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Top News Links: Tuesday, July 19

Trump’s first convention night includes Sessions

Along with Melania Trump, Monday’s opening night speeches at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland included a mix linked broadly under the theme of “Make America Safe Again.” They included Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Joni Ernst of Iowa, immigration advocates, a Marine who fought in the Benghazi attack and entertainers Scott Baio and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty. – AP/TAN

Takata engineers manipulated data results, Honda says

Takata Corp., the airbag supplier behind the car industry’s largest ever recall, routinely manipulated results of airbag inflator tests reported to Honda Motor Co., according to an ongoing audit commissioned by the supplier and its biggest customer. Takata engineers removed some test results to artificially reduce variability in airbag inflator performance, Brian O’Neill, a former Insurance Institute for Highway Safety president, said in a phone interview. – Automotive News

Alabama near bottom of latest economic well-being ranking

Alabama ranked 46th overall in the latest economic well-being category of the Kids Count report, and reported worse numbers in three of four sub-categories for 2014 data (the most recent available) compared to 2008 data. Those areas include children in poverty, children whose parents lack secure employment and children living in households with a high housing cost burden. – TimesDaily

UA: Business confidence slight down in third quarter

Confidence in the economy has somewhat declined among Alabama businesses, according to the third quarter “Alabama Business Confidence Index” released by The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Retailers continue to have the most negative outlook. – News release

ServisFirst sees deposits increase 24 percent

ServisFirst Bancshares announced earnings and operating results Monday for the quarter and six months ended June 30. Second quarter highlights included net income of $38.8 million and diluted EPS of $1.46 for the six months ended June 30, 2016. Loans and deposits increased 17 percent and 24 percent, respectively, year over year. – PRNewsWire

School tax-free shopping weekend Aug. 5-7

Many local school systems go back the first week of August.  If you can put off some of your shopping until the following weekend, you can save money on certain school supplies, computers and clothing. Alabama’s 11th annual Back to School Sales Tax Holiday is Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 7. – WHNT

Wall Street seems to like GOP convention

Wall Street closed slightly higher on Monday to mint new record highs for the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials, fueled by Bank of America's better-than-expected profit and a major tech sector acquisition. Bank of America's earnings report continued the momentum for U.S. banks. – Reuters

Alabama Graphite tightens bond with DoD on green energy

Project developer Alabama Graphite has signed six nondisclosure agreements with manufacturers of equipment for the Department of Defense. The agreements were meant to spur discussions and the due diligence evaluation of samples of AGC’s U.S.-sourced and manufactured coated spherical graphite used in lithium-ion battery applications – both for primary and secondary Li-ion batteries – specifically for DoD use. – Mining Weekly

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