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Top News Links: Monday, June 2

Source: Protective Life on the block

Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life Co. is in advanced talks to buy U.S. peer Protective Life Corp. in a deal that could be worth over $5 billion, extending a drive to buy assets abroad as an antidote to a weak domestic outlook. Dai-ichi Life plans to buy 100 percent of Birmingham-based Protective Life, said a source with direct knowledge of the matter. – Money News

Chamber president likes Cuban reforms

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J. Donohue cautiously praised what he saw during a visit to Cuba to evaluate economic reforms that have hundreds of thousands of islanders working independently of the state. He spoke last week at the University of Havana. – AP/Alabama's 13

No frying during job interviews

Vocal fry is produced by slowly fluttering the vocal cords, resulting in a popping or creaking sound at the bottom of the vocal register. But while the speech style might be popular with college students, it could also be hurting their job prospects, according to a study published in the online journal PLOS. – Business Insider

Study up before voting tomorrow

“People sometimes say, ‘I don’t care about politics,’ but politics is interested in you because what happens in politics affects your life,” says Waymon Burke, project director for Calhoun Community College’s Center for the Study of Southern Political Culture, in Huntsville. Alabama’s primary elections are Tuesday. – Decatur Daily

Regions settled other swap cases

Regions Bank, which last week was ordered to pay a private sewer company $10 million for defrauding it via a series of interest rate swaps, has settled four other similar cases in the past four years, court records indicate. – AL.com

C Spire ready for hurricanes

C Spire enters the 2014 hurricane season with two multimillion-dollar, hurricane-ready “super switches” providing added protection and service for customers in south Alabama, along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane season began Sunday. -- BusinessWire

GDP dropped 1 percent in Q1

The gross domestic product dropped by 1 percent in the first three months of 2014, 10 times the drop that was first estimated. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis last week revised its 0.1 percent negative estimate from late April. – AL.com

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