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Top News Links: Tuesday, August 14

Layoffs at ThyssenKrupp

ThyssenKrupp, which rocked South Alabama with the construction of twin steel mills valued at $5 billion, has announced layoffs of more than 10 percent of its workforce, letting go 197 of 1,653 employees; company blames high cost of raw materials and weakened steel market. — NBC News

All Aboard

Mobile is hosting the Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Summit this week, hoping to lure Amtrak service back to the Port City and its New Orleans to Jacksonville neighbors whose passenger rail service was never restored after Hurricane Katrina. — WPMI TV

Casino plans divide Creeks

Poarch Creek plans for a major casino in Wetumpka are drawing fire from an Oklahoma branch the same tribe who say the facility would desecrate sacred grounds. — Birmingham News

Bank of America dumps Jefferson County bonds

Bank of America Corp. has opted out of a legal challenge over Jefferson County's bankruptcy, selling most of its $225 million worth of bonds to an undisclosed buyer. — Bloomberg Businessweek

Drummond statement on Colombian coal

Drummond Ltd. has urged settlement of the coal-transporting Fenoco Railway strike in Colombia; says strikes is stopping transport of 80,000 tons of coal daily and could affect some 4,000 jobs. — Drummond Ltd. PR Newswire

CanAm acquires more Alabama coal leases

Canadian coal company gets Old Union II permit from its subsidiary, Birmingham Coal & Coke, allowing it to begin surface mining immediately on 1,100 acres; the company also acquired coal leases on 123 more acres, in addition to tracts announced earlier this summer. — Equities.com

Infosys Analysis

Indian news outlet takes a look at whistleblower case over visa fraud at Alabama division of Indian firm; case is slated to go to court in Montgomery next week. — First Post

Alabama job growth lags other states'

Alabama came in 45th among states in data analysis by On Numbers, creating 5,000 new jobs in the past year or 0.27 percent growth. — Birmingham Business Journal

Prison labor undercutting small business, owners contend

Private companies like Alabama's American Apparel Co. are losing jobs to federal prison labor company Unicor, owners say. — KMGH Denver

BCA supports amendment

Business Council of Alabama has voted to support a constitutional amendment to move $146 million from Alabama Trust Fund to General Fund, blames "sustained ongoing failure of leadership" for Alabama's financial woes. — WAKA TV

Daily newspapers dwindling

MinnPost reports that Advance plans to curtail daily publication of additional newspapers, as it did locally. — MinnPost

Fitch downgrades Martin Marietta

Fitch Ratings has lowered its marks for Martin Marietta, closely watching its actions to acquire Birmingham's Vulcan Materials. — Reuters

New leadership at Masland

Dixie Group has named Vinson Martin president of of Masland Contract and David Hobbs modular business manager; both will be based in the Saraland facilities of the high-end carpet maker. — Fiber2Fashion

Seniors beware

Pew Center research shows that senior accounts at some major banks cost more, not less, than standard versions. — NBC Red Tape

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