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Top News Links: Tuesday, Dec. 19

Toyota plans on 10 new electric models by early 2020s

Toyota plans on introducing 10 electric vehicle designs by the early 2020s. Under a plan unveiled in Tokyo today, Toyota announced it would introduce the first model in China and then gradually introduce them in Japan, India, the U.S. and Europe. – AL.com

Delta excited about buying jets made in Alabama

It'll be a while before Bombardier and Boeing get a verdict out of a hearing held Monday in a fierce international trade dispute. But early signs look good for plans to build a new aircraft assembly line in coastal Alabama. Bombardier expressed renewed commitment to building that plant in Mobile, and a Delta executive said his airline was keen to buy jets made there. – AL.com

Volkswagen stock rebound smokes Daimler, BMW

Volkswagen AG’s rebound from the diesel emissions scandal and an upgraded earnings forecast has helped the stock to surge ahead of its German peers. VW’s preference shares returned 23 percent this quarter through Friday, best among European auto stocks, while Daimler AG has gained 5.3 percent and BMW AG is little changed. Porsche Automobil Holding SE, which owns a majority of VW common shares, has done even better -- advancing 31 percent. – Bloomberg

Innovation center to open outside Maxwell AFB

Air force officials and business leaders hope a new innovation center could bring big changes to the city of Montgomery. The Montgomery Advertiser reports Maxwell Air Force Base plans to build an innovation center outside the gates of the facility, where researchers at the prestigious Air University can collaborate with the nation’s top tech and business minds. – APR

How good salesmen sell real Christmas trees to millennials

Millennials have earned a reputation for loving consumer products that are local and artisanal. So why are they buying so many plastic Christmas trees? That’s the question irking Tim O’Connor, the executive director of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board in Littleton, Colorado. To help capture more buyers, growers are positioning themselves as analogs to the local and organic food movement. Real trees have all the things younger adults are drawn to, he said, touting authenticity, benefits to the environment and support for regional economies. – Bloomberg/ANC

Topgolf days away from opening in Huntsville

Entertainment venue Topgolf is just days away from opening its new location at MidCity Huntsville. The company announced Monday it plans to open its doors Friday morning. This will be the second Topgolf in Alabama, the first being Birmingham, and the company's 39th location. – WAAY

Sanders Capital expands into Huntsville market

Sanders Capital Partners, a Birmingham-based real estate acquisition and development firm, has acquired Redstone Ridge, a 37,500 square-foot neighborhood retail center, located in Huntsville, Alabama. The $5.7 million acquisition marks the firm’s expansion into the Huntsville market. – News release

State about to freeze enrollment in children’s health program

Alabama will freeze enrollment in its children's health insurance program soon if Congress doesn't reauthorize funding for the program. The state announced Monday that it would no longer enroll children in its "ALL Kids" program for low-income children, starting on Jan. 1, because Congress has not yet reauthorized funding for the program. – The Hill 

Why Silicon Valley is hiring former federal agents

The chart on the screen looks like something out of a TV crime drama: an elaborate web of emails and phone numbers, some names and photos, all connected by a mesh of thin lines. The man standing in front of the maze is an investigator. But if you met him at a bar, he'd probably tell you he's a software engineer. That's because his work is sensitive — but also, he works for a tech company in Silicon Valley. – APR

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