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Top News Links: Monday, April 22

Small business fears make headlines during ship christening ceremony

On hand to christen Austal's newest joint high speed vessel, the USNS Millinocket, U.S. Small Business Administration leader Karen Mills talked about how shipbuilding suppliers stand to be hurt by sequestration. — al.com

Alabama ranks high for small business tax friendliness

Alabama ranks seventh among the 50 states for having a tax structure that allows for starting and growing small businesses, in study by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. — Black Enterprise

Avocent lays off 22

Huntsville's Avocent Corp. announced Friday is is laying off 22 workers, part of a move by parent Emerson Network Power to cut 56 people. — WAAY-TV

Aircraft makers look to Latin American market

European aircraft company Airbus and American giant Boeing are competing for business in the emerging Latin American marketplace. — Tourism-Review

ASF Intermodal opens facilities in Australia and Virginia

Mobile-based ASF Intermodal has opened new facilities in Melbourne, Australia, and in in Chesapeake, Virginia, serving the Norfolk terminal. — ASF PR

Walter urges shareholders to vote with management

With a 1 percent shareholder nominating five members to the Walter Energy board in hopes of wresting control, Walter's board has written shareholders urging them to vote for the company's 10 director nominees for the April 25 board meeting. — Walter PR

Manufacturing awards presented

Automaker Mercedes-Benz in Vance, 3M's reflective sheeting plant in Guin and portable satellite antenna maker GATR Technologies of Huntsville win state honors as manufacturers of the year. — al.com

Sisson to lead Mobile Chamber

Bill Sisson, once the economic development director for the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and most recently director of the Mobile Airport Authority, has been named president of the Mobile Chamber, succeeding Win Hallett, who has led the group for 22 years. — Mobile Press-Register

Birmingham law firms merge

Birmingham's White Arnold & Dowd PC and Stockham & Stockham have merged and will retain the White Arnold name. — Birmingham News

Birmingham law firms create BP claims website

Two Birmingham law firms have created a new website for businesses that want to pursue legal action against BP. — PR Web

Progressive Democrats form new leadership group

Alabama Democratic Party chairman Mark Kennedy has resigned that post as of noon today, with plans to create a new political group, Alabama Democratic Majority, immediately afterward. — al.com

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