SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In its self-proclaimed drive to make the world a better place, Google has immersed itself in far more than Internet search and online ads. But driverless cars and a wind energy farm in the Atlantic Ocean? It may not always be immediately apparent to frustrated investors — they wish management would be more frugal and focus more on the stock price — but there's usually some calculated logic underlying Google's unconventional strategy.
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A man has died after suffering severe burns at a western Kansas industrial plant. Finney County Undersheriff John Andrews says 48-year-old Curtis Nicholson of Garden City was injured Thursday at Darling International Inc. He died Monday at a Wichita hospital. Nicholson and another employee, 40-year-old Troy Morrow, were injured when a plasma torch ignited vapors from barrels that had held hydraulic fluid.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Powerful business interests in China and Hong Kong have effectively blocked recent labor reforms, raising the likelihood of further bouts of wildcat strikes and other unrest, a report said Wednesday. The China Labor Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based group that monitors labor conditions in China, said Hong Kong business leaders recently helped block proposed legislation in neighboring Guangdong province that would have enabled workers to initiate and join in collective bargaining with management.
Douglas K. Woods, AMT President August U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $246.42 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 down 5.
NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc., the world's largest pharmaceutical company by revenue, said Tuesday it will buy pain drug maker King Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $3.6 billion in cash. Pfizer is paying $14.25 per share for King. That's a premium of 40 percent to the stock's Monday closing price of $10.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials are announcing an investment package they say will retain 1,400 jobs at a western Illinois pork-processing plant. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will administer an $8.8 million investment package for Farmland Foods in Monmouth.
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Trane Inc. says 109 hourly workers have been laid off from the company's air conditioning manufacturing plant. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Trane officials on Monday confirmed the layoffs were made Friday as part of a restructuring that was announced in February.
SHANGHAI (AP) — China's auto sales slowed further in September as a boom fueled by tax breaks and subsidies faded. Official figures for the month, delayed by a weeklong national holiday, showed total sales rising 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.56 million vehicles, down from 18 percent in August, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Tuesday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co.'s new CEO will start his job in a courtroom — and in the crosshairs of HP's new antagonist, Oracle Corp. Court documents show that Leo Apotheker is being called as a witness in Oracle's corporate espionage trial against rival SAP AG, Apotheker's employer of more than 20 years.
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese industrial conglomerate Marubeni said Tuesday it is joining Google Inc. and two other companies to build an undersea power cable that would link wind power plants off the U.S. Atlantic coast. The project involves connecting wind farms to be built off the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia with inland power networks in the four states, Marubeni Corp.
NEW BERLIN, Wis. (AP) — A Danish firm's expansion is giving Wisconsin another player in the manufacturing sector geared toward alternative energy. Avanti Wind has been in operation here for several years, making service lifts used by technicians who inspect and repair wind turbines and need to scale the turbines' tall towers.
NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota plans to roll out two new cars under the Prius name by next year, according to a dealer briefed on the plans, as the automaker seeks to turn its popular hybrid into a family of vehicles. The Japanese automaker will begin selling a Prius station wagon starting next summer as either a 2011 or 2012 model, said Adam Lee, president of the Lee Auto Malls chain of dealerships in Maine.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mercedes-Benz is recalling about 85,000 of its 2010 and 2011 cars because of potential steering problems. The luxury automaker said in a report to federal regulators that the steering systems in the cars "may fail due to the loss of power steering fluid." Mercedes-Benz said that if that happens, drivers "may not have sufficient control of the vehicle .
WASHINGTON (AP) — Google Inc. is road-testing cars that steer, stop and start without a human driver, the company says. The goal is to "help prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time and reduce carbon emissions" through ride sharing and "the new 'highway trains of tomorrow,'" project leader Sebastian Thrun wrote Saturday on Google's corporate blog.
KOLONTAR, Hungary (AP) — The owners of the metals plant whose reservoir burst, flooding several towns in western Hungary with caustic red sludge, expressed their condolences Sunday to the families of the seven people killed, as well as to those injured — and said they were sorry for not having done so sooner.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The jobs crisis has brought an unwelcome discovery for many unemployed Americans: Job openings in their old fields exist. Yet they no longer qualify for them. They're running into a trend that took root during the recession. Companies became more productive by doing more with fewer workers.
ROYSTON, Ga. (AP) — Beaulieu of America says it's closing its carpet fiber plant in Royston next month, eliminating 192 jobs. Beaulieu, which is based in Dalton, plans to stop production Nov. 26 at the Royston plant, where spun yarn is manufactured. The plant ranks among Franklin County's 10 largest employers.
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Hutchinson is getting in on the wind turbine business as Siemens Energy starts production at a new $50 million plant in the city. Plant Manager Claus Ungstrup says the facility already has enough orders to keep it busy through 2011. It makes 2.3-megawatt wind turbine nacelles, the housings that include the generator, transformer and gearbox.
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A federal jury has ordered Transocean to pay more than $4 million in damages to an oilfield worker injured in an offshore rig accident. The judgment entered Tuesday capped a trial for the lawsuit that 32-year-old Dan Averette filed over the July 14, 2007, accident aboard the Amirante, a rig owned by Transocean Enterprise Inc.
SHANGHAI (AP) — China is not using its control over supplies of rare earth — exotic metals crucial in advanced manufacturing — as a diplomatic "bargaining chip," state media quoted Premier Wen Jiabao as saying during a visit to Europe. Recent reports that Beijing had temporarily suspended shipments to Japan of the metallic elements, used in computer disk drives, hybrid car components and other high-tech products, has drawn attention to China's near monopoly on the materials.