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Top News Links: Wednesday, Jan. 4

Airbus R&D envisions planes you’d want to fly in

Futurists at A3, Airbus Group’s Silicon Valley research outpost, are contemplating a new paradigm. Imagine a restaurant-quality meal served aloft, or a coffee bar, a play area for children, or a sleeping compartment — and not just for the rich folks up front. At some point, A3 designers hope, these on-board options could become the kind of popular draw that passengers pay for, and thus give airlines incentive to consider more creatively how an airplane might generate profit. – Bloomberg/ANC

Atlas migration study shows Alabama holding steady

Alabama is now a “balanced” state in the Atlas Van Lines’ annual migration study, with 53 percent of the state’s moves being into the state. Alabama was classified as inbound in 2015—meaning more than 55 percent of its moves were into the state. The six years prior (between 2009-2014) Alabama registered as balanced. As one of the nation’s leading moving companies, Atlas tracks yearly interstate (or between states) moves to define trends in nationwide migration. – News release

Alabama scientist will lead effort to understand black holes

NASA has chosen an Alabama scientist to lead the first mission to study strange space objects such as supermassive black holes and neutron stars by studying the polarized X-ray radiation they emit. Funding for the mission was announced Tuesday and is a win for Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center. The mission, to launch in 2020, involves flying three space telescopes with special cameras close enough to study the X-rays emitted by these space phenomena. Marshall's Martin Weisskopf is the lead mission scientist or "principal investigator." – AL.com

Baker Donelson completes latest merger

The law firms of Baker Donelson and Ober|Kaler have completed their previously announced combination, resulting in one of the 50 largest law firms in the country. The combined firm, which maintains the name of Baker Donelson, boasts more than 800 attorneys and advisors across 25 offices in ten states as well as Washington, D.C. – News release

Wright Transportation gets clarification on gas lawsuit

In a recent racketeering class action case between an Alabama trucking company and one of its counterparts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit clarified jurisdiction in relation to class claims. “The practical effect is that the trucking company’s individual claims against Pilot have to be heard in federal court rather than state court,” says attorney Matthew Allen. – Legal Newsline.

Ford cancels Mexican plant, adds Michigan jobs

Ford Motor, bashed by Donald Trump for shipping jobs outside the U.S., announced Tuesday that it will cancel production of a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and will instead invest $700 million in Flat Rock, Michigan. The U.S. auto giant said it will add 700 direct new jobs in Flat Rock to produce high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles, plus the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental. – CNBC

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