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Top News Links: Thursday, April 27

Roy Moore throws his hat into crowded U.S. Senate ring

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's entry into the U.S. Senate race adds another layer of drama to what's already expected to be a rollicking special election to fill the seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore announced his candidacy among the swelling GOP field Wednesday in what is expected to be a cutthroat primary. – AP/WBOC

Toyota invests $150,000 toward female STEM programs

Huntsville engine maker Toyota is making a contribution toward a summer camp focused on keeping female students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The automobile company's Toyota USA Foundation is providing a $150,000 grant to support and grow Tech Trek. The camp is only for rising eighth-grade girls, and the week-long program provides participants hands-on STEM-based activities. – WAAY

Trump appears to be slowing down on NAFTA changes

President Donald Trump won’t immediately terminate U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, the White House said, after he spoke with the leaders of Mexico and Canada about ways to renegotiate the accord. “President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries," the White House said in a statement late Wednesday. – Automotive News

Venture Club invites business pitches for competition

Birmingham Venture Club is taking applications for small companies to pitch their business plans in a head-to-head competition with a $10,000 cash prize. The club is hosting its second Spark Match competition and is accepting applications until May 5. The competition will be held Thursday, May 25 from 11:30 until 1 p.m. at the Harbert Center at 2019 Fourth Ave. N. Click here to apply. – AL.com

‘Indian fighter’ picked by governor as top legal counsel

Gov. Ivey’s hiring of former state Sen. Bryan Taylor as her general counsel and legal adviser has the potential to rock the Capitol boat. Taylor isn’t new to Alabama politics. In fact, he’s old, bad news. Taylor, a Prattville Republican who serves in the Alabama National Guard, is a political relic of former Gov. Bob Riley’s administration, for which he unsuccessfully attempted to rout all gambling from the state, particularly by the Poarch Creek Indians. – Lagniappe

Lyn Stuart named Alabama Chief Justice

With Roy Moore moving on, Gov. Kay Ivey Wednesday named Lyn Stuart Alabama Chief Justice. Stuart, a Republican like her colleagues on the Alabama Supreme Court, was sworn in Wednesday in a private ceremony in Gov. Kay Ivey’s office. Associate Justice James Main read the oath of office to Stuart. Stuart served as acting Chief Justice for almost a year, following Moore's suspension on ethics charges. – Montgomery Advertiser

Blue Cross warns of phone scammers ‘verifying’ information

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama wants to make Alabama residents aware of a current telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. Officials said these scammers represent themselves as Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees. The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information. – WHNT

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