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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Japan, EU Agree To Start Free-Trade Negotiations

March 25, 2013 2:11 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan and the European Union agreed Monday to start negotiations for a free-trade pact encompassing nations that account for nearly a third of the world economy. A Japan-EU summit set to begin Monday in Tokyo was shelved because of the financial crisis in Cyprus.

Investigators Scold Boeing Over 787 Comments

March 25, 2013 10:11 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Boeing's comments about the smoldering batteries on its 787 have annoyed the National Transportation Safety Board. Boeing gave its own account of two battery incidents, which included a fire, at a detailed press briefing in Tokyo last week.

Ford India Apologizes Over Berlusconi Bondage Ad

March 25, 2013 10:09 am | by Kay Johnson, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Indian unit of Ford Motor Co. has apologized for advertisements decried as demeaning to women, including one depicting Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with a trio of bound women in the trunk of a car. A Ford India spokeswoman said Monday that the company is investigating whether anyone at the automaker ever saw the print ads.

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Judge OKs Reduced Bond For Ex-Mamtek CEO

March 25, 2013 10:07 am | by Jordan Shapiro, Associated Press | News | Comments

Bruce Cole, 65, the former chief executive of Mamtek U.S. Inc., has been accused of perpetrating a massive fraud by persuading Moberly to issue $39 million in bonds and the state to authorize up to $17 million of incentives to fund an artificial sweetener facility that collapsed financially before construction finished.

BP Seeks Sanctions Over Missing Cement Samples

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

BP asked a federal judge Thursday to sanction its cement contractor on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling project, accusing the company of withholding critical evidence that could have been used at the ongoing trial over the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

Claims Against BP Contractors Dismissed At Trial

March 21, 2013 1:54 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge conducting a trial to assign fault for the nation's worst offshore oil spill dismissed claims Wednesday against a BP contractor and the company that made a key safety device on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, triggering the disaster.

Manufacturer Vows To Leave CO Over Gun Laws

March 21, 2013 1:50 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Colorado company vowed to begin making ammunition magazines outside the state within the next month following the passage of sweeping gun control laws. Magpul Industries said Wednesday it will make good on its previous threat to move to another state, the Denver Post reported.

The Future Of In-Car Alcohol Detection Systems

March 20, 2013 5:16 pm | by CNET | Videos | Comments

Today an alcohol breath tester in your car is a huge stigma, but a group is considering making them standard in all cars. A group called DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety), which is partly backed by the federal government, wants all drivers of the future to prove they are sober before getting behind the wheel. Cnet's Brian Cooley explains.

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Senate Set To Approve Huge 2013 Spending Bill

March 20, 2013 2:01 pm | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Senate pressed ahead Wednesday on a huge, bipartisan spending bill aimed at keeping the government running through September and ruling out the chance of a government shutdown later this month. Chamber leaders were increasingly confident that a logjam that has stalled the bill since Tuesday would be broken.

Big River Steel CEO Hopes For Fall Groundbreaking

March 20, 2013 1:50 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The developer behind a planned $1.1 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas says he hopes to break ground on the project this fall if everything goes as planned. The Legislature still needs to approve $125 million in state financing for the proposed Big River Steel mill to be built near Osceola.

March 2013 iPurchase

March 20, 2013 11:44 am | Digital Editions | Comments

Walk through the latest trends in safety equipment and compliance issues relating to the manufacturing environment, including an analysis on investment requirements for meeting regulations, a look at how new PPE design elements translate to better adoption on the plant floor, a review of recent safety disasters, and an outline of resources that can help manufacturers continuously improve their safety programs.

Congress Silent On Dreamliner Woes

March 19, 2013 1:53 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

As Boeing, its airline customers and federal safety regulators struggled over the past two months to solve problems with the new 787 Dreamliner's fire-plagued batteries, one player has been strangely silent: Congress. Despite the plane's grounding and the safety issues raised by its cutting-edge technology, there have been no congressional hearings or news conferences focusing on the problems.

Panel Considers Future Of OR Clean Fuels Program

March 19, 2013 1:49 pm | by Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press | News | Comments

Executives from clean-energy companies asked Oregon lawmakers Monday to continue the state's clean fuels program beyond its expiration in 2015, saying they need the Legislature's blessing to help their budding industry take root. They faced off with oil companies and large-volume fuel users who implored lawmakers to hold off, saying the state is moving too fast and risks raising fuel costs significantly with an unworkable policy.

