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US Sen. Warren to File Bill Targeting Top Drug Companies

January 22, 2015 | by STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press | Comments

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is shifting her focus from Wall Street to the nation's top pharmaceutical companies. The Massachusetts Democrat next week plans to file a bill that she said would help fund basic medical research by targeting pharmaceutical companies accused of breaking the law.

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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Labor Dispute At Ports Could Hamper Railroads

January 26, 2015 5:21 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

A months-long contract dispute at ports along the West Coast could spill thousands of miles inland, where two rail companies are raising concerns about shipping complications. Some 20,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have stayed on the job since their contract with the Pacific...

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Obama Administration Moves To Restrict Alaska Oil Exploration

January 26, 2015 5:17 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The Obama administration has proposed designating a majority of the sprawling Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as wilderness, which would restrict exploration for oil in the area. Republicans in Congress, however, have already signaled their fierce opposition to the proposal, the latest episode in a decades-long fight over...

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Top 5 Technologies Shaping 2015: Drones

January 26, 2015 3:36 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

It is tough to have a single conversation about what the future might look like without mentioning widespread commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. However, at least two key obstacles remain in place before drone use can become more widespread: legislation and safety. It looks like 2015 might...

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Falling Grain Prices Hit Farm Equipment Manufacturers

January 26, 2015 2:52 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Manufacturers of farm equipment are starting to feel the effects of falling grain prices on farmers' profit margins. Deere & Company, the Moline, Illinois-based maker of John Deere tractors, recently announced more than 800 layoffs at four Iowa facilities and 45 more at its plant in East Moline, Illinois. The company...

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Boeing, SpaceX To Beat Russia On Price For Astronaut Rides

January 26, 2015 2:24 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | Comments

NASA expects to save millions of dollars in launch costs, once its commercial crew program starts flying in a couple of years. SpaceX and Boeing said Monday that they are on track to carry out their first manned test flights to the International Space Station in 2017. NASA chose the two companies...

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Report: Employers In CT Added 4.8K Jobs In December

January 26, 2015 1:24 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Connecticut employers added 4,800 jobs in December, helping push down the unemployment rate a notch, to 6.4 percent, the state Department of Labor announced Monday. Connecticut's employment increased by 26,700 jobs since December 2013, to nearly 1.7 million. And the unemployment rate ticked down...

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Low Inflation Likely To Keep Fed 'Patient' About A Rate Hike

January 26, 2015 1:22 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | Comments

The Federal Reserve ended 2014 with a pledge to be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows. The way things are going, its patience may endure for a long while. Though the U.S. economy has steadily improved, inflation has dipped further below the Fed's target rate. Chalk it up to...

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MT High Court Upholds Coal Industry Sales Practice

January 26, 2015 11:50 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Montana's Supreme Court has sided with a Wyoming mining company in a dispute with state tax authorities who challenged the coal industry practice of making sales through affiliates. The unanimous high court ruling means Montana tax authorities must recalculate a $3.4 million tax bill for Gillette-based Cloud Peak...

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Death Toll From GM Ignition Switches Rises To At Least 50

January 26, 2015 11:42 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

At least 50 people have died in crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM to compensate victims, updated the totals Monday. With five days before the deadline to file claims, Feinberg has received 338 death claims and...

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Japan Logs Record Trade Deficit In 2014

January 26, 2015 10:32 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press | Comments

Japan's trade deficit ballooned to a record 12.8 trillion yen ($109 billion) last year as a weakening yen pushed the cost of imports higher despite a moderate recovery in exports. Preliminary data from the Finance Ministry released Monday showed Japan's exports rose 4.8 percent to 73.1 trillion...

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States Consider Repealing Prevailing Wage Laws

January 26, 2015 10:29 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Amid strong Republican gains in statehouses nationwide in recent years, debates over "right-to-work" legislation have generally been the most prominent union-related issues. Union-heavy states Indiana and Michigan enacted such laws, which prohibit requirements that workers join a union as a condition of...

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Senator Puts Forward Five Amendments To Keystone XL Legislation

January 26, 2015 10:03 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Comments

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota and longtime supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline, has proposed five new amendments to the legislation to approve the construction of the pipeline. She believes the Keystone XL Pipeline is a critical piece of the U.S. energy infrastructure, and...

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Survey: Firms Optimistic On Hiring, Wages In 1Q

January 26, 2015 8:23 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Rising sales helped boost hiring at U.S. businesses in the last three months of 2014, and companies are optimistic that continued improvement in business conditions will bring increased employment and wages in the current quarter, a new survey shows. And many businesses expect the steep drop in...

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Unmanned Drones Could Play Key Role In Food Supply

January 26, 2015 3:21 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press | Comments

Herding cattle. Counting fish. Taking an animal's temperature. Applying pesticides. When it comes to drones, "your imagination can go pretty wild in terms of what would be possible," says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. This month, the Federal Aviation Administration...

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1 Year After Explosion, Biofuels Plant Has Permits To Reopen

January 25, 2015 7:22 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A year after an explosion ripped apart the JNS Biofuel plant, the rebuilt plant in New Albany has all the permits it needs to reopen. However, state and local officials don't know when that will happen. TJN Biofuel LLC's president and owner, Steve Bolin, has not given official notice yet. The...

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Elon Musk's SpaceX Drops Lawsuit Against Air Force

January 24, 2015 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A spacecraft company run by billionaire Elon Musk has dropped a lawsuit alleging the U.S. Air Force improperly awarded a contract to launch military satellites to a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Musk's SpaceX filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in April after...

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Landfill Could Be One Of The Last To Tap Methane For Power

January 23, 2015 12:52 pm | by Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press | Comments

When most Californians think about the source of renewable energy flowing into their homes, they picture wind turbines and solar panels — not garbage. The little-known source of electricity has fed California's power grid for decades, but a groundbreaking Thursday for yet another trash-driven power...

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Percentage Of Union Workers Down Slightly In 2014

January 23, 2015 12:44 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The percentage of workers belonging to unions in 2014 declined slightly from the previous year, according to new federal estimates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest Current Population Survey -- which sampled 60,000 households -- found 11.1 percent of wage and salary workers were members of...

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OH Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.8% In December

January 23, 2015 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent last month, its lowest since September 2001 and the fourth consecutive monthly decrease. The state's Department of Job and Family Services said Friday that Ohio had 278,000 unemployed workers in December. That's down 9,000 compared with November,...

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CA Cities Among Top Unemployment Rates; Upper Midwestern Cities Among The Lowest

January 23, 2015 11:55 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The desert Southwest, the Jersey Shore and California's central valley account for the highest urban unemployment rates in the nation, according to data compiled by Forbes. The lowest unemployment rates, in contrast, primarily lie in northern college towns and in cities in close proximity to the country's shale...

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