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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Downside Of Low Inflation: A Weaker Global Economy

February 19, 2014 2:39 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Overall prices are barely budging because the economy is still weak. And the reverse may be true, too: Super-low inflation has likely slowed growth from the United States to Japan to Europe. It's why the world's central banks would like prices to rise.

Europe To Build Planet-Hunting Space Telescope

February 19, 2014 2:04 pm | News | Comments

The European Space Agency says it plans to launch a satellite to hunt for planets outside our solar system by 2024. ESA says the mission will be called PLATO, short for Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars. The satellite will be equipped with 34 telescopes and cameras trained on 1 million nearby stars to search for tell-tale signs of orbiting planets.

Dongfeng, French Gov't To Invest In Peugeot

February 19, 2014 1:16 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Loss-making French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is getting a 3 billion euro lifeline backed by Chinese investors and the French government in a deal that will see the company's founding family hand over control after more than two centuries at the helm.

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Jordan Museum Displays Unique Vehicles

February 19, 2014 12:30 pm | by Jamal Halaby, Associated Press | News | Comments

On a hilltop of the Jordanian capital, a museum with some of the world's most unique cars and motorbikes recounts a century of the ruling Hashemite dynasty's elegant lifestyle. The Royal Automobile Museum was built in 2003 under instructions from King Abdullah II, specifically to pay tribute to the eventful life of his late father.

John Kerry Mocks Those Who Deny Climate Change

February 19, 2014 12:02 pm | by Matthew Lee, AP Diplomatic Writer | News | Comments

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday called climate change perhaps the world's "most fearsome" destructive weapon and mocked those who deny its existence or question its causes, comparing them to people who insist the Earth is flat.   

Mead Johnson Warns Of Possible Violations In China

February 19, 2014 11:31 am | News | Comments

Infant formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. says its Chinese subsidiary may have violated U.S. and local laws, including anti-bribery statutes. The company says some promotional spending violated its own policies, and it may have also broken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and local laws.

Czech Brewer Gets Budweiser Trademark In Portugal

February 19, 2014 10:41 am | News | Comments

The Czech brewery Budvar says a Portuguese trade court has ruled that it will have the exclusive rights to the Budweiser trademark in the country, canceling the rights owned by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev. State-owned Budejovicky Budvar NP has been fighting with Anheuser-Busch for over a century over use of the Budweiser name.

Report: Offshoring And Outsourcing A Mixed Bag For U.S. Jobs, Wages

February 19, 2014 9:41 am | by UC Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) | News | Comments

Without solid numbers, many have assumed that most of the offshored jobs go to developing countries where workers are paid near-poverty wages in less than ideal working conditions. However, the researchers said public fear that offshoring to lower-cost countries is putting downward pressure on U.S. jobs may be overblown.

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Carlsberg: Beer Demand Falling In Europe, Russia

February 19, 2014 8:28 am | News | Comments

Carlsberg says beer sales are likely to fall this year in western Europe and Russia, but continue to grow in Asia. The Copenhagen-based group says its fourth-quarter net sales fell slightly to 15.7 billion kroner ($2.9 billion) as overall beer volumes dropped 3 percent.

As German Car Sales Drop, Industry Bets On Sharing

February 19, 2014 8:23 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

It follows a culture shift in the country that invented the automobile, where cars were once commonly described as the Germans' "favorite child." Excellent public transport, high fuel prices and a strong environmental movement mean that for many Germans the car has become an expendable accessory, or at worst an expensive liability.

China Investigating Qualcomm, InterDigital

February 19, 2014 7:55 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Regulators are investigating whether U.S. technology companies Qualcomm and InterDigital violated China's anti-monopoly law by charging excessive fees for patent licenses, a government spokesman said Wednesday.        

Obama, Fellow Dems Are At Odds On Big Trade Bills

February 18, 2014 2:20 pm | by Tom Raum, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama wants to put major emerging trade deals with Europe and Asia on a "fast track" to congressional passage. But with midterm elections looming, many fellow Democrats are working to sidetrack them instead.     

Toyota Resumes Operations At 3 Plants After Heavy Snowfall

February 18, 2014 12:50 pm | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. resumed operations Tuesday morning at three plants in central Japan that were shut the previous day as parts delivery was suspended due to heavy snowfall last weekend, while many plants of other automakers remained idled.   

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Judge Approves Fisker Asset Sale To Wanxiang

February 18, 2014 11:14 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

In an auction stretching over three days