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Ex-NASA Contractor Arrested On Plane To China

March 19, 2013 9:34 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Chinese national who worked at NASA's Langley Research Center has been arrested on a plane bound for Beijing on charges of lying to federal agents. Bo Jiang made his initial appearance Monday in Norfolk federal court. It wasn't immediately clear whether Jiang had an attorney.

Boeing Tech Workers Taking Re-Vote On Contract

March 18, 2013 4:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The union for 7,400 Boeing technical workers counts ballots Monday night in the re-vote on a contract that would replace pensions with a 401(k) retirement plan. The technical unit split with engineers represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace in the Feb. 19 vote. The 15,500 engineers approved a new four-year contract.

Companies Begin Defense In Gulf Oil Spill Trial

March 18, 2013 4:25 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

The owner of the drilling rig that exploded at the outset of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill catastrophe started its defense Monday at a trial designed to determine the disaster's causes and assign fault to the companies involved. Transocean Ltd. called its first witness, well control expert Calvin Barnhill, on the 13th day of the trial.

BP Seeks To Block Gulf Spill Settlement Payments

March 18, 2013 10:17 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

BP sued Friday to block what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The London-based oil giant accused the court-appointed administrator for the settlement, Patrick Juneau, of trying to rewrite the terms of the deal. BP said Juneau violated the settlement in the way he used a complex formula to determine the payments to businesses.

OR Bill Would Phase Out Chemicals Toxic To Kids

March 18, 2013 10:16 am | by Jeff Barnard, AP Environmental Writer | News | Comments

A bill before the Legislature would set up a state database to track the use of 19 chemicals in manufactured products shown to be harmful to children, and work with manufacturers to phase out use of the chemicals over five years. The bi-partisan bill is patterned after a law in Washington state.

France Mulls Law To Let Strikers Ransack Offices

March 15, 2013 2:03 pm | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

With its long vacations, short hours and myriad workers' rights, France has a reputation for being a hard place to do business. Now add this to the mix: A law working its way through parliament would grant amnesty to workers who have ransacked their company's offices or threatened their bosses during a labor dispute.

Google Wi-Fi Spying: How Case Will Impact Company

March 15, 2013 12:31 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford speaks to the CBS This Morning co-hosts about Google's settlement in the Wi-Fi spying case, and what it means for the search-engine giant. A program gave Google the power to intercept emails, passwords, and other information through unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Colt Shuts Plant, Workers Talk To CT Lawmakers

March 15, 2013 10:12 am | by Susan Haigh, Associated Press | News | Comments

The president of one of the nation's oldest gun manufacturers closed down his Connecticut factory Thursday morning and bused 400 of his workers to the state Capitol so they could personally urge lawmakers not to pass gun control legislation that they say could risk their livelihoods.

$2.25M Penalty For MO Pharmaceuticals Plant

March 15, 2013 10:10 am | by Jim Salter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. will pay a $2.25 million penalty for violations that included allowing fluorescent green discharge into a river at its plant in northeast Missouri, state and federal officials said Thursday. Teva makes antibiotics at a plant outside of Mexico, Mo., about 120 miles northwest of St. Louis.

Workers Protest For EU Leaders To End Austerity

March 14, 2013 1:47 pm | by Raf Casert, Associated Press | News | Comments

Thousands of workers protested in Brussels on Thursday to demand that EU leaders gathering for a summit bring an end to austerity measures and instead focus on boosting growth and reducing unemployment. The demonstration vented frustration over years of austerity imposed by EU leaders that unions and many economists say is worsening the recession and driving ever more people into unemployment and poverty.

Boeing Flies High On 787 Battery Hopes

March 14, 2013 12:04 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The Dreamliner may still be grounded, but Boeing's stock has come roaring back lately as investors feel the worst is over. It's now outperforming the Dow. The FAA has given Boeing the go ahead on new solutions for the lithium battery issue, and that may be boosting investors' confidence in the company again.

FAA Approves Boeing Plan To Fix 787's Batteries

March 13, 2013 10:26 am | by Joan Lowy, Joshua Freed, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Boeing plan to redesign the 787 Dreamliner's fire-plagued lithium-ion batteries won approval Tuesday from the Federal Aviation Administration, moving the cutting-edge planes a step closer to flying passengers again. The plan includes changes to the internal battery components to minimize the possibility of short-circuiting, which can lead to overheating and cause a fire.

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