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Top News Links: Monday, Jan. 13

Appeals court approves one BP settlement in legal marathon

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has signed off on the settlement of one component of BP’s liability for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but the company now wants to revisit an $7.8 billion deal involving Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. – Bloomberg Businessweek

Airbus confident of hitting top production numbers

Fabrice Brégier, president and chief executive officer of Airbus, says the European aircraft maker will overtake its arch-rival, Boeing, in a few years' time with the eventual help of its new Mobile facility. Airbus on Monday posted an industry record of 1,619 new airplane orders in 2013 with a production backlog of almost nine years. -- CNBC

Austal christens USNS Fall River

Austal christened United States Naval Ship Fall River (JHSV 4) Saturday at its state-of-the-art shipyard in Mobile. USNS Fall River is the fourth of ten Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) that Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy as part of an overall 10-ship contract worth over $1.6 billion. – Austal website

World shipping costs plummet as Colombia restricts Drummond coal

The cost of hauling coal and other commodities had its biggest one-day percentage drop on record after Colombia restricted some coat shipments from Alabama-based Drummond Co. – Bloomberg

Finding the next generation of farmers

While farming accounts for 12 percent of the Alabama’s economic activity, the number of farms has dropped from 250,000 to 60,000 in the past half century. With family farms dying away, how will new workers in the industry be nurtured? – The Montgomery Advertiser

New C-Class, to be produced in Alabama, will flex muscle

Mercedes has dished up a lighter, yet more potent C-Class sedan to cement its status as the company’s best-selling model around the world. It’s now on display on the North American International Auto Show. – The New York Times

Honda’s new MDX seeing brisk sales

U.S. sales of Honda's redesigned 2014 Acura MDX, made in Alabama, saw a 29 percent jump in December. For the year, the SUV's sales rose 4.3 percent over 2012. – al.com

New contracts benefit Lockheed Martin plant in Troy

Two new Air Force contracts worth $449 million will keep Lockheed Martin working on the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and the Extended Range missiles at Lockheed’s facility in Troy. – al.com

No presidential cohabitating at Alabama State

Gwendolyn Boyd, the new president of Alabama State University, signed a contract with the school’s trustees that forbids her from allowing a lover to “cohabitate” with her in the presidential home being provided to her by the historically black university in Montgomery. – The Washington Post

Birmingham’s All Seasons Travel acquired

Christopherson Business Travel has acquired All Seasons Travel, forming one of the largest travel management firms in the country. Salt Lake City-based Christopherson and All Seasons Travel, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., will conduct business under the Christopherson name as a combined $380 million company. -- Hospitalitynet.org

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