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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Icahn Backs Sweeter Dell Counterproposal

July 15, 2013 1:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is proposing that Dell shareholders get a chance to own a bigger stake in the struggling computer maker in hopes of thwarting an attempt by the company's founder to buy it for $24.4 billion and take it private. Icahn, who owns a nearly 9 percent stake in Dell, now wants shareholders to receive warrants in addition to the cash he previously recommended be given to shareholders.

Governor Wants Never-Used Statute To Aid Boeing

July 12, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Washington state and local officials are looking to expedite their permitting work in order to woo Boeing as the company mulls where to build its 777X jetliner. Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday he wants to utilize a never-used law that would lead to more state and local coordination to help streamline the permitting process.

China Plans To Further Restrict Car Purchases

July 11, 2013 1:48 pm | by Louise Watt, Associated Press | News | Comments

China plans to increase the number of cities that restrict vehicle purchases in a bid to fight pollution and traffic congestion, state media reported Thursday. With more than 13 million cars sold in China last year, motor vehicles and their emissions have emerged as the chief culprit for the air pollution in large cities.

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Appeals Court Tosses Ex-Glock Exec's Convictions

July 9, 2013 1:51 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Georgia appeals court has overturned the conviction of a former executive for Glock Inc. who was sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing a pistol and conspiring to steal millions from the gun manufacturer. The Georgia Court of Appeals on Tuesday released an opinion reversing Paul Jannuzzo's convictions, saying the state failed to indict him within the statute of limitations.

Companies Move Ahead With Bangladesh Safety Accord

July 8, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A group of primarily European retailers and clothing makers has set a deadline of next spring to inspect clothing factories in Bangladesh that make garments for the companies. The group of 70 companies includes Swedish retailer H&M, Italian clothing maker Benetton and French retailer Carrefour. They say they will concentrate on renovating the most hazardous factories.

EU Lawmakers Back Cap-And-Trade Fix

July 3, 2013 2:10 pm | by Karl Ritter, Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Parliament on Wednesday backed a rescue plan for the world's biggest cap-and-trade system for emissions of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas from human activities. In a 344-311 vote, European lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, approved a proposal to delay an auction of allowances in the EU's emissions trading scheme.

Scientist Pleads Guilty In PA Trade Secrets Case

July 3, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A scientist working on solar cell technology has pleaded guilty to several counts in an indictment that charges he stole trade secrets from his employer and tried to take them to a competitor in China. Tung Pham, 48, pleaded guilty in federal court in Philadelphia to seven counts of wire fraud, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Japan's Olympus Execs Found Guilty In Loss Coverup

July 3, 2013 10:03 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Tokyo court convicted Olympus Corp.'s former president and two other executives Wednesday for a yearslong cover-up of massive investment losses that damaged the credibility of corporate Japan. The Tokyo District Court said that former Olympus president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, an auditor and a third executive were guilty of violating securities laws and falsifying financial statements.

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SEC: Illegal Stock Trades Before Dow-Rohm '08 Deal

July 2, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators say an executive at Dow Chemical tipped a pal about the company's 2008 takeover of Rohm & Haas. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit Monday against then Dow Vice President Mack Murrell, his friend David Teekell, and a stockbroker.

White House Has Coal Country On The Defensive

July 2, 2013 10:15 am | by Matthew Brown, Associated Press | News | Comments

After several years of taking a beating from the poor economy, new pollution rules and a flood of cheap natural gas, the coal industry was on the rebound this year as mining projects moved forward in the Western U.S. and demand for the fuel began to rise, especially in Asia.

China Launches EU Dumping Investigation

July 1, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's Commerce Ministry announced Monday it has launched a formal investigation into claims that European Union countries are selling wine at unfairly low prices, as a prolonged dispute over Chinese solar power products continues to affect trade relations. The ministry said in a notice late Monday that it had accepted the complaint brought by the Chinese wine industry in May following a review.

Hollande: U.S. Spying Threatens Free-Trade Talks

July 1, 2013 2:06 pm | by Frank Jordans, Sarah DiLorenzo, Associated Press | News | Comments

French President Francois Hollande demanded on Monday that the United States immediately stop its alleged eavesdropping on European Union diplomats and suggested that the widening surveillance scandal could derail free-trade negotiations worth billions. The Obama administration is facing a breakdown in confidence from key allies over secret surveillance programs that reportedly installed covert listening devices in EU offices.

Germany Blocks EU Carbon Cap To Protect Automakers

June 28, 2013 2:18 pm | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany has blocked a European Union agreement on capping car carbon emissions because the deal could have cost jobs and harmed its domestic auto industry, officials said Friday. The blunt admission that Europe's biggest economy put business interests before environmental standards is at odds with Germany's image as a champion of green issues.

