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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

NASA Could Have Prevented Astronaut's Close Call

February 26, 2014 2:20 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

NASA could have prevented last summer's near-drowning of a spacewalking astronaut. That's the conclusion of an investigation board created by NASA in the wake of last July's close call outside the International Space Station. Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano nearly drowned when his helmet filled with water on July 16. He barely made it back inside alive.

MAPI: China’s Economic Reforms Offer Both Challenges And Opportunities

February 26, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

Despite being comprehensive and ambitious, China’s new economic reform agenda is criticized for being vague and not overwhelmingly innovative. According to a new report, however, what is encouraging this time is that China’s leaders have demonstrated a stronger will to ensure successful implementation.

Israel Completes Tests On Airline Defense System

February 26, 2014 1:09 pm | News | Comments

Israel's defense ministry says it successfully completed final testing on a system that protects commercial planes from missile attacks. Eitan Eshel, head of research and development at the ministry, said Wednesday that testing of the "Sky Shield" system was "100 percent successful."

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EU Lawmakers Back Tough New Anti-Smoking Rules

February 26, 2014 11:14 am | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Parliament has voted in favor of tough new anti-smoking rules governing the multibillion-dollar tobacco market including the introduction of mandatory picture and text health warnings covering about two-thirds of cigarette packs.   

China Would Use Coal Plant To Power Jamaica Port

February 26, 2014 10:48 am | by David McFadden, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Chinese company wants to build its own coal-fired plant in southern Jamaica to generate the power needed for a hoped-for $1.5 billion port that the Caribbean island envisions as helping transform its chronically sluggish economy.   

Airbus Posts Higher 2013 Profit

February 26, 2014 7:46 am | by Greg Keller, Associated Press | News | Comments

European jetmaker Airbus Group said Wednesday record demand for its civilian jetliners from airlines around the world drove higher sales and profits last year. The Boeing Co. rival, known until this year as EADS, said net profit rose 22 percent to 1.47 billion euros ($2 billion) in 2013, up from 1.2 billion euros the previous year.

Japan Plan Keeps Nuclear As Key Energy Source

February 25, 2014 12:24 pm | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The draft presented Tuesday to the Cabinet for approval expected in March, said Japan's nuclear energy dependency will be reduced as much as possible, but that reactors meeting new safety standards set after the 2011 nuclear crisis should be restarted.

EIA: U.S. Oil Imports Have Declined Since 2011

February 25, 2014 11:29 am | by U.S. Energy Information Administration | News | Comments

Since early 2011, a falling volume of crude oil imports as domestic production has risen sharply and the emergence of net product exports have driven the volume and value of net oil imports lower. These reductions occurred even though the annual average oil prices in 2012 and 2013 were at their highest historical levels.

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Pollution Hides Beijing Skyline; Statues Get Masks

February 25, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Beijing remained cloaked in hazardous white pollution, despite the announced closures or production cuts at 147 of the city's industrial plants. Readings of PM2.5, a key measure of pollution, reached 444 micrograms per cubic meter in central Beijing. The World Health Organization considers 25 micrograms a safe level.

Phone Makers Look To Emerging Markets For Growth

February 25, 2014 7:57 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Most of the world can't afford the hundreds of dollars they cost, so there's been a push to get mobile devices cheap enough to reach emerging markets without sacrificing so much performance that first-time smartphone owners will give up on the Internet and forgo a second smartphone down the road.

French Automakers Seek To Catch Up In China

February 25, 2014 7:50 am | News | Comments

French automakers Renault and Peugeot are looking belatedly to China to revive their flagging fortunes but picked a tough time to try to expand. Three decades after Volkswagen became the first global automaker to produce cars in China in 1984, Renault SA announced plans in December for a Chinese factory.

FDA To Boost India Staff Overseeing Drug Imports

February 24, 2014 8:42 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer | News | Comments

The head of the Food and Drug Administration said Friday that her agency will add more inspectors in India to better monitor drugs from the country's burgeoning pharmaceutical industry, even as her agency also seeks closer cooperation from Indian regulators.

Black Hawk Helicopter Maker To Eliminate 600 Jobs

February 24, 2014 7:55 am | News | Comments

The company that manufactures Black Hawk helicopters said Friday it is eliminating 600 jobs, most of them in Connecticut, as it struggles with cuts to U.S. defense spending and a reduction in the demand for the workhorse aircraft used by the military to strike targets and ferry troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Lydall Acquires Industrial Filtration Business Of Andrew Industries Limited

February 21, 2014 12:50 pm | News | Comments

Lydall, Inc. (NYSE:LDL), today announced that it has acquired the industrial filtration businesses of Andrew Industries Limited, an Altham, United Kingdom-based corporation, for $83 million in cash. The acquired business consists of operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, and approximately 500 employees.

Beijing Issues Rare Air Pollution Alert

February 21, 2014 12:06 pm | by Didi Tang, Associated Press | News | Comments

Still, the government did not issue the red alert. Beijing's alert system requires a forecast of three days in a row of severe pollution for the highest level. Days of extreme pollution or polluted skies that are expected to clear in less than three days do not trigger the most stringent measures.

Turkey Receives First Of 4 Surveillance Planes

February 21, 2014 11:11 am | News | Comments

Turkey's military has taken delivery of its first Boeing-made surveillance aircraft, part of a $1.5 billion project to modernize its air force. The first of four so-called AWACs — airborne early warning and control aircraft — was brought into the Turkish Air Force in a ceremony in the city of Konya on Friday.

Bhutan, Nissan Partner On Electric Cars

February 21, 2014 8:13 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has tapped Nissan Motor Co. to supply electric cars for its taxis and government fleet, hoping to reduce reliance on imported oil. Under the agreement announced Friday, Nissan will supply its Leaf electric car and set up charging stations in Bhutan.

Beleaguered Sony Counting On New Game Machine

February 21, 2014 7:57 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

PlayStation stands out among the long list of famous Sony brands as one that hasn't faded or succumbed to a nimbler competitor. Months after hitting global markets, the latest version of the video-game console is going on sale at midnight in Tokyo, a big shift from times when Sony was ascendant enough to launch flagship products in Japan first.

Delaware Court Affirms Dismissal Of DuPont Suit

February 21, 2014 7:53 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The Delaware Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the widow of an Argentine national who claimed he was exposed to asbestos at a DuPont textile plant in the South American country.       

Mexico To Trump Japan As No. 2 Car Exporter To U.S.

February 21, 2014 7:47 am | by Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press | News | Comments

An $800 million Honda plant opening Friday in the central state of Guanajuato will produce about 200,000 Fit hatchbacks a year, helping push total Mexican car exports to the U.S. to 1.7 million in 2014, roughly 200,000 more than Japan, consulting firm IHS Automotive says.

Japan Trade Deficit Hits Record $27.4B In January

February 20, 2014 2:16 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A weakening in the Japanese yen over the past year has failed to boost exports as much as hoped while imports of oil and gas, food and other products have surged. Consumers and businesses are thought to be stepping up purchases ahead of an April 1 sales tax hike.

Toshiba To Actively Pursue M&A To Boost Health Care Business

February 20, 2014 1:59 pm | News | Comments

Toshiba Corp. said Thursday it will spend hundreds of billions of yen by the business year ending March 2018 on mergers and acquisitions to expand its health care business, as part of efforts to make the area a new pillar of its management.  

Highly Radioactive Water Leaks At Japan Nuke Plant

February 20, 2014 10:13 am | News | Comments

Highly radioactive water has overflowed from a storage tank at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant, but the operator says it did not reach the Pacific Ocean. The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said Thursday that the leak involved partially treated water from early in the crisis, meaning it was more toxic than previous leaks.

China's Manufacturing Slows To 7-Month Low

February 20, 2014 7:49 am | News | Comments

China's economic activity has slowed steadily as the government tries to reduce reliance on investment in industry and infrastructure and encourage more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption. HSBC economist Hongbin Qu said that the buildup of pressure for prices to fall "implies that the underlying momentum for manufacturing growth could be weakening."

Mexico Feels Energy Buzz With N. America Summit

February 19, 2014 3:25 pm | by Katherine Corcoran, Associated Press | News | Comments

The leaders of the three NAFTA nations met Wednesday in Mexico in part to highlight the economic cooperation that has grown since NAFTA joined the U.S., Canada and Mexico 20 years ago. But all eyes, including Madero's, were on one key area that NAFTA didn't touch: energy.

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