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Top News Links: Tuesday, Oct. 20

Apple CEO: ‘Massive change’ coming for cars

Apple is continuing to tease its automotive ambitions. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal's WSJD Live conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook predicted there would be "massive change" in the automotive industry in the coming years — but didn't comment on rumors about Apple's own electric car project. It's clear that Apple is working on developing a car. – Business Insider

Alabama among leaders in improved grad rates

The U.S. Department of Education says high school graduation rates for most states continue to improve. Many states also are showing gains for black and Hispanic students. The department says preliminary data show graduation rates up in 36 states for the 2013-2014 school year. The biggest gains were in Delaware, Alabama, Oregon, West Virginia and Illinois. Five states had declines, including Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Oklahoma and New Mexico. – AP/KTUU.com

ServisFirst Bancshares Q3 net income up 16 percent

ServisFirst Bancshares Inc. reported a net income of $16.3 million for the year's third quarter, up about 16 percent from the same quarter last year, the company announced Monday. That's also up about 12 percent from the year's second quarter. – AL.com

Regions Financial Q3 misses estimates

Regions Financial Corp. reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the third quarter on Tuesday. The Birmingham-based company reported a quarterly profit of $258 million, or $0.18 per share, compared to $320 million or $0.22 per share, in the year-ago period. Its earnings from continuing operations declined to $0.19 per share from $0.21 per share. – Benzinga

Poor Alabamians richer than middle-class Europeans?

According to the Auburn-based Mises Institute, a free-market think tank named for the famed Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, lower income Americans, including Alabamians, are actually richer than middle class Europeans. Democrats have made the debate over income inequality a centerpiece of the national discussion in recent years. – Yellowhammer

Marshall Space Flight Center director to retire

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Director Patrick Scheuermann announced to center staff Monday that he will retire on Nov. 13. In his email to the Marshall team, Scheuermann did not say what he will do next, but that he and his family will remain in the Tennessee Valley. He has been director of Marshall since 2012. – AL.com

Former Regions EVP barred from banking

The Federal Reserve Board has barred former Regions Bank Executive Vice-President Thomas A. Neely Jr. from participating in the affairs of any insured depository institution and ordered him to pay $100,000 to settle charges that he breached his fiduciary duties. The penalty resolves a June 2014 administrative charge brought against Neely, according to a Fed announcement. – Bloomberg

Dobbins Group now leasing Creekside

Birmingham-based Dobbins Group LLC is leasing its $28 million Tennessee luxury multifamily community in Mt. Juliet, Creekside at Providence. Located 17 miles east of downtown Nashville, the 209 luxury one, two and three bedroom homes are currently available to lease with move-ins under way. – News release

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