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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Optimism Over U.S. Economy Shores Up Markets

December 24, 2013 11:44 am | by Toby Sterling, Associated Press

Growing optimism over the U.S. economy helped shore up global markets Monday despite tensions in China's credit markets. Germany's DAX and the main U.S. indexes all struck record highs, albeit on a day when trading was fairly muted as many traders were already off for the Christmas break.

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Steyr Arms Moving To HQ Near Birmingham, Ala.

December 23, 2013 11:40 am | by The Associated Press

A leading firearms company is moving into new headquarters west of Birmingham.  Steyr Arms says it will be up and running in its 33,000-square-foot complex in Bessemer on Jan. 2.  The company has been operating in the Birmingham suburb of Trussville.

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To Clean Up Coal, Obama Pushes More Oil Production

December 23, 2013 11:22 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press

To help the environment, the government allows power companies to sell the carbon dioxide to oil companies, which pump it into old oil fields to force more crude to the surface. A side benefit is that the carbon gets permanently stuck underground.

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10 Years After Mad Cow, Little Change On Tracking

December 23, 2013 10:37 am | by Ross Courtney, Yakima Herald-Republic

But 10 years ago Monday, it took just one cow to send shock waves through the cattle industry of the United States, home to some 100 million cattle, slam the door on billions of dollars in exports and scare a lot of beef eaters.       

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Bangladesh Factory Owners Charged In Deadly Fire

December 23, 2013 10:34 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press

Police charged the owners of a Bangladeshi garment factory and 11 employees with culpable homicide Sunday for alleged negligence leading to the death of 112 workers in a raging fire that engulfed the factory last year.          

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Electrolux To Expand At North American HQ In N.C.

December 23, 2013 10:30 am | by The Associated Press

Appliance maker Electrolux announced plans Friday to create more than 800 additional jobs over the next four years in Charlotte as it expands next to its North American headquarters.                    

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Machinists Union Sets Boeing Vote For Jan. 3

December 23, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press

National union leadership said Sunday that the vote will be Jan. 3. In a statement, IAM leaders said the latest proposal contains "significant improvements" over an offer rejected by Machinists in November.             

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Unemployment Rates Fall In Nearly All U.S. States

December 23, 2013 8:58 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

The Labor Department said Friday that employers added jobs in 43 states and cut jobs in just seven. California, Texas and Indiana reported the largest job gains.  The lower state unemployment rates are due in part to robust hiring nationwide over the past four months.

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Altria, Philip Morris Int'l Partnering On Products

December 23, 2013 8:54 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer

Altria Group Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc. said Friday that they've entered into agreements related to marketing alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.             

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Study: Many Dolphins Sick A Year After Gulf Oil Spill

December 23, 2013 8:50 am | by Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press

Government, academic and other researchers made comprehensive check-ups on 29 dolphins in Barataria Bay in August 2011 as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment — a federal process to determine the extent of damage and how to repair it. Barataria Bay was one of the areas where pelicans struggled in heavy slicks and thick globs of oil washed onto marshy islands between April and July 2010.

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U.S. Growth Upgrade Gives Stocks Another Lift

December 23, 2013 8:14 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer

Government figures showed that the world's largest economy grew by an annualized rate of 4.1 percent in the third quarter, up from the previous estimate of 3.6 percent. The pace of growth is further evidence that the U.S. economy is gaining traction and helps explain why the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to reduce its stimulus by $10 billion a month starting from January.

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Inter-Korean Factory Park Tough Sell To Outsiders

December 23, 2013 8:11 am | by The Associated Press

The two Koreas have taken an initial step to open their jointly run industrial park to overseas investors.  But foreigners who toured the complex on Thursday say the compound in North Korea remains a tough sell despite its cheap labor.    

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ADM Stays In Illinois Despite Lack Of Tax Breaks

December 23, 2013 8:07 am | by David Mercer and Sophia Tareen, Associated Press

ADM's announcement to stay in Illinois likely will give ammunition to both sides over whether states should play ball when companies make demands, though some incentives skeptics warned not to read too much into one company's decision. Chicago, with its two international airports in the heart of Midwestern farm country, was the best place for ADM's new headquarters, CEO Patricia Woertz said Wednesday.

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U.S. Economy Expands At 4.1 Percent Rate

December 20, 2013 1:11 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

The Commerce Department's final look at growth in the summer was up from a previous estimate of 3.6 percent. Four-fifths of the revision came from stronger consumer spending, primarily in the area of health care.            

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Honda Tops Insurance Industry Safety List

December 20, 2013 12:45 pm | by The Associated Press

For the first time, the vehicles need top crash test scores and a good front crash prevention system — such as warning systems or automatic braking — to get its highest designation. Vehicles are now ranked as either a "Top Safety Pick" or "Top Safety Pick +" if they meet the front crash protection criteria as well.

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MAPI: Growth Rebound In The Making

December 20, 2013 12:39 pm | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation

Manufacturing industrial production increased at a 1.0 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2013, but production has rapidly accelerated in the fourth quarter. Inflation-adjusted GDP increased at a 3.6 percent annual rate in the third quarter. MAPI forecasts that manufacturing production will increase 3.1 percent in 2014, a slight deceleration from the 3.2 percent forecast in the September 2013 report.

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Japanese Robot Chats With Astronaut On Space Station

December 20, 2013 12:35 pm | by Emily Wang, Associated Press

Footage released by the robot's developers on Friday showed Kirobo performing its first mission on the station, talking in Japanese with astronaut Koichi Wakata as part of an experiment testing Kirobo's autonomous conversation functions.

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Jazz Pharma To Pay $1B For Rare Disease Drug Co.

December 20, 2013 12:33 pm | by The Associated Press

Jazz will make a tender offer of $57 per share for the Italian company, about a 2 percent premium to Gentium's closing stock price in the U.S. on Thursday. Gentium develops drugs to treat a variety of rare diseases and conditions, including orphan vascular diseases related to cancer treatments.

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Whirlpool Reshoring Some Production To Ohio Plant

December 20, 2013 12:29 pm | by The Associated Press

Whirlpool is moving production of its commercial front-load washing machines from Mexico to Ohio. The appliance maker, whose brands include Maytag, Kenmore and its namesake, said Friday that 80 to 100 new jobs will be created in Ohio over the next three years to support the relocation.

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Financing Deal Set On $1B Ind. Fertilizer Plant

December 20, 2013 9:54 am | by The Associated Press

A businessman says he has reached a deal with a Chinese company to finance a proposed southern Indiana fertilizer plant that could cost nearly $1 billion to build.  Ohio Valley Resources president Doug Wilson of Fairfield, Ill., announced Thursday that the Chinese company will provide equity financing for the construction while his company will manage the project near the Ohio River town of Rockport.

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