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Top News Links: Friday, April 7

Bradley law firm lays off 28 in Birmingham

Birmingham law firm Bradley, formerly known as Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, has laid off a total of 28 people. The layoffs affect seven of Bradley's nine offices. Twenty-one out of 160 secretaries in those seven offices were affected, along with five paralegals and two other staff members. – AL.com

State’s prison reform plan remains solid as Jello

Saying the reform process is fluid is an understatement. The current bill has made it out of the state Senate and is up for debate in the House. It can be amended and changed, which means a conference committee from both chambers must hash out the differences and then each chamber must pass the cobbled together version of the bill. Then it goes to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature. And legislative days are ticking away. The session is half over. – Montgomery Advertiser

New York Times weighs in on Bentley scandal

When Robert Bentley was sworn in as governor in 2011, it seemed almost impossible to conceive of a politician with less potential for drama. Mr. Bentley was mild mannered and long married, a grandfather and physician who had earned wide respect as a dermatologist in his hometown Tuscaloosa. As a somewhat obscure Republican state representative, he was rarely caught up in his party’s bruising internecine squabbling. He was a deacon at his Baptist church. – NYT

Space race now being fueled by billionaires

Jeff Bezos, founder, and CEO of Amazon, recently became the second richest person in the world after a rise in Amazon's stock. Bezos leapfrogged Warren Buffett to sit below Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with a personal fortune of $75.6 billion. How does the man who has everything to begin to think and dream bigger? The Amazon founder decided to put his money where his mouth is and announced he would be parting with $1 billion worth of the Internet retailer's stock annually to fund his Blue Origin rocket company. – LinkedIn

Warrior Met Coal aiming for $301M IPO

Warrior Met Coal expects to raise $301 million in an IPO on April 13. The company plans to issue 16,700,000 shares at $17.00-$19.00 per share. In the last twelve months, Warrior Met Coal generated $369 million in revenue and had a net loss of $64.8 million. Warrior Met has a market-cap of $963 million. – PetroGlobalNews

Alabama-Germany partnership showing new strength

German companies have invested $8.4 billion and created nearly 15,500 jobs in Alabama over the past two decades, and the prosperous relationship is poised to grow even stronger. State exports to the European nation are on the rise, and at the same time, Germany’s foreign direct investment in Alabama remains strong. – Made In Alabama

Former Alabama company fined $70K by EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that Rite Way Service Inc. will pay $70,000 to a former employee over allegations of unlawful retaliation. The EEOC had alleged Rite Way, a former Alabama company delivering janitorial services to commercial facilities in the Southeast, retaliated against an employee who participated in a sexual harassment complaint case. – Legal Newsline

Wall Street tightens up on new, used car loans

On countless occasions in recent years, the U.S. auto industry has relied on cheap and easy credit from Wall Street to get it through rough patches. Not this time. With both bad loans and interest rates on the rise, financial institutions are becoming more selective in doling out credit for new-car purchases, adding to the pressure for automakers already up against the wall with sliding sales, swelling inventories and a used-car glut. – Automotive News

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