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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Costco Axes Coca-Cola Over Pricing Disputes

November 18, 2009 4:14 am | by Emily Fredrix and Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writers

ATLANTA (AP) — Costco customers may have to look elsewhere for Coca-Cola products now that the retailer has stopped carrying them because the pair are fighting over prices. The public squabble between one of the nation's largest wholesale club operators and the world's largest soft drink maker is likely to fizzle quickly.

GM Takes Tax Credits To Stay In Detroit

November 18, 2009 4:05 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press Writer

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — General Motors Co. is promising to keep its headquarters in Detroit in return for expanded state tax credits approved Tuesday. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority gave the go-ahead to extend tax credits the company won in June for agreeing to build a new small car at its Orion Township plant near Pontiac.

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The Supercomputer That 'Thinks' Like A Cat

November 18, 2009 4:04 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Scientists say they've made a breakthrough in their pursuit of computers that "think" like a living thing's brain — an effort that tests the limits of technology. Even the world's most powerful supercomputers can't replicate basic aspects of the human mind.

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Poll: Being 'Green' Means Lots Of Talk, No Walk

November 18, 2009 3:52 am | by H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A solid majority of Americans recognize the need to help the environment, although there are some things — like buying a hybrid car or taking mass transit — that people often talk about, but don't necessarily act on. That's shown in a survey of more than 1,000 adults that sought to gauge attitudes about the environment.

Cold Weather Straining China's Energy Resources

November 18, 2009 3:47 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Unusually cold weather has caused shortfalls of power and natural gas in Shanghai and parts of central China, local government reports said Wednesday. The surge in energy consumption due to the cold snap, which began last week, is typical of the challenges the country is facing as it struggles to meet demand from consumers whose growing earning power enables them to adopt more modern lifestyles.

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Feds Raid Gibson Guitars Over Hardwood Rumors

November 18, 2009 3:38 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal agents on Tuesday raided a Gibson guitar manufacturing plant and seized guitars amid concerns about where the Nashville-based company obtains the fine woods that go into its instruments. Television stations reported that authorities seized wood guitars and other items, but no one was arrested.

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Hershey, Ferrero Consider Bids For Cadbury

November 18, 2009 3:32 am | by Robert Barr, Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) — Chocolate makers The Hershey Co. and Ferrero International SA said Wednesday they are considering a possible offer for Cadbury PLC, already the target of a hostile bid by Kraft Foods Inc. The move raises the possibility of a takeover battle for the British maker of Dairy Milk and Creme Eggs.

Ford Fusion: Motor Trend's 'Car of the Year'

November 17, 2009 8:57 am

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The 2010 Ford Fusion is MOTOR TREND magazine's pick for its prestigious Car of the Year® award The Fusion bested a field of 23 contenders - including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class - to win the prominent award Fusion is now among America's top 10-selling vehicles and the No.

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World's Fastest Computer Used For Science, Not Bombs

November 17, 2009 6:07 am | by Duncan Mansfield, Associated Press Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — At least for the moment, the world's fastest supercomputer is devoted to solving scientific questions that may save the planet — climate change, renewable energy, new medicines — rather than advances in nuclear weapons that might blow it up. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory's high-performance Jaguar XT5 computer, built by Seattle-based Cray Inc.

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Honeywell Nabs $11.4 Million "Smart Grid" Grant

November 17, 2009 5:33 am

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Honeywell (NYSE: HON ) today announced it has been awarded an $11.4-million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history. The grant, one of several awarded from a smart grid funding package under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), solidifies Honeywell's position as a key player in helping the U.

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GE Pounces On Chinese Aerospace, Energy Markets

November 17, 2009 4:17 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Tuesday it is forming joint ventures with major Chinese groups that operate aerospace, energy and rail businesses. GE, which currently runs 36 wholly owned or joint venture companies in China, did not disclose the value of the deals. "These agreements share common themes — rapid growth potential, clean technologies and job creation," said General Electric Co.

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GE Establishes More Chinese Ventures

November 17, 2009 4:16 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Tuesday it is forming joint ventures with major Chinese groups that operate aerospace, energy and rail businesses. GE, which currently runs 36 wholly owned or joint venture companies in China, did not disclose the value of the deals. "These agreements share common themes — rapid growth potential, clean technologies and job creation," said General Electric Co.

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Woman Walks On Train Tracks, Nearly Dies, Sues

November 17, 2009 4:10 am

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Helen Gable was taking pictures on the railroad tracks in Tupelo in 2006 when a train nearly cut off her leg as she tried to get out of the way. Gable and her husband are suing the railroad company for nearly $6 million. Gable says the company should have posted trespassing signs to keep people away.

Mass. Residents Sue Over Chemical Explosion

November 17, 2009 4:05 am

DANVERS, Mass. (AP) — Two Massachusetts residents are suing a company that supplied chemicals they say were involved in huge explosion that damaged more than 270 homes and businesses in 2006. Deborah Riva, whose home was destroyed by the blast in Danvers, and Robert Corrieri, who lost his boat, want Salem Superior Court to grant class-action status to a lawsuit they filed Monday against Covington, Ky.

GAO: Employers Keep Workers Quiet On Injuries

November 17, 2009 3:53 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some employers are pressuring workers not to report illnesses and injuries, just one problem that has led to widespread underreporting of workplace safety issues, according to congressional investigators. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors often didn't interview workers to verify what employers claim when keeping tabs on accident and illness rates, the Government Accountability Office report released Monday states.

Coca-Cola Focuses On New Billion-Strong Middle Class

November 17, 2009 3:46 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Food Industry Writer

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. seeks to double its business in the next decade as it caters to the expected billion people worldwide who will join the middle class by 2020. The world's largest soft drink maker told analysts and investors at a meeting Monday that its systemwide revenue will reach $200 billion by 2020.

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Chinese Solar Panel Maker Finds Home In Arizona

November 17, 2009 3:33 am | by Terry Tang, Associated Press Writer

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday announced plans for a Chinese-owned solar panel maker to build its U.S. headquarters and a manufacturing plant in the Phoenix area, propelling one of the nation's sunniest states toward a bigger global presence in the renewable energy industry. Suntech Power Holdings Co.

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Dell To Use Crushed Bamboo In Packaging

November 17, 2009 3:30 am

SEATTLE (AP) — Bamboo has sprouted all over. It's being used everywhere from floorboards to tableware to inline skates and T-shirts, as consumers increasingly seek out products considered gentler on the Earth. Now computer maker Dell Inc. is using the fast-growing member of the grass family as a replacement for paper, plastic and foam packaging materials.

October Retail Beats Expectations Through Autos

November 16, 2009 4:03 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retail sales rose more than expected in October, but the gain largely reflected a big rebound in auto sales. Sales fell at many other retail stores as consumer spending remains under pressure, raising questions about the durability of the recovery. The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales rose 1.

Pfizer Gets Eminent Domain, Does Nothing With Land

November 16, 2009 3:54 am | by Eric Tucker, Associated Press Writer

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — After drug giant Pfizer Inc. ( NYSE:PFE ) announced that it was opening a new research center here, city officials aggressively moved to acquire surrounding land for an economic development project — triggering an epic fight over eminent domain that reached the U.

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