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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

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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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Small Calif. Town Haunted By Pollutants, Birth Defects

December 21, 2009 11:14 am | by Noaki Schwartz, Associated Press Writer

KETTLEMAN CITY, Calif. (AP) — Maricela Mares-Alatorre was well aware of the industrial and agricultural pollutants that surrounded her as she grew up in this tiny farm town just three miles from the largest toxic waste dump in the West. Her parents had founded People for Clean Air and Water two decades ago to successfully fight a proposed incinerator at the dump.

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Ford Offers Buyouts To Its 41,000 Hourly Workers

December 21, 2009 11:04 am | by Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has offered buyout or retirement incentive packages to all of its 41,000 U.S. hourly workers as it tries to further reduce its factory work force. Ford, the healthiest of Detroit's three automakers and the only one to avoid government aid and bankruptcy protection, still has more workers than it needs to produce cars and trucks at current sales levels, said company spokesman Mark Truby.

Panasonic Absorbs Sanyo For Solar Panel Technology

December 21, 2009 4:03 am

TOKYO (AP) — Panasonic Corp. said Monday that it had taken majority control of Sanyo Electric Co., officially forming one of the world's largest electronics makers. Panasonic said it had converted preferred shares to give it a 50.27 percent stake in Sanyo. It acquired the shares in a previously announced $4.

A Dim Future For Mitsubishi's Arkansas Turbine Plant

December 21, 2009 3:58 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The fate of a promised wind-turbine factory with 400 jobs near Fort Smith remains uncertain after a decision in a patent fight between two conglomerates was delayed until next month. Hoping to grab a larger share of the growing U.S.wind-power industry, Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas Inc.

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Spyker Cars Tosses In Last-Ditch Bid To Save Saab

December 21, 2009 3:40 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press Writer

STOCKHOLM (AP) — In a final attempt to rescue Saab Automobile AB, Dutch auto maker Spyker Cars on Sunday submitted a new offer to buy the Swedish brand from General Motors Co. Spyker said it has submitted a new 11-point proposal to GM, addressing the issues that made talks collapse earlier this week.

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Judge To Hear Pratt & Whitney Jobs Lawsuit

December 21, 2009 3:39 am

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge will begin hearing arguments in a lawsuit challenging jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney's plans to move 1,000 jobs out of Connecticut. U.S. District Judge Janet Hall is set to take up the lawsuit filed by the International Association of Machinists on Monday.

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Bucyrus To Buy Terex Mining For $1.3 Billion

December 21, 2009 3:39 am

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) — Bucyrus International Inc. said it will buy Terex Corp.'s mining equipment division for $1.3 billion in cash, adding complementary services to its business and broadening its geographic reach. The Terex unit makes hydraulic excavators, electric drive mining trucks, track and rotary blasthole drills and highwall mining systems.

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Copenhagen: U.S.-China Climate Negotations Get Hot

December 18, 2009 3:56 am | by Michael Casey & Seth Borenstein, Associated Press Writers

COPENHAGEN (AP) — President Barack Obama and other world leaders took stalled climate talks into their own hands Friday, holding an emergency meeting to come up with a political agreement to salvage a conference marked by deep divisions between rich and poor countries. But neither Obama nor Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered any new commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions as they addressed the U.

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Honda Scaling Back North American Production

December 18, 2009 3:46 am

TORONTO (CP) — Honda Motor Co. Ltd., tempering some of the optimism wafting through the North American auto industry, will scale back production at three of its plants in January, including trimming output of Civic compacts at its plant in Alliston, Ont., the Globe and Mail newspaper reports.

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Recalled Simplicity Crib Deaths Rise To 11

December 18, 2009 3:39 am | by Christine Simmons, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite several recalls and warnings, the number of reported baby deaths linked to defective Simplicity cribs has risen to 11. The most recent death occurred in September when a 7-month-old child from Princeton, Ky., became entrapped in the crib when a part of it broke, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.

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