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Top News Links: Tuesday, Jan. 28

Honda becomes first Japanese net exporting automaker

Honda Motor Co. last year exported more cars out of the United States than it imported into the country, making it the first net exporter among major Japanese automakers. – Reuters

Mercedes accused of harassment amid union campaign

Longtime employees of Mercedes-Benz held a news conference Monday making accusations of harassment and intimidation amid an ongoing United Auto Workers campaign at the company's Tuscaloosa County plant. – al.com

Navy Times says fewer littoral ships to be purchased

The office of the Secretary of Defense has directed the Navy to limit its purchase of littoral combat ships to 32, forgoing 20 of the small, fast warships built in Mobile and Marinette, Wis. and Mobile, Ala., the Navy Times reported recently, citing Pentagon sources. – JSonline.com

Carpenter Technology opens new metals plant

Carpenter Technology Corporation has unveiled its new $518 million premium metals plant that will eventually employ up to 200 workers in rural Limestone County. – al.com

Senate chairman wary of Bentley spending proposal

Gov. Robert Bentley’s proposal to spend about $92 million outside the Rolling Reserve cap on education spending drew a cautious response Thursday from the chairman of the Senate education budget committee. – Madvertiserblogs.com

Auburn National reports record net earnings

Auburn National Bancorporation reported net earnings of $1.7 million, or $0.47 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to $1.7 million, or $0.46 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2012 and record net earnings of $7.1 million for the full year 2013. – Twst.com

U.S. Steel’s Longhi sees long road to profits

Pittsburgh-based steelmaker United States Steel Corp. had another unprofitable year but CEO Mario Longhi said he is encouraged by the company's early progress. The company is spending on facility repairs and improvements, including a planned blast furnace project at its Fairfield Works facility in Alabama. – Bizjournals.com

Martin Marietta Materials acquires cement maker

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. will buy cement maker Texas Industries Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at $2.7 billion to tap into a construction rebound in California and Texas, the most-populous U.S. states. – Bloomberg

Researchers discuss oil spill at Mobile conference

Researchers are discussing some of the uncertainties and challenges of dealing with the fallout from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Conference. – al.com

Small Business Tax Relief Act packs $4.6M impact

The Small Business Tax Relief Act, sponsored by local Rep. Barry Moore, is expected to provide an immediate tax relief to 4,000 to 6,000 Alabama businesses and inject about $4.6 million into the state's economy. – The Southeast Sun

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