3, compared with 47.5 in November.

China's Manufacturing Expands For Ninth Month

January 4, 2010 3:53 am

BEIJING (AP) — China's manufacturing expanded in December for a ninth straight month as government stimulus spending boosted domestic demand and foreign sales rose, according to a survey released Monday. The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI rose to 56.1 from November's 55.7 on a 100-point scale where numbers above 50 show activity expanding.

Kraft vs. Nestle Bidding War Over Cadbury Looms

January 4, 2010 3:50 am

LONDON (AP) — Speculation of a bidding war for British candy maker Cadbury PLC mounted on Monday after Swiss food group Nestle agreed to sell off its majority stake in eyecare unit Alcon and announced a smaller-than-anticipated share buyback program. Analysts suggested that Nestle could be clearing its decks in preparation to counter a hostile 9.

Cities, States Get Tough On Tax Breaks For New Jobs

January 4, 2010 3:46 am | by Don Babwin, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) — Cash-strapped communities have a message for corporations that promised jobs in return for tax breaks: A deal's a deal. As the recession drags on, municipalities struggling to fix roads, fund schools and pay bills increasingly are rescinding tax abatements to companies that don't hire enough workers, lay them off or close up shop.

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Novartis Pays $38.5 Billion To Swallow Up Alcon

January 4, 2010 3:41 am

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Drug maker Novartis AG said Monday it plans to take over Alcon Inc. by paying $38.5 billion for the 77 percent stake it does not already own in a deal that would make it one of the biggest players in the global market for eye-care products. The Swiss pharmaceutical company will purchase Nestle SA's 52 percent stake for $28 billion before carrying out a merger with Alcon that would give it control of the remaining 23 percent held by minority shareholders.

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