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Top News Links: Thursday, Feb. 6

Airbus plant now boasts first framework

Work on the Airbus Alabama assembly line has reached a significant construction milestone, with the entire “skeleton” of the first building at the aviation giant’s Mobile Aeroplex complex now visible. – Made in Alabama

Bentley: Business, educational alliance eases poverty

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley  told state economic development officials Tuesday that a strong alliance of the business and education communities is key to fostering economic development and alleviating poverty across the state. – Made in Alabama

Alabama firm tied to Pentagon fraud investigation

An investigation into a military recruiting fraud scheme involves Docupak, an Alabama-based company, hundreds of officers and at least a couple of generals. It revolves around $92 million in bonuses for recruiting assistance programs. – WAFF.com

Senate approves expanded ethics bill

The Senate has approved an amendment offered by Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, that addresses a wide range of ethical issues, everything from the governor’s activities after leaving office to tickets to Alabama and Auburn football games. – South Union Street

Minnesota tool retailer, bank buy land in Hoover

Northern Tool + Equipment, a Minnesota-based tool retailer, and BancorpSouth have bought two lots at the intersection of Interstate 65 and U.S. 31, according to Southpace Properties, which handled the land sales for the site developer. – al.com

Panama Canal expansion falters over cost dispute

Work on the ambitious Panama Canal expansion project was halted Wednesday after talks broke down on how to settle a dispute over $1.6 billion in cost overruns. – al.com/Associated Press

New video portrays Alabama as pawn in coal debate

Free Market America has a new video out that paints Alabama’s so-called “War On Coal” before the Alabama Public Service Commission as a machination of left-leaning environmental interests. – Yellowhammernews.com

Alabama shows construction declines in two cities

Construction employment expanded in 192 metro areas, declined in 84 and was stagnant in 63 between December 2012 and December 2013, according to a new analysis of federal employment data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Among the largest job loss percentage declines from December 2012 to December 2013 were in Anniston-Oxford, (-11 percent, -100 jobs); Mobile, (-11 percent, -1,300 jobs). – AGC.org

RadioShack closing 500 stores in U.S.

RadioShack will be closing approximately 500 of its roughly 4,300 stores across the country within the coming months, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Neither the exact locations of these stores nor the expected closing dates are yet known. – Wall Street Journal

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