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Top News Links: Thursday, Sept. 28

Mercedes $1B expansion into electric draws industry attention

Mercedes-Benz's $1 billion expansion announced last week caught the attention of the luxury carmaker's biggest competition in the electric vehicle market. Last Thursday, the company announced it would begin manufacturing electric SUVs for the company's EQ brand, hiring another 600 people. The move drew a trollish tweet from Elon Musk, who said the investment was insufficient, “off by a zero.” – AL.com

Trump starts push on sweeping tax reform

President Trump and GOP congressional leaders have outlined their plan for the most sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code in more than three decades. They're proposing deep cuts in both individual and corporate tax rates, saying that will help supercharge a slow-growing economy. "We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and yes, tax reform that is pro-American," Trump said Wednesday during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. – APR

U.S., Russia to partner on space station that orbits moon

Russia and the United States will lead an international coalition to build a space station to orbit the moon sometime in the 2020s, according to multiple media reports. A joint statement on the plan was signed this week at the 68th International Astronautical Conference in Adelaide, Australia. NASA has proposed building an orbiting lunar spaceport known as the Deep Space Gateway. – AL.com

Selection of Roy Moore launches widespread consternation

On Tuesday night, the voters in the great state of Alabama pushed a lawless theocratic lunatic named Roy Moore one tiny step away from a seat in the United States Senate. Moore lost his job as chief justice of that state’s supreme court twice; on both occasions, he lost it by flaunting the authority of the federal court system as though he were Orval Faubus in 1957. – Esquire

ASF Transportation increases footprint with two new sites

Mobile-based ASF Transportation Group today announced the addition of a truckload terminal in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and a new brokerage location in Chicago. The company launched its truckload and brokerage divisions in 2017, following the rapid growth and expansion of the firm’s now 13-terminal intermodal division, which began operations in 2011. – News release

Biotech researchers to convene Oct. 2-4 in Huntsville

Leading researchers from around the world will convene at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology on Oct. 2-4 for the fifth annual Immunogenomics conference. Immunogenomics lies at the intersection of immunology and genomics and explores the ways in which the human genome interacts with disease. The conference provides attendees the opportunity to engage in science discussions, network with experts and discover what’s next in the field of immunogenomics and how it will help shape the future of human health. – News release

Birmingham’s Amelie Ratliff weighs in on Trump tax cuts

At a time of staggering inequality, I can’t believe that Congress and the Trump administration want to give me another tax break. On Wednesday, the Republican party unveiled their tax reform plan, which included the elimination of the federal estate tax. But as one of a small segment of people in the top 1% with enough wealth to someday pay the estate tax, I believe a tax on inherited wealth is completely reasonable and fair. – The Guardian

UAH leading effort driven by $20M Science Foundation grant

A partnership comprising nine universities in Alabama, including The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as the lead institution, has been awarded a $20 million, five-year grant by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). – News release

Detroit’s Big 3 about to lose North American production crown

North American vehicle production by the unionized Detroit Three automakers will fall behind the combined North American output of Tesla Inc. and automakers from Europe and Asia for the first time this year, IHS Markit forecast on Wednesday. In 2017, the Detroit Three could build 8.6 million vehicles in North America, while Tesla and foreign automakers build 8.7 million, IHS Markit analyst Joe Langley said on Wednesday. – Reuters

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