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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Hulking Airbus A400M Takes Graceful Maiden Flight

December 11, 2009 3:21 am | by Emma Vandore, AP Business Writer

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — The A400M military transport plane that has been causing Airbus and European defense ministers budgetary and logistical headaches finally took to the skies for its maiden flight on Friday. But even as the hulking gray airlifter took off from the Spanish city of Seville, defense officials are meeting on the sidelines of the event to decide how to continue with the much delayed and over budget project.

Government Food Safety System 'Appalling'

December 11, 2009 3:14 am | by Garance Burke, Associated Press Writer

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A crucial part of the nation's rapid-reponse plan — the ability to trace food through the supply chain during an illness outbreak or bioterrorism attack — is seriously flawed, an independent watchdog agency has found. Federal auditors found that nearly half the food manufacturers they surveyed that are supposed to register with the Food and Drug Administration failed to give the agency accurate contact information, according to a report to be released Friday by the U.


Lawmaker Wants Meatpacker Closed After Recall

December 10, 2009 10:36 am

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro wants to temporarily shut down a California beef processor that has recalled nearly 850,000 pounds of hamburger meat due to salmonella fears. The Connecticut Democrat says Fresno-based Beef Packers Inc. should be closed until investigators probe conditions that prompted the recalls, the most recent of which happened last Friday.


Weak Economy Has One Advantage: Fewer Industrial Spills

December 8, 2009 8:58 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to pollution, the economic downturn could have an upside. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday reported that toxic chemical pollution from the nation's industrial plants, mines and factories declined by 6 percent in 2008, the second year in a row that companies have reported releasing less pollution.


Exec Pleads Guilty After Raid Reveals 600 Illegal Workers

December 8, 2009 7:48 am

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The only company official charged in the nation's largest workplace raid on illegal immigrants is scheduled to change his not guilty plea at a court hearing Wednesday. Jose Humberto Gonzalez had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and identity theft charges, among others, related to the raid on Howard Industries in Laurel, Miss.


New Jobs Down, Employers Afraid To Jump In

December 8, 2009 7:43 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Layoffs may be slowing, but employers are hesitant to take the next step that is key to reducing the unemployment rate: hiring more workers. That is likely to keep the competition fierce for those openings that do exist. There were about 6.3 unemployed people, on average, for each job opening in October, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday.

Obama: Let's 'Spend Our Way Out Of This Recession'

December 8, 2009 7:39 am | by Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama outlined new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals Tuesday, saying the nation must continue to "spend our way out of this recession" until more Americans are back at work. Without giving a price tag, Obama proposed a package of new spending for highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects, deeper tax breaks for small businesses and tax incentives to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient.

After Four Months, Orange Gel Spill Remains A Mystery

December 8, 2009 7:14 am

WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) — Four months after a spill left 2 inches of orange gel on a Doddridge County stream, officials in West Union are still awaiting answers. The spill was on Buckeye Run in August, and Tapo Energy of West Union was cited. A cleanup crew vacuumed up 2,500 gallons of gel.


Even Under Cap-and-Trade, U.S. Gas Cuts 'Insufficient'

December 8, 2009 6:31 am | by Charles J. Hanley, AP Special Correspondent

COPENHAGEN (AP) — This decade is on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top-five warmest years, the U.N. weather agency reported Tuesday on the second day of a pivotal 192-nation climate conference. Only the United States and Canada experienced cooler conditions than average, the World Meteorological Organization said, although Alaska had the second-warmest July on record.


Vestas Temporarily Shuttering Windsor Turbine Plant

December 8, 2009 3:53 am

WINDSOR, Colo. (AP) — The Danish wind-turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S plans to halt production at its Windsor blade manufacturing plant in the first part of 2010. Vestas spokesman Peter Kruse says most, if not all, of the plant's 500 employees at the plant will be placed on furlough.


EPA Q&A: What Cap-and-Trade Means To America

December 8, 2009 3:52 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer

A big meeting in Copenhagen. A cap-and-trade bill in Congress. And now, a determination by the Environmental Protection Agency that global warming pollution is a threat to public health — a move that clears the way for the first-ever federal regulations targeting climate-changing emissions.


Boeing, Airbus Split United Airlines Jet Order

December 8, 2009 3:47 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Airlines Writer

CHICAGO — United Airlines on Tuesday said it would buy its first new jets since 1998, splitting an order for 50 planes between Airbus and Boeing Co. United said it ordered 25 of Boeing's long-awaited 787 widebody jetliners and 25 of the Airbus A350. Delivery is expected between 2016 and 2019, around the same time the airline will retire Boeing 747 and 767 aircraft.

Shop Safe: Zhu Zhu Pets Non-Toxic, Says CPSC

December 8, 2009 3:35 am

by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zhu Zhu Pets robotic hamsters — one of the holiday season's hottest toy crazes — do not violate safety standards, federal toy regulators said Monday after a consumer group raised concerns over the presence of a heavy metal on one model.

Nissan To Sell Electric LEAF In San Francisco

December 8, 2009 3:24 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nissan Motors says it will sell its new electric car in the San Francisco Bay area as part of a limited rollout, citing the region's commitment to building electric car infrastructure. Company spokeswoman Katherine Zachary says the Nissan LEAF, a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle, will be on sale in the Bay area in December 2010.

Plant Gas Explosion Kills Truck Driver At Highway Rest Stop

December 8, 2009 3:16 am | by Karen Hawkins, Associated Press Writer

BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — A gas line exploded Monday at a technology plant in northern Illinois, sending aloft debris that killed a man at a nearby highway rest area. The explosion rocked the NDK America Inc. plant in Belvidere, about 70 miles northwest of Chicago, sending trembles through buildings as far as a mile away and echoing throughout the community of about 20,000 people.


Arizona Lands $42 Million In Combat Body Armor Contracts

December 7, 2009 3:48 am

PHOENIX (AP) — Two Phoenix-area manufacturers could pick up as much as $42 million in new military body-armor plate orders from the U.S. Department of Defense. The Pentagon announced this week it will buy hard-armor plates that fit inside soldiers' vests from Chandler-based ArmorWorks Enterprises and Rockville, Md.

Drugmakers To Cough Up More For Health Care Overhaul

December 7, 2009 3:43 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pharmaceutical industry may have to cough up more than the $80 billion it agreed to contribute to President Barack Obama's health overhaul effort, reflecting pressure from Democrats and their supporters for more money to cover older and low-income people. Obama and congressional Democrats want the drug industry to remain a crucial ally in the health care fight because of its deep pockets and influence in states where it is a large employer, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Indiana.

Salmonella: It's What's For Dinner

December 7, 2009 3:38 am

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A company based in California is recalling some of its beef products because of concerns about possible salmonella contamination. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service says Fresno-based Beef Packers Inc. is pulling about 22,723 pounds of ground beef that may be linked to salmonellosis.

Tata Group Releases 'Clean,' Cheap Water Purifier

December 7, 2009 3:33 am | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — At about two feet tall, it may turn out to be the world's most compact revolution: The Tata Swach, launched Monday, is a water purifier priced for the masses, which India's Tata Group hopes will help save the lives of millions of people who die each year of waterborne diseases.


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.


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