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Chinese Firm Accused Of Stealing U.S. Software

June 28, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's largest wind turbine company and three people are accused of stealing trade secrets from a U.S. software company, the Justice Department announced Thursday. An indictment handed up in Wisconsin alleges Sinovel Wind Group and the three individuals stole proprietary wind turbine software technology from Devens, Mass.-based AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Inc., cheating the American company out of more than $800M.

U.S. Set To Suspend Bangladesh Trade Privileges

June 27, 2013 1:53 pm | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press | News | Comments

The United States is expected to suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh because of concerns over labor rights and worker safety that intensified after hundreds died there in the global garment industry's worst accident. Congressional aides said the Obama administration would make its announcement Thursday, the culmination of a yearslong review of labor conditions in the impoverished South Asian nation.

Federal Agency Finds Lax Regulation Of Chemicals

June 27, 2013 1:50 pm | by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal agency investigating a deadly explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant will tell a Senate committee Thursday that regulation of the dangerous chemicals used in the industry fall under a "patchwork" of standards that are decades old and are far weaker than rules used by other countries.

BP Mounts Offensive In Spill Settlement Dispute

June 26, 2013 2:18 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

With an ad blitz and a tersely worded letter, BP is mounting an increasingly aggressive campaign to challenge what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses following its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP warned lawyers for many Gulf Coast businesses that it may seek to recover at least some of their clients' shares of the multibillion-dollar settlement if it successfully appeals a key ruling.

Court Makes It Harder To Sue Businesses

June 26, 2013 10:00 am | by Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press | News | Comments

A divided Supreme Court on Monday decided to make it harder for Americans to sue businesses for retaliation and discrimination, leading a justice to call for Congress to overturn the court's actions. The court's conservatives, in two 5-4 decisions, ruled that a person must be able to hire and fire someone to be considered a supervisor in discrimination lawsuits, making it harder to blame a business for a co-worker's racism or sexism.

CT Gun Maker Celebrates Move To Gun Friendly SC

June 25, 2013 10:03 am | by Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press | News | Comments

The CEO of a Connecticut gun company moving to South Carolina because of the southern state's less restrictive gun laws says he is no longer sad, but angry he felt like he had to leave his home state. PTR Industries CEO Josh Fiorini came to his company's new home in tiny Aynor on Monday for a celebration of the firm's move South.

June 2013: Taking Manufacturing High Tech

June 24, 2013 2:32 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

Check out some of the latest in high tech manufacturing, including the manufacturing software environment and its growing ability to gather and analyze more data, manufacturing automation's march to dominate the plant floor, the importance of reliable material handling information to track the plant of the future, and the cost-saving implications of monitoring and managing facility energy usage.

TX Town Sues Plant Owner Over Fertilizer Blast

June 24, 2013 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials of the small Texas town devastated by an April 17 fertilizer plant blast that killed 15 people has filed suit against the plant owner and supplier. The lawsuit filed Friday seeks unspecified damages from plant owner Adair Grain and CF Industries, which supplied agricultural-grade ammonium nitrate toe the plant.

BP Wants Independent Probe Of Claims Attorney

June 21, 2013 2:17 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

The administrator of a multibillion-dollar settlement arising from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf pledged Friday to thoroughly investigate allegations of misconduct by one of his staff attorneys, but the London-based oil giant is calling for an independent probe.

Bangladesh Garment Factories Show Effort, Lapses

June 21, 2013 1:57 pm | by Ravi Nessman, Associated Press | News | Comments

The walls of the cavernous AKH clothing factory are covered in red arrows. They point to three wide emergency staircases with evacuation plans posted on every floor. They point to fire extinguishers attached to the walls and pillars throughout the factory. They point to medical kits located near designated workers with "First Aid" stitched onto their shirts.

6 Arrested In LA In Explosives Investigation

June 21, 2013 10:14 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The president and at least two other executives of a Louisiana explosives recycling company were among six people arrested Tuesday in the investigation of how the material was stored. The Explo Systems employees were indicted June 10 and allowed to turn themselves in. Each is free on $50,000 bond.

EU-China Solar Panel Dumping Talks Continue

June 21, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union's trade commissioner said Friday that the EU and China are seeking a negotiated settlement to resolve a solar panel dumping dispute as quickly as possible. Karel De Gucht told reporters in Beijing that there had been no breakthroughs so far in talks and warned that such disputes are rarely resolved overnight.

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