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Top News Links: Thursday, June 25

Google plans $600M data center in Alabama

Google announced plans Wednesday to build a $600 million data center in northeast Alabama's Jackson County, creating up to 100 jobs at a state-of-the-art facility designed for efficiency and powered by renewable energy. The data center will act as a hub for Internet traffic, operating in a network that keeps the Google search engine and company products such as Gmail and YouTube up and running for global users 24 hours a day, seven days a week. – ABC33/40

Why did our state win the Google lottery?

No single reason attracted Google to north Alabama, where the company announced Wednesday it would build a $600 million data center in Jackson County. Two state incentive packages, however, grabbed the high-tech company's attention. "Alabama offers data center-specific incentives so that they benefit the data center industry, which was an important part of our decision to locate here," said Gary Demasi, director of global infrastructure at Google. – AL.com

Governor orders Confederate flags taken down

The governor of Alabama ordered Confederate flags removed from the grounds of the Southern state's Capitol building, his office said on Wednesday, joining a growing movement of politicians to spurn the emblem widely associated with slavery. The flags located around the Confederate Memorial on the state capitol grounds in Montgomery were taken down on Wednesday morning. – Reuters

Photographers get summary judgment against tax move

The champagne is on ice but the bottle will remain corked for now, Liesa Cole said with a laugh — at least until she is absolutely sure that it’s time to celebrate. On June 15, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Houston Brown granted a summary judgment in favor of Cole’s commercial photography company, Omni Studios, after nearly two years of litigation between Omni and the Alabama Department of Revenue. – Weld

BCA gives Sen. Cam Ward inaugural Champion Award

The Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary on Wednesday presented state Sen. Cam Ward with the organization’s inaugural Business Champion Award for sponsoring legislation that seeks to prevent harm to Alabama businesses due to dual Supreme Court rulings. – Yellowhammer

Lawmakers considering soda tax to refill coffers

Alabama legislators are discussing a soda tax as a remedy for general fund budget shortfalls, reports ABC 33/40. The potential soda tax would include a nickel increase onto every 12 ounces of soda. A soda tax, the source reports, is only one of many proposals being discussed. – Vending Market Watch

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