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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

U.S. Jobless Aid Applications Decline To 289K

December 18, 2014 11:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | Comments

Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign of solid job security and growing confidence among employers. Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is the lowest level since...

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NY To Ban Fracking, Hand Victory To Environmentalists

December 18, 2014 10:31 am | by Mary Esch, The Associated Press | Comments

Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits. New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom...

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Q&A: Drones Might Help Explain How Tornadoes Form

December 18, 2014 10:22 am | by Dan Elliot, The Associated Press | Comments

Researchers say they have collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now, they want to expand the project in hopes of learning more about how tornadoes form. Drones can penetrate parts of weather systems that other instruments can't...

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WA Governor Proposes Carbon Pollution Cap

December 18, 2014 10:07 am | by Phuong Le, The Associated Press | Comments

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday proposed an ambitious cap-and-trade program to require the state's largest industrial polluters to pay for every ton of carbon they release. The proposal was part of a broader package that the Democrat said would help the state meet a 2008 mandate to drastically reduce...

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Ford Expands Drivers Air Bag Recall Nationwide

December 18, 2014 9:57 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | Comments

Ford Motor Co. has agreed to government demands to expand a driver's side air bag inflator recall to the entire U.S. The move announced Thursday adds 447,000 Ford vehicles to the list of those recalled due to driver's inflators made by Japan's Takata Corp. The inflators can explode with too much force, spewing...

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Kraft CEO Announces Retirement, Successor Named

December 18, 2014 9:53 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Kraft Foods Group Inc. says that CEO Tony Vernon plans to retire later this month. The company named Chairman John Cahill as his successor. Vernon has served as CEO since the company's spinoff from Mondelez International in October 2012. While Vernon plans to retire from the...

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MAPI U.S. Industrial Outlook: Widespread Growth Ahead

December 18, 2014 9:42 am | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | Comments

Job gains and business investment are the two lead drivers keeping manufacturing on a solid growth path, according to the MAPI Foundation's U.S. Industrial Outlook, a quarterly report that analyzes 27 major industries. The MAPI Foundation is the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity...

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ND Fines Company $687K For Disposal Violations

December 17, 2014 4:23 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

North Dakota regulators have assessed a $687,000 fine against a Utah company for allegedly violating saltwater waste disposal rules. The North Dakota Industrial Commission that includes Gov. Jack Dalrymple approved the sanction on Wednesday against Redemption Energy LLC. Officials say the company...

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NY Will Move To Prohibit Fracking

December 17, 2014 4:02 pm | by Mary Esch, The Associated Press | Comments

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will move to prevent fracking in the state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique. Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he was recommending a ban, and Cuomo said he would...

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3 Tips For Mid-Market Companies Seeking To Implement Big Data

December 17, 2014 3:59 pm | by Kevin Beasley, CIO at VAI | Comments

Typically when we think of big data, we think of large corporations that have the tools and resources to make sense of all their data. However, mid-market companies are beginning to explore how to leverage big data effectively, too. Like larger corporations, mid-market companies can experience many...

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Apple Stops Sales In Russia

December 17, 2014 3:56 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Apple has halted online sales of its iPhones, iPads and other products in Russia amid financial turmoil triggered by the steep decline in the country's currency. The ruble plunged by as much as 20 percent Tuesday, even after Russia's central bank increased interest rates sharply in an attempt to shore up the...

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Sony Under Attack From Hackers And Ex-Employees

December 17, 2014 2:27 pm | by Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer | Comments

Threats of violence against movie theaters. Cancelled showings of "The Interview." Leaks of thousands more private emails. Lawsuits by former employees that could cost tens of millions in damages. The fallout from the hack that began four weeks ago exploded Tuesday after the shadowy group calling themselves...

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State Approves Grants For Pork Processing Plant

December 17, 2014 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved $12.5 million in grants to support the construction of a 550,000-square-foot pork processing facility. The Clemens Food Group operation will be in Coldwater Township. It is expected to create more than 800 jobs and $255 million in total investments. Grant money will go...

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Grand Jury Indicts 4 In WV Chemical Spill Case

December 17, 2014 12:26 pm | by John Raby, The Associated Press | Comments

A grand jury has indicted four former executives of a chemical company on pollution charges in a spill that prompted a drinking water ban for 300,000 West Virginia residents. An indictment unsealed Wednesday charges ex-Freedom Industries presidents Gary Southern and Dennis P. Farrell and two...

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Union Sues To Block Sale Of Bucksport Paper Mill

December 17, 2014 12:19 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A union representing some workers at the 84-year-old Verso Paper mill has filed a federal lawsuit to halt the sale of the facility. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, representing 59 employees, is asking the court to block the sale to a scrap metal company and open the...

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Fed Pondering Change In Rate Hike Signals

December 17, 2014 11:48 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | Comments

The U.S. economy is finally doing better, and the Federal Reserve may be ready to acknowledge that fact. In a statement it will issue Wednesday after two days of discussion, the Fed may no longer say it plans to keep a key interest rate near zero for a "considerable time." Dropping that language would be...

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U.S. Current Account Deficit Rises To $100.3B

December 17, 2014 11:23 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | Comments

The U.S. current account trade deficit widened slightly in the July-September quarter, largely due to foreign institutions paying less in fines and penalties to the U.S. government. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the deficit in the current account rose to $100.3 billion in the third...

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Russia's Sinking Economy Becoming A Global Threat

December 17, 2014 11:08 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | Comments

Russia's suddenly escalating financial crisis risks spilling beyond its borders and endangering parts of the global economy. With economies in Europe, Japan, China and Latin America already ailing, fresh threats have emerged from Russia's shriveled currency, its move to dramatically boost interest rates, the...

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U.S. Consumer Prices Fell 0.3% In November

December 17, 2014 10:24 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | Comments

Plunging gasoline costs pulled U.S. consumer prices lower in November, muting inflation across the entire economy. The Labor Department said Wednesday the inflation reading fell a seasonally-adjusted 0.3 percent last month, after prices were flat in October. Gas costs plummeted 10.5 percent in...

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FDA Requires Calorie Labels For Alcohol On Menus

December 17, 2014 10:11 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press | Comments

Don't want to be confronted with the number of calories in that margarita or craft beer? Then avoid the menu and order at the bar.New menu labeling rules from the Food and Drug Administration will require chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to list the amount of calories in alcoholic...

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