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Top News Links: Wednesday, Dec. 12

Raytheon introduces missiles-by-robots plant

Raytheon is introducing its new Huntsville plant that uses robots for repetitive tasks.  — Bloomberg Businessweek

Robot use required months of negotiations. — Business Alabama

Hiring opens for Clarke County mill

A Louisiana-Pacific mill that has been idle since a 2008 explosion is looking for 135 employees as it restarts operations making oriented strand board, a substitute for plywood. — Mobile Press-Register

ThyssenKrupp blame game

German newspaper Der Spiegel is reporting that ThyssenKrupp may seek compensation for its losses from its former directors who pushed construction of two mills in Alabama and one in Brazil. — 4 Traders

Space travel contracts awarded by NASA

Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX have been awarded contracts of about $10 million each to develop transport systems for taking crew to and from the International Space Station; target for completion is five years. — al.com 

Fed dollars play big role in Alabama

Some 38 percent of Alabama's state budget is funded with federal tax dollars, ranking it 20th among states, according to Tax Foundation figures; Mississippi ranks first. — Huntsville Times

Health insurance costs rising

Cost for health insurance rose 62 percent between 2003 and 2011, according to a Commonwealth Fund report; deductibles also up markedly; Alabama among lowest-cost states. — Pharmalive

Coastal groups meet to talk recovery

Business, non-profit and government  leaders aiming to restore the Gulf Coast to its pre-oil spill status met in Mobile Monday. — WPMI-TV

Alternative Investment group plans Alabama meeting

Representatives of institutional investors will meet in March in Birmingham to consider investment opportunities in the South. — PR Web

Kazakhstan kids outscore Alabama kids, but does it matter?

Science and math scores show Alabama kids being outperformed by the counterparts in poor countries, but blogger questions importance of information. — Tech Crunch

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