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Top News Links: Monday, Oct. 22

State unemployment numbers drop

For the first time in four months, Alabama unemployment numbers dropped this month, clocking in at 8.3 percent due to new jobs and a smaller employment pool; still above national average but well below June 2011 high of 10 percent. — Montgomery Advertiser

Protections for bond issuers threatened

Lobbyists for the securities industry are pushing a change to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that would seriously dilute provisions aimed at protecting cities and state from bad advice and fraud; change already has House approval. — Reuters

Same day transactions for casino funds

The Montgomery Advertiser documents same day transactions for a $100,000 Poarch Creek donation to a statewide Republican organization and that group's payment of the same amount to efforts to shutter non-Indian gaming.  — Montgomery Advertiser

Filling the news void

The Tuscaloosa News has begun accepting orders for home delivery in Birmingham, where the Birmingham News recently cut its print edition to three days a week. — The Terminal

Mobile's manufacturing workers earn more than others in state

Workers at Mobile's manufacturing businesses earn an average of $57,800 per year, leading the state and ranking 39th in the nation, according to a study by On Numbers.— Birmingham Business Journal

Randolph County among rich-poor gap leaders

Randolph County — between Auburn and Anniston on the Georgia border — ranks second in the nation for its growing income gap between rich and poor residents. — San Francisco Chronicle

Sales tax increase on the agenda in Athens

The Athens city council is slated to vote tonight on a proposed sales tax increase to fund police, fire and infrastructure projects. — WAFF TV

Colombian coal forecast shrinks

Colombian coal output estimates have dropped 4 percent for the year, after a labor dispute cut shipments for major producers, including Alabama-based Drummond, and because producers have trimmed production in response to lower global coal prices. — Reuters

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