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Top News Links: Thursday, Jan. 5

NASA orders more taxi rides to Space Station

NASA gave Boeing and SpaceX orders Tuesday for four more crew flights each to the International Space Station. The missions are part of $6.8 billion in contracts already awarded the companies in 2014, and the Boeing award is good news for Alabama. Huntsville Boeing employees are working on the company's crew capsule, and Decatur United Launch Alliance workers will build the Atlas V rocket it will ride to space. – AL.com

Honda among strongest sales leaders for 2016

U.S. light-vehicle sales, led by fatter discounts, strong light-truck demand and solid gains at General Motors, Nissan and Honda in December, hit a record high in 2016. Overall sales rose by more than 56,000, or 0.3 percent, over the 2015 record. It was the seventh straight year of sales gains, an impressive streak for an industry that was down on its heels during the Great Recession. – Automotive News

Private prisons may benefit from a ‘Trump bump’

With President-elect Donald Trump's tough talk on immigration, private prisons may be an early winner under his administration. In the week after Election Day, stocks of GEO and CoreCivic, the two biggest for-profit detention companies, shot up more than 20 and 40 percent, respectively. Alabama’s troubled prison system is on the agenda for the legislative session starting next month. – APR

Sessions’ nomination highlights racial divisions in state

While Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions' nomination as attorney general has stoked divisions largely along political party lines, it also is opening an emotional divide within a prominent Alabama family of civil rights activists whose controversial voter fraud prosecution brought by Sessions three decades ago continues to shadow the nominee. – USA Today

Opinion: New year, new call for simplified tax code

When it comes to taxes, there is no question we can do better as a nation. Oliver Wendell Holmes once famously said that taxes are what we pay for a civilized society. But, while most don’t mind paying a fair share to fund essential services, our tax code has devolved into something that serves the ever-growing interests of the government, rather than the interests of the taxpayer. – Montgomery Advertiser

Wallace State training students for WSJ’s hottest jobs

Based on an article published by The Wall Street Journal, Wallace State Community College can be the starting point for people seeking to take advantage of opportunities in what are expected to be the fastest-growing occupations in the nation and the occupations expected to have the most new jobs over the next several years. – WallaceState.edu

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