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Top News Links: Friday, Dec. 20

Alabama ranks 47th in health

Among the problems noted in the United Health Foundation’s annual ranking, almost 1.2 million adults in Alabama are obese and more than 430,000 adults have diabetes. — United Health Foundation

Regions Financial settles 401(k) case for $22.5M

Employees accused Regions of exposing their retirement accounts to risky home loans and flawed bond mutual funds prior to the financial crisis. - MSN

Colombia Fines Drummond for Dumping Coal

Colombia on Thursday fined Drummond Co. $3.6 million for dumping hundreds of tons of coal into the Caribbean Sea earlier this year. – Wall Street Journal

Security experts telling nervous Target shoppers to wait, watch

Think you may have been one of the 40 million credit or debit card users whose financial information was breached on Black Friday at Target? Check the account daily, experts advise. – Reuters

Alabama State pleased with firm's financial review

Alabama State University officials say an accounting firm's review of its contracts and other issues raised by former President Joseph Silver has turned up only minor problems. – WPMI TV15

Huntsville City Council Passes Sales Tax Increase

The 1 percent sales tax, approved unanimously, will go to expand city roads and improve infrastructure, officials said. – WZDX TV54

Strip mine expansion draws backlash

The Jefferson County Commission has voted to rezone more than 200 acres of the northern county to enlarge a strip mine owned and operated by the Black Warrior Mining Company. The move drew opposition from nearby landowners who said the operation is a bad neighbor. – WVTM TV13

Montgomery's Caddell Construction gets $283 million to build embassies, jail

The U.S. Department of State’s overseas buildings operation has selected Caddell Construction to build the $130.7 million U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and the $125 million U.S. Embassy in The Hague, the Netherlands. – Caddell Construction

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