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Top News Links: Thursday, Feb. 14

Damaged cruise ship to dock in Mobile today, but passengers have to bus to New Orleans for showers

Mobile, angling for a new cruise ship contract since Carnival pulled out two years ago, will open its terminal for the distressed Carnival ship that's been drifting or towed since Sunday — but cruise line officials plan to bus passengers to New Orleans for hotels and flights home. — Mobile Press-Register

Kudos for Alabama preschool program

Alabama's preschool program gets high marks nationally but reaches only a small percentage of four-year-olds. — New York Times

Environmental groups announce plans to sue over TVA discharge

A coalition of environmental groups has announced plans to sue the Tennessee Valley Authority, charging that the TVA's Colbert Fossil Plant at Tuscumbia is illegally discharging waste into a Tennessee River tributary. — SELC PR

Alabama ranks high for financial distress

Alabama residents have the fourth highest level of financial distress — measured by jobs, housing, credit, budget and net worth — according to research by CredAbility. — Birmingham Business Journal

Transocean plea deal faces judge today

A federal judge in New Orleans was slated to rule today whether to accept the $400 million plea deal that Transocean agreed to for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. — Huffington Post

Home Depot looks to hire 450 in Birmingham area

Home Depot has announced plans to hire 150 people for its distribution center in McCalla and another 300 seasonal workers at area stores. — Birmingham News

Austal regains market credence

Austal, the Australian parent of Mobile shipmaker Austal USA, has negotiated financial shoals and is now rated as a "buy" stock by JP Morgan. – Financial News Arena

Alabama to join suit over Dodd-Frank

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has filed to join several other states in challenging the constitutionality of the Dodd-Frank plan — designed to prevent another 2008-style rush of bank failures — saying one provision could harm state pension funds. — Alabama AG PR

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