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Top News Links: Tuesday, Feb. 11

Honda to add 50 jobs in Lincoln

The Honda automobile manufacturing plant in Lincoln will soon create 50 jobs through a facility expansion project. Ted Pratt, spokesman for Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, said in a Monday email that the Japanese-based automaker plans to invest $71.8 million in a project related to the production of drivetrain components. – The Piedmont Journal

VietJetAir buying 100 Airbus airliners

Low-cost Vietnam airline, VietJetAir, placed an order for up to 100 Airbus (AIR.PA) aircraft, the latest entrant seeking to tap into a booming Southeast Asian market. The airline placed a firm order for 63 jets and 30 purchase options and will lease the remainder, VietJetAir officials said at a signing ceremony with Airbus at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday. – Reuters

Colombia making big show of Drummond spill

Colombia’s government is making a big show of prosecuting US coal producer Drummond for a series of environmental blunders, says our correspondent in Medellín. The case is reverberating all the way to Europe, where coal prices spiked on Jan. 9 when the government suspended Drummond’s shipping activities. – CSMonitor.com

Griffith running for governor

One-time U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, a former Republican — and previously, a former Democrat — will seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor. – South Union Street

Accountability meets revolving door

That’s a thumbnail sketch of how the Revolving Door Act, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, went from stitching a lobbying loophole to include many other ethical issues, via an expansive amendment sponsored by Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma. – South Union Street

Birmingham company buys GT Strudl

The Georgia Tech Research Corp., the contracting agency for all sponsored Tech research, has sold its GT Strudl operations, a provider of structural engineering software, to Birmingham-based software company Intergraph Process, Power & Marine. Terms were not disclosed. – AJC.com

Congressional Budget Office briefs lawmakers on ACA

The CBO’s briefing Monday to Congress about the impacts of the Affordable Care Act was remarkable for its tactful bluntness. In Alabama, lawmakers were told, the Medicaid rules mean that a family would lose Medicaid benefits for its parents once their income exceeded $3,125 for the year. If Alabama accepted the Medicaid expansion, however, that family could earn $26,951 without anyone losing eligibility. – LA Times

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet coming to Opelika

The Shopping Center Group has announced the first location in Alabama for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, which will open this summer. Located at Atlanta‚Äźbased RCG Ventures’ Pepperell Corners in Opelika, Ollie’s brings one of the largest inventories of closeouts, excess inventory and salvage merchandise to the Auburn market. The retailer plans to open 35 more stores in Alabama that will be serviced by its new Atlanta distribution center. – Ollie's Bargain Outlet news release

Alabama lending reform most ambitious of 3 states

Cash-poor residents of Alabama, Idaho and South Dakota could be in for some relief as lawmakers in their states look to make payday lending less predatory. Alabama’s effort is the most ambitious and would cap payday loan interest at an annual percentage rate of 100. The typical paycheck loan interest rate currently is 339 percent APR — something the lenders work to conceal from borrowers, who typically end up paying $520 in interest and fees on every $375 they borrow from these companies.  – Thinkprogress.org

Vanguard expands to Montgomery

The Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Alabama regional office has expanded coverage to Montgomery. Vanguard, which also operates offices in Birmingham and Huntsville, will sell and support janitorial franchises which provide cleaning services to businesses throughout the metropolitan market. – Prweb.com

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