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Top News Links: Thursday, Sept. 12

International Paper to close Alabama mill

International Paper Co has announced that it will close its paper mill in Courtland by early next year, laying off 1,100 workers. — Reuters

Defense contracts up from July

The Department of Defense awarded $17.6 billion in contracts in August, a drop of about a third from the same month a year ago but up 1.7 percent from the previous month. — al.com

Speaker's attorney addresses libelous statements

Mark White, House Speaker Mike Hubbard's attorney, announced he has started to send libel letters to those believed to have made false, misleading or libelous statements about Hubbard, his business or his family. — Montgomery Advertiser / South Union Street

Gov. Bentley tiptoes around casino project on economic recovery trip

During a visit to Elmore County as part of a statewide economic recovery trip, Gov. Bentley acknowledged the county's significant economic improvements, though carefully discussing one of the biggest construction projects in the area: the hotel and gaming complex at Creek Casino Wetumpka. — WSFA

Farm PAC endorses Polizos in House race

Dimitri Polizos picked up a key endorsement this week from Farm PAC, the political arm of the Alabama Farmers Federation, in his race for District 74 in the Alabama House of Representatives. — Montgomery Advertiser / South Union Street

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