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Top News Links: Wednesday, Aug. 17

State senators to debate lottery bills today

Alabama senators on Wednesday will debate dueling lottery bills — including one that could allow electronic gambling machines at state dog tracks — as lawmakers try to strike a compromise on gambling legislation. The bills face an uncertain future in an Alabama Legislature divided over gambling. – AP/TimesDaily

Airbus corruption probe overseas may come ashore

The recently opened British fraud and corruption investigation into Airbus looks as if it's about to grow into an international issue as the United States Department of Justice begins a probe into the aircraft manufacturer’s conduct, according to a lawyer that spoke with the Times of London. – AL.com

Plan advances in Legislature on how to spend BP funds

A legislative committee advanced a plan for spending Alabama's settlement money from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday approved a bill to use $450 million for debt repayment and $190 million for coastal counties' roads. Alabama will get $1 billion over the next 18 years to compensate the state for damages from the spill. – WVTM

NFL kicker Matt Bryant lists his Orange Beach home

NFL place-kicker Matt Bryant is listing his Gulf Coast vacation home—aptly named ‘Kicking Back’—for $3.35 million. On Ono Island, the Bryants’ roughly ¾-acre property has a private beach and about 100 feet of frontage on Old River, says Kathy Trice of Kaiser Sotheby’s International Realty. – Wall Street Journal

Final approval granted in MedPartners fraud case

A Jefferson County judge on Monday gave final approval to a $310 million settlement of a lawsuit that claims MedPartners, a health care company once led by former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, lied to more than 20,000 stockholders about how much the company could pay them under the settlement of a 1990s lawsuit. – AL.com

Interstate Plastics to combine Birmingham branches

Interstate Plastics has announced a restructuring of its Birmingham branches, effective Sept. 5. The move will increase logistic efficiency and customer responsiveness by combining machining and inventory functions in a single location in Birmingham, serving markets throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. – News release

Uber to again operate in Auburn, Tuscaloosa

The ride-hailing service Uber plans to return to two Alabama cities this week as students return to college campuses. Local media report that city officials in Auburn and Tuscaloosa have approved ordinances in recent weeks that satisfy the company. Uber first began operating in both cities in 2014 but balked at city regulations and halted service soon after. – WBRC

Ford plans autonomous vehicles by 2021

Ford Motor Co. Tuesday said it plans to introduce an autonomous vehicle by 2021 for use in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service. Ford said the vehicle would be “specifically designed for commercial mobility services” and built in high volumes. – Automotive News

Huntsville Utilities president takes new role at TVA

Huntsville Utilities President and CEO Jay Stowe will lead a newly formed organization focused on distributed energy resources and the energy delivery marketplace, according to a Tennessee Valley Authority announcement. He will join TVA as senior vice president of Distributed Energy Resources. – News release

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