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Top News Links: Friday, Feb. 15

Bankrupt county signs deal with European bank

Jefferson County officials have approved a deal with European Depfa Bank Plc to cut interest charges on the county's school debt. — Yahoo

Southern Progress publications hang in the balance 

Time Warner Inc., whose Birmingham-based magazines include Southern Living and Cooking Light, may spin most of their print titles off in a deal with Iowa-based Meredith Corp. — Birmingham News

Regions forms loan fund for Alabama businesses

Regions Financial has taken action to spur economic development throughout the state, creating a $1 billion loan fund to lend to businesses that plan to grow or expand in Alabama. — American Banker

"Triumph" troubles far from over

Passengers aboard the crippled Carnival Triumph cruise ship finally reached the Port of Mobile after spending five days stranded in the Gulf of Mexico; Carnival's troubles, however, have only just begun. — New York Times

UAH researcher wins research funds

Lingze Duan, a researcher at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how ultrafast light can carry information. al.com

Alabama slated $640K from Toyota settlement

Alabama will receive more than $640,000 in the multistate settlement with Toyota after allegations that the company concealed safety issues related to unintended acceleration. — Birmingham Business Journal

Westin debuts in Birmingham

The Westin Birmingham is the second property of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. to open in the city's central business and entertainment district. — Business Wire

Judge accepts Transocean guilty plea

A federal judge in New Orleans approved Transocean's agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and pay $400 million in criminal penalties for its role in the Gulf oil spill. — New York Times

Birmingham construction company starts new project

Birmingham's Brasfield & Gorrie will break ground on a new $66.5 million College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. — al.com

Vulcan earnings improve

Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials Co. earned $3.5 million on $608 million in total revenue at quarter's end in 2012; just a year ago, the company reported a net loss of $27.9 million on $614 million in revenue. — al.com

Solid-rocket boosters to be developed in Huntsville

NASA has awarded Aerojet the last contract to test boosters that are being developed at Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center. — al.com

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