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Top News Links: Tuesday, Nov. 25

Birmingham doesn’t make DNC cut

The 2016 Democratic National Convention will take place in either New York City, Philadelphia or Columbus, Ohio. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, announced the finalist cities on Monday; Birmingham and Phoenix didn’t make the cut. – Politico.com

What are Bentley’s funding options?

“I’ve made a promise that taxes would be my last resort on issues,” Gov. Robert Bentley told the AP, and he was even more explicit during his re-election campaign. The phrase “No New Taxes” was featured prominently in most of his campaign advertising. Bentley has rejected incessant calls for him to go back on his promise not to expand Medicaid, so it’s hard to imagine him wilting under the pressure and breaking his no new tax pledge. – Yellowhammer

Rutgers: Tech worker shortage doesn’t exist

Along with temporary deportation relief for millions, President Obama’s executive action will increase the number of U.S. college graduates from abroad who can temporarily be hired by U.S. corporations. That hasn’t satisfied tech companies and trade groups, which contend more green cards or guest worker visas are needed to keep tech industries growing because of a shortage of qualified American workers. But scholars say there’s a problem with that argument: The tech worker shortage doesn’t actually exist. – BusinessWeek

The great debate: How to spend oil money

Money is flowing now to Gulf Coast states to remedy damage from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent spill. All kinds of projects are underway, from building boat ramps to shoring-up marshland. They're being paid for with a $1 billion down payment BP made toward its ultimate responsibility to make the Gulf Coast whole, a figure estimated to be up to $18 billion. With that much money at stake, just what qualifies as coastal restoration has become a matter of debate. – MPRNews.org

HealthSouth moves toward home health

HealthSouth will spend about $750 million on the privately held owner of Encompass Home Health and Hospice in a deal that helps the rehabilitation hospital operator expand into home health care. The Birmingham company said Nov. 24 that Encompass, owned by EHHI Holdings Inc., will complement its inpatient rehab business. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. – AP/WOWK

Court rules against electronic bingo

Alabama's highest court on Friday upheld the attorney general's raid on Center Stage gambling hall and made it clear that bingo can't legally be played on electronic machines. The Alabama Supreme Court ruled bingo games allowed in some counties are traditional games that involve “meaningful human interaction in a group setting,” not games played on electronic machines. – AP/Dothan Eagle

Insurance agent accused of fraud

A Mobile insurance agent is suspected of cheating 17 of his clients out of more than $40,000, according to federal court records. The 17 people paid for insurance polices that were never issued or were canceled for nonpayment, according to the records. One count of fraud was filed Monday against Anthony Stutts in federal court in Mobile. – AL.com

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