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Top News Links: Wednesday, March 23

Bentley affair rumors punctuated with firing of top cop

Every once in a while — but far less often than most people think — politics appears to mirror Hollywood's dramatization of it rather than the other way around. The affair allegations Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) is facing down this week is one of those moments. – Washington Post

Civil rights-themed National Park pitched for Birmingham

At a news conference Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Birmingham Mayor William Bell announced plans to submit legislation designating Birmingham’s Historic Civil Rights District as a National Park. If passed, the legislation would create a groundbreaking Civil Rights-themed National Historic Park. – Curbed

Carnival starts cruising to Cuba in May

Carnival Corp. has announced that Cuba will let the company begin cruises to the island country starting May 1, the first time in more than 50 years an ocean liner from the U.S. has been allowed there. Carnival will take the 704-passenger MV Adonia to Cuba through its newest brand Fathom, which focuses on what it calls "social-impact travel." For $2,990, passengers will get seven days of purpose-oriented experiences, such as teaching English. – TheStreet.com

Legislature again rejects ‘digital goods’ bill

A bill drafted by the Alabama Department of Revenue was introduced in the Alabama Senate that would have expanded the definition of tangible personal property to include “digital goods.”  The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee rejected the bill March 9 after hearing testimony from Assistant Department Counsel Christy Edwards. – JDSupra

Byrne not enthusiastic over new ties to Cuba

 U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne tells WPMI-TV that many in Congress want to see basic human rights in cuba restored first, things like freedom of religion, speech, free press and the freedom to own private property. Byrne also wants to see a military agreement between the U.S. and President Fidel Castro. He feels without those, the president has wasted time. – WPMI

Latest resupply mission launches toward ISS

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 successfully launched a Cygnus cargo spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station Tuesday, the second such mission in less than four months. The Atlas 5 lifted off on schedule at 10:05 p.m. Central time, placing the Orbital ATK-built Cygnus into orbit a little more than 20 minutes later. The rocket used in the launch was built in Decatur. – Space News

Papa Murphy’s targets Birmingham, Huntsville expansions

Twelve Papa Murphy's restaurants will open in the Huntsville/Birmingham market as the chain expands its presence during the next four years. The Take 'N' Bake pizza company said it will also open two stores in Raleigh, N.C., after signing expanded store development agreements with Waterman Acquisition Company. Papa Murphy's would not say where the restaurants will operate. – AL.com

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