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Top New Links: Wednesday, July 30

Lawmakers want their oil payback

The law Congress passed two years ago to divvy civil penalties paid for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not being carried out quickly enough, lawmakers said at a committee hearing Tuesday. To blame are the Commerce and Treasury Departments for missing funding deadlines. – AL.com

Birmingham to Uber: Door’s open

The vote is over and the new rules are in place, but Birmingham's City Council president said he remains open to talking to operators of Uber, a popular mobile web app. The council Tuesday approved revisions to the city's transportation code that includes language to include mobile web apps but they failed to satisfy the popular ride sharing service. – AL.com

Mercedes produces 2 millionth vehicle

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. in Vance produced its 2 millionth vehicle on Tuesday. As the polar white ML 350 BlueTec rolled off the assembly line, Mercedes workers and management marked the occasion with a brief ceremony at Assembly Plant 2. – Tuscaloosa News

Opinion: Should the rich share it?

"If inequality continues to rise, as it almost surely will if we do nothing about it, more and more people will come to believe the system is unfair and eventually we will hit a dangerous tipping point for society. Once that happens, those at the top will be lucky if the social changes are limited to income and wealth redistribution." – Mark Thoma in The Fiscal Times.

BP profits up thanks to Russians

BP PLC saw its profits rise Tuesday on the account of its investments in Russian energy company Rosneft. BP reported $3.18 billion in replacement cost profit for the second quarter compared with $2.4 billion the same period last year. Oil spill related activities cost the firm $280 million in the first half of 2014, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. – AL.com

Sikorsky workers take new contract

Workers at a Sikorsky Aircraft factory in southeast Alabama have approved a new labor contract. Employees at the helicopter component factory in Troy voted 340-10 in favor of the new agreement, which includes an initial pay raise and guaranteed pay hikes over the next four years. – Dothan Eagle

Pitch your plan at Startup

Pitch your business plan to a panel of experts in a 54-hour event to find out if you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce STEM Path to the MBA Program is hosting a hands-on entrepreneurship workshop Sept. 26-28 in the South Engineering Research Center on The University of Alabama campus. – News release

Trade Partners Exchange adds firms

Trade Partners Exchange, a trade/barter management provider in Birmingham, has added Pivot North Consulting, Trash Taxi and What’s 4 Supper to its expanding network. The bartering and trade community now comprises about 125 businesses, company officials said. – News release

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