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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

Boeing Acquires 787 Subassembly Plant

December 22, 2009 3:51 am

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. said Tuesday that it has purchased Alenia North America's 50 percent stake in a fuselage subassembly plant for its 787 Dreamliner. The transaction occurred through a Boeing subsidiary, making Boeing the sole owner of Global Aeronautica LLC. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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China Becomes World's Biggest Automotive Market

December 22, 2009 3:44 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

CHENGDU, China (AP) — Minivan salesman Zhu Yi has a problem that most auto dealers elsewhere would happily swap for their own — he doesn't have enough vehicles to satisfy customer demand. "Sales are exploding," says Zhu, a 32-year-old manager at a General Motors Co. joint venture dealership in Chengdu, pointing to charts on his laptop that vividly plot the steep incline.

Boeing's Second 787 To Take Flight Today

December 22, 2009 3:39 am

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing says its second 787 will take to the skies on Tuesday. The company has scheduled a test flight for the second jetliner at 8:45 a.m. The aircraft will take off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., as long as flight conditions cooperate. About 25,000 people turned out for the first test flight last Tuesday.

Border Patrol Warns Against Illegally Imported Toys

December 22, 2009 3:36 am

SARAH LARIMER,Associated Press Writer MIAMI (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials warned holiday shoppers Monday to stay away from toys that might be dangerous for children or break copyright, patent or trademark laws. Authorities last year seized more than 1,500 shipments of products that either failed to meet consumer safety standards or violated intellectual property laws, said Harold Woodward, director of the agency's field operations in Miami.

Ind. Attorney General Sues Recycler For Safety Violations

December 22, 2009 3:26 am

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Indiana's attorney general is suing a northern Indiana lumber recycling plant with a history of environmental and worker-safety violations. The lawsuit filed Monday in Elkhart County seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions to halt open dumping of wood wastes at VIM Recycling Inc.

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