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Top News Links: Monday, June 20

Long-awaited I-22 exchange opens today

After a series of delays, the new interstate connecting Birmingham to Memphis is set to finally open to traffic today. The much-anticipated I-22 interstate is the largest single ALDOT project in history, costing 168 million dollars. Governor Robert Bentley will join local leaders for a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. – WIAT

Littoral ships to get more firepower

The Navy spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to fulfill its need for speed with a new class of fast and agile warships capable of zipping along at highway speeds. It turns out speed is overrated. The Navy has learned lessons from the light-and-speedy littoral combat ships: Upcoming ships will trade some speed in favor of more weapons and heavier armor. – AP/OCRegister

Tuition increases coming to UA, UAB

Leaders of Alabama's public university system have approved tuition increases at the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The system's board of trustees voted during a meeting Friday to approve tuition hikes at the University of Alabama of $300 per year for in-state students and $1000 per year for out-of-state students. – AL.com

GE plant in Decatur sold to Chinese, no impact expected

General Electric's refrigeration plant in Decatur is officially under new ownership. The company sold its GE Appliances business this month to Haier, a subsidiary of Qingdao Haier Co. in China. The $5.6 billion sale is expected to generate an after-tax gain of approximately $0.20 per share. "There is no impact on Decatur or any of our facilities due to the sale," said GE spokeswoman Kim Freeman. – AL.com

Two can play at ‘climate fraud,’ we now learn

Eric Schneiderman and Sheldon Whitehouse, call your office. The New York Attorney General and Rhode Island Senator who helped to launch the prosecution of dissent on climate change may not like where their project is headed. Thirteen state Attorneys General, including Alabama’s Luther Strange, have sent a letter pointing out that if minimizing the risks of climate change can be prosecuted as “fraud,” then so can statements overstating the dangers of climate change. – Wall Street Journal

Sessions on board with Trump’s proposed travel ban

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions named six Middle Eastern countries on Sunday that he believes should be included in the Muslim travel ban proposed by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. "It all depends on population. Pakistan has a number — people from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen," Sessions told CNN's Dana Bash when pressed to name which countries the U.S. should specifically look at. – Washington Examiner

Gun bills before Senate unlikely to pass

The U.S. Senate will make its strongest push in years to tighten gun controls on Monday, voting on four proposals a week after the Orlando shooting massacre prompted new calls to keep firearms away from people on terrorism watch lists. But none of the bills is expected to achieve the 60 votes needed for passage in the 100-seat chamber, as Republicans and Democrats have not been able to reach consensus on the extent of any new restrictions. – Reuters

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