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Top News Links: Thursday, Oct. 30

Apple’s Tim Cook: ‘Proud to be gay’

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's proud to be gay. The public declaration, in an essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek, makes Cook the highest-profile business CEO to come out as gay. Cook said that while he never denied his sexuality, he never publicly acknowledged it, either. – AP/Myrtle Beach Online

NASA: Don’t jump to conclusions

NASA officials and other space experts attending a space conference in Huntsville urged the news media Wednesday not to jump to the conclusion that failure of aging Russian rocket engines caused Tuesday night's explosion of an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket bound for the International Space Station. – AL.com

Numbers abound, but poverty rate up

Jobs and employment have been a key point in this year’s gubernatorial contest. Incumbent and Republican Gov. Robert Bentley highlights the jobs created the past four years and a decreased unemployment rate. Democratic challenger Parker Griffith points to the jobs lost. But another set of figures — the percentage of Alabamians living in poverty — are just as significant, advocates for the poor say. It’s a number that has increased in recent years. – Decatur Daily

Former Adams CFO pleads guilty

John Stephan Alexander, former CFO for Birmingham-based Adams Produce, which closed and filed for bankruptcy in 2012, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of withholding information about a scheme to defraud the federal government of $481,000 on a fruits and vegetables contract. – AL.com

Biosciences trade mission a healthy shot

Officials believe the Alabama biosciences sector is poised for a healthy growth spurt after a weeklong trade mission to Europe added momentum to a strategic push to promote state bio companies and research organizations. – Made In Alabama

Unraveling new Tax Tribunal rules

Alabama taxpayers this month gained the ability to appeal final assessments issued by the Alabama Department of Revenue and most final assessment issued by substantially all the self-administered cities and counties in the state (or their contract auditing firms), to the newly-established Alabama Tax Tribunal, an independent executive branch agency created as part of the Alabama Taxpayer Fairness Act of 2014. Here’s what your company needs to know. – Mondaq

Phase III of Robotics Park to break ground

State and local elected officials, business leaders and representatives from Calhoun Community College and Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) will take part in groundbreaking activities for the Integration, Entrepreneurial and Paint Dispense Training Center, Phase III, of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park in Tanner on Friday at 10 a.m.

Pahos honored as top executive

Dan Pahos, president of Home Instead Senior Care, was named Small Business Executive of the Year at the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) 2014 Small Business Awards held in downtown Birmingham. – News release

BTS launches new mobile initiative

BTS Technologies, Inc., an industry leader in unified communications, announced today that the company has launched a mobile workforce initiative in order to help their customers leverage the benefits of advanced technology in today's mobile environment. – News release

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