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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Hewlett-Packard Implicated In International Bribery Plot

August 13, 2010 4:35 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. said Thursday it is cooperating with U.S. and German authorities investigating allegations that three company executives used bribes to win a contract to sell computer gear to the Russian prosecutors' office. German prosecutors have been looking into whether the executives, plus at least six accomplices who did not work for the company, paid bribes totaling 8 million euros (about $10.

Xcel Accused Of Ignoring Safety After Fire Killed 5

August 13, 2010 4:34 am

DENVER (AP) — A draft report on a tunnel fire that killed five workers at a Colorado hydroelectric plant accuses Xcel Energy Inc. and contractor RPI Coating Inc. of ignoring worker safety. The draft says that a lack of planning for hazardous work and inadequate contractor selection were among problems that contributed to the accident Oct.

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Donkeys And Elephants Agree To Overhaul Food Safety

August 13, 2010 4:33 am | by Kevin Freking, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators said Thursday they have reached agreement on legislation designed to enhance the safety of the nation's food supply, setting the stage for the full Senate to take up the measure later this year. The bill would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to order a food recall rather than merely request one.

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June Technology Consumption Rises 35.8 Percent

August 12, 2010 7:25 am

Douglas K. Woods, AMT president June U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $241.47 million, according to AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology — and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was up 35.

Most Vocal Enemies Of Climate Bills Are Major Polluters

August 11, 2010 4:56 am | by Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Texas-based oil companies that are the primary backers of a November ballot effort to suspend California's global warming law are among the state's biggest polluters, according to a report issued Tuesday by two groups advocating for inner-city residents. Valero Energy Corp.

Auto Parts Company Opens Ind. Plant, Closes In Ohio

August 11, 2010 4:44 am

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Officials say an auto parts company plans to reopen a closed factory in northeastern Indiana while it is shutting down an Ohio plant. The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reports that Continental Structural Plastics expects to spend at least $9.1 million on upgrades to the Huntington factory and perhaps have 350 workers there by 2012.

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Gov't: Probe Found No More Toyota Safety Issues

August 11, 2010 4:36 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government investigation into runaway Toyotas has found no new safety defects beyond problems with accelerator pedals that explain reports of sudden acceleration in the vehicles, according to preliminary findings released Tuesday. Safety experts have said vehicle electronic systems could be to blame for the problems that have led to Toyota's massive recalls but the review by the government, while still at an early stage, has not found any evidence of those issues.

China's Manufacturing Slows, Inflation Jumps

August 11, 2010 4:19 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China's industrial growth slowed further in July as Beijing clamped down on a credit boom, fueling expectations it will ease monetary policy to shore up its economic expansion. Inflation spiked to its highest level this year as summer flooding wrecked crops but analysts said the increase will likely prove temporary.

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NAM: Tariff Bill To Support 90,000 Manufacturing Jobs

August 11, 2010 4:16 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama will sign a bill on Wednesday that will help U.S. manufacturers by reducing and suspending some tariffs on certain materials they must import to make their products. Obama is scheduled to sign the bill at the White House. The National Association of Manufacturers says it will help create jobs, cut costs for businesses and consumers and boost U.

Beer Distributor Reopens After Deadly Shooting

August 11, 2010 4:13 am

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — The president of a Connecticut beer distributor where nine people died in a shooting rampage last week says the company will be reopening after a moment of silence. Hartford Distributors Inc. President Ross Hollander says employees will return to work at the company's offices and warehouse in Manchester Wednesday morning.

Texas Attorney General: BP Illegally Released Air Toxins

August 10, 2010 4:59 am | by Sarah Portlock, Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — BP illegally emitted nearly 500,000 pounds of toxic air pollutants at its Texas City refinery during a 41-day period this spring, the state attorney general contends in a lawsuit. According to the lawsuit filed Monday in state district court in Austin, BP's poor operation and maintenance for those days in April and May were the primary cause of the toxic emissions of cancer-causing benzene, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.

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Recliner Maker Expands, Ready To Hire 200 Workers

August 10, 2010 4:45 am

PONTOTOC, Miss. (AP) — A company that makes reclining furniture broke ground Monday for a plantexpansion in northeast Mississippi. Southern Motion said it's investing $7 million in its new 180,000-square-foot production facility in Pontotoc. The company said it will create at least 200 new jobs over the next two years, with the potential to double that number within five years.

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Toyota Cuts 600 Japanese Workers On Sales Drop

August 10, 2010 4:36 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota has cut 600 workers at its Japanese factories, the company said Tuesday, as it prepares for a drop in local sales when incentives for green cars run out next month. Toyota Motor Corp. employed a total of 2,400 contract workers at the end of 2010, it said. Contract workers are hired under different terms from other employees at Toyota, mainly to make it easier to increase or cut the numbers of workers in response to fluctuating demand for cars.

Tata Motors Recovers On Jaguar, Land Rover Sales

August 10, 2010 4:28 am | by Erika Kinetz, Associated Press Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's Tata Motors posted quarterly profit of 19.9 billion rupees ($428.4 million) Tuesday, turning around a loss as reviving global demand for its Jaguar and Land Rover brands made up for rising commodities costs. The company returned to profitability on a consolidated basis for the April to June quarter from a loss of 3.

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HP's Ex-CEO Gets A Payday As Investors Suffer

August 10, 2010 4:27 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Whatever Mark Hurd did that cost him his job as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest technology company, it wasn't enough to cost him a payday that could top $40 million. Meanwhile, with little still known about why an actress and HP contractor threatened Hurd with a sexual-harassment lawsuit, stockholders took a $9 billion hit Monday, and HP's 300,000 workers were left to wonder about its future.

B-2 Stealth Engineer Sold Secrets To China

August 10, 2010 4:23 am | by Mark Neisse, Associated Press Writers

HONOLULU (AP) — A former B-2 bomber engineer who marketed and sold his stealth expertise to China is facing life in a federal prison following his conviction for bartering U.S. military secrets. Noshir Gowadia, 66, was found guilty Monday on charges that he designed a cruise missile component for China and pocketed at least $110,000, which he allegedly used to help pay a $15,000-a-month mortgage on a multimillion-dollar oceanview home he built on Maui's north shore.

Sara Lee CEO Steps Down Following Stroke

August 9, 2010 5:07 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Sara Lee Corp. Chairman and CEO Brenda Barnes will step down permanently to focus on improving her health following a stroke, the food maker said Monday. Barnes, 56, had been on temporary medical leave since May 14. She will also leave her position on Sara Lee's board of directors.

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Chrysler Recoups In 2Q, Still Loses $172 Million

August 9, 2010 4:54 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — A year after emerging from bankruptcy protection, Chrysler Group LLC said Monday that growing car and truck sales helped it narrow its second-quarter loss to $172 million. The U.S. and Canada are Chrysler's primary markets, and both have seen increased demand for cars and trucks since a recession-related slump last year.

Two Men Crash Firebird Into Ethanol Plant, Gas Line

August 9, 2010 4:52 am

FAIRBANK, Iowa (AP) — Two Fairbank men are dead after the car they were riding in crashed into a natural gas line at an ethanol plant. Authorities say 49-year-old Brad William Higgins died at the scene of Friday's crash. The car's driver, 23-year-old Corey Allen Annis, died Saturday. The Iowa State Patrol says it appears that Annis lost control of the Pontiac Firebird, sending the car into a ditch, where it rolled several times.

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Experts Conflicted On How To Prevent Workplace Shootings

August 9, 2010 4:51 am | by Ben Dobbin, Associated Press Writer

Criminologists call it murder by proxy — rampages by employees who go after their boss, supervisors and even co-workers they link to the source of their outrage. The message is: Look who's doing the firing now. These eruptions of workplace violence often occur in similarly brutal ways.

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