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Top News Links: Friday, Nov. 16

BP settles, agrees to pay billions

BP plead guilty to 14 criminal charges and has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in fines and other penalties related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. — New York Times

BP's settlement amount of $4.5 billion may be just a "down payment" as the company faces additional claims seeking billions of dollars for the catastrophe. — Bloomberg

Oil rig explodes in Gulf of Mexico; 2 dead, 2 missing

An oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico some 17 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La., has left two people dead, two missing and four people hospitalized. — NBCnews.com

Big bidders drop out of TK running

The pool of bidders for ThyssenKrupp's U.S. and Brazilian steel mills has dropped to around half a dozen; firm may fall short of its $9 billion asking price. — Reuters

Regions hires PrimeVest to fill service gap

Birmingham's Regions Bank signs contract with PrimeVest Financial Services to provide investment and financial advisory services to customers. — Bank Investment Consultant

Austal, Alorica job openings

Two major companies in Mobile County are hiring, with Austal looking to fill 1,000 jobs right away. — Local 15 TV

Hibbett profits hike

Birmingham-based sporting good retailer Hibbett Sports, Inc. reported third quarter profits that increased 19 percent from last year. — NASDAQ

Troy company recognized for novel recycling techniques

Troy-based KW Plastics was honored by the American Chemistry Council for its innovative approaches to recycling post-consumer polypropylene packaging. — Equities

Diabetes on the rise in the U.S.

Study shows Alabama's 140 percent increase in diabetes cases is among the top five states that have seen the highest increase. — Hindu Business Line

New member joins Protective's executive leadership team

Birmingham's Protective Life Corporation has appoitned Michael Temple as the company's new Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. — Business Wire

Alabama foreclosure filings fall in October

The state's foreclosure filings fell 11.56 percent in October from the same month just a year ago. — Birmingham Business Journal

Cottondale workers vote to unionize

Workers at Cottondale's Johnson Controls plant voted Wednesday to join the United Auto Workers union.— Tuscaloosa News

ST Aerospace gains new projects

ST Aerospace has secured two retrofit interior contracts for airlines; work will take place in 2013 and 2014. — Aviation Week

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