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Top News Links: Monday, August 7

Italian company embraces state history as it proposes new jet plant

Officials from Alabama and a global company based in Italy are embracing the history of the Tuskegee Airmen as part of the effort to land an Air Force contract called a "generational game-changer." Leonardo DRS, American subsidiary of Italian jet-maker Leonardo, chose Moton Field in Macon County for a proposed plant to build the next combat jet trainer for the U.S. Air Force. – AL.com

Toyota, Mazda to work together on new plant

Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it planned to take a 5 percent share of smaller Japanese rival Mazda Motor Corp, as part of an alliance that will see the two build a $1.6 billion U.S. assembly plant and work together on electric vehicles. The plant, whose location is not yet public, will be able to produce 300,000 vehicles a year, with production divided between the two automakers, and employ about 4,000 people. It will start operating in 2021. – Reuters

Workers soundly reject union at Nissan plant in Mississippi

Workers at the Nissan Motor Co. plant in Canton, Mississippi, voted nearly two to one against union representation, the company and the United Auto Workers (UAW) said late on Friday. The vote at the end of a bitterly contested campaign extended a decades-long record of failure by the union to organize a major automaker's plant in the U.S. South. – Reuters

Southern Research hires new neuroscience leader

Southern Research has hired Rita Cowell as the new Chair of its Neuroscience Department. Cowell has worked at UAB for the last 10 years, most recently at as an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology. – AL.com

Top execs to headline Southern Automotive Conference

More than 1,000 people along executives from Alabama's automotive companies are expected in Birmingham at the BJCC Exhibition Hall for the 10th annual Southern Automotive Conference Oct. 4-6. Gov. Kay Ivey and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao are also scheduled to give remarks. – AL.com

Super Bowl of professional truck driving upon us

Next week, American Trucking Associations is set to welcome more than 420 of the trucking industry's top professional truck drivers to Orlando for the 80th annual National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships. – Business Insider

State tax holidays may be losing their luster

Consumers in 16 states including Alabama can take advantage of sales tax holidays this year — going on frenzied shopping sprees to buy items such as backpacks, computers and school clothes tax-free. But states confronting budget woes and a long list of spending priorities are questioning whether the hyped-up shopping events are worth the cost. – Bend Bulletin

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