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Top News Links: Friday, July 18

Airbus makes order gains in London

Airbus still lags Boeing in year-to-date aircraft orders, but the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow where it secured commitments and firm orders for 496 aircraft worth more than $75 billion helped the Toulouse, France-based planemaker close the gap considerably. – AL.com

Wells Fargo lays off 468 workers

Wells Fargo is laying off nearly 500 workers from its mortgage servicing team in the Birmingham area, officials announced Thursday. Bank officials said in a statement that 468 employees in Homewood are being let go because fewer of the bank's home loan customers need payment assistance or are facing foreclosure. – Fox News

LCS funding bill moves forward

Lawmakers voted Thursday on a key bill that provides funding for the two defense programs currently at Austal USA in Mobile. A Senate committee passed a version of the 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, the last stop before it's voted on by the full Senate. The measure includes funding for three of the littoral combat ships and an additional $80 million to begin a fourth. – AL.com

They have to be rocket scientists here

Inside the United Launch Alliance Alabama factory, a sprawling, one-of-a-kind plant tucked away on an industrial road in the Morgan County city of Decatur, workers assemble rockets to carry the constellation of satellites overhead that shape life in the 21st century. – Made In Alabama

UnitedHealth jumping into exchange

UnitedHealth stayed out of most Obamacare marketplaces in the first year, taking a wait-and-see approach. It appears the rocky months after the debut of healthcare.gov didn’t scare the nation’s largest health insurer, which is following through on plans to enter more exchange markets, including Alabama. – BusinessWeek

Alabamian on new Wall St. panel

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has launched a task force to review its controversial arbitration system in which investors must resolve their legal disputes with brokerage firms, the Wall Street industry-funded watchdog said Thursday. Task force members include Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission. – Reuters

ABA names Ramage new chairman

The Alabama Bankers Association welcomed the new chairman of its board of directors, James T. Ramage III, during its June convention. Ramage is chairman of the First National Bank of Brundidge. A 1969 graduate of the University of Alabama, he is the great grandson of bank founder James T. Ramage. – News release

Pie Five Pizza coming to state

Pie Five Pizza Co. announced today that it has awarded 26 franchise units to nationally recognized restaurateurs’ Fred Gustin and Kurt Guttshall of Quality Restaurant Concepts LLC. The duo expects to open their first restaurant in the Birmingham market by early 2015. – News release

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