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Top News Links: Tuesday, Sept. 8

Alabama least competitive insurance market

If the pending mergers between Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp. and Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. are approved by the federal government, major insurance markets in almost half the country would suffer from reduced competition and potentially higher prices, according to a new analysis released by the American Medical Association. The 10 states with the least competitive markets were Alabama, Hawaii, Delaware, Michigan, Alaska, South Carolina, Louisiana, Nebraska, Illinois and North Dakota. – BusinessInsurance.com

New effort under way to unionize Honda plant

There's a new effort to organize a United Auto Workers union at Honda's auto assembly plant in Talladega County. Late last week, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama mailed a letter to its 4,000-plus employees that notes the UAW activity. In the letter, obtained by AL.com, the company says a union is not needed at the Lincoln plant. – AL.com

ECA, Kaplan complete all-stock transaction

Birmingham-based Education Corporation of America, which operates private, accredited colleges across the U.S., and Kaplan Higher Education have completed the previously announced all-stock transaction exchanging 38 campuses, which include Kaplan College, Kaplan Career Institute, Texas School of Business and TESST College of Technology, for a preferred equity interest in ECA.  Financial terms were not disclosed. – PRNewswire

Commercial flight simulator grows in popularity

AEgis Technologies continues to sell its Vampire UAS flight simulator to several commercial customers, as its product's business-related uses continue to climb in popularity. "It's training software that allows operators to learn, make mistakes, in a virtual environment before they go out and do live flight with real unmanned systems," says AEgis Technologies vice president of business development Del Beilstein. More than 4,000 Vampire systems were delivered to the United States Department of Defense over the past five years. – WAAY

Yulista Aviation wins key seat

Yulista Aviation Inc., an SBA 8(a) Alaska Native Corporation regionally headquartered in Huntsville, has been awarded a seat on the Agile Acquisition Small Business Contract. Yulista Aviation will be fulfilling the Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Armament Directorate (AFLCM/EB), Armament Systems Directorate (AFLCMC/XZW), and Special Operations Command (SOCOM Det 1) requirement to develop and apply unique solutions to air delivered weapons systems requirements, studies and demonstrations. – News release

Bloomberg Business high on Huntsville

A major business news source has highlighted Huntsville as one of "The Unlikely Cities That Will Power The U.S. Economy." Bloomberg Business recently profiled Huntsville for its growing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Redstone Arsenal and Curse were among organizations featured in the Sept. 3 article. – AL.com

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