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Top News Links: Thursday, Oct. 31

U.S. Chamber backs Byrne in anti-Tea Party move

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a new initiative to back pro-business candidates over their Tea Party counterparts — a backlash against the ultra-conservatives' role in the costly federal shutdown — has endorsed Bradley Byrne in Alabama's 1st Congressional District race; Republican run-off between Byrne and Dean Young is Tuesday. — Bloomberg

Three Alabama Republicans now in Congress — Mo Brooks, Mike Rogers and Martha Roby — have also endorsed Byrne, sending $2,500 each to support his campaign. — Montgomery Advertiser/South Union Street

Many Blue Cross/Blue Shield members required to change policies

About 75,000 Alabamians who hold individual health insurance policies through Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be required to pick new coverage because their current plans don't meet new federal standards, the company says. — Birmingham News

$55 million expansion planned for Birmingham pipe plant

ACIPCO subsidiary American Steel Pipe has announced plans for a $55 million expansion of its Birmingham plant to add a 150,000-square-foot processing plant. — Birmingham News

House, Senate teams back at work on budget

Senators and Representatives have gone back to work on budget issues, hoping to avoid another costly shutdown. — Bloomberg

Watts Bar nuclear plant progressing

Tennessee valley Authority's Watts Bar nuclear reactor is now on target to come on line in late 2015 and to stay within the revised budget estimate of $4.5 billion, TVA officials say. — Businessweek

Alabama Chanin nabs eco-fashion award

Designer Natalie Chanin's made-in-Florence Alabama Chanin fashion line won top honors and a $75,000 prize this week in the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge. — Elle

Energen offers production preview

In a quarterly conference call on financials, Energen yesterday describes its 2014 plans, saying it expects low double-digit production growth. — Energen PR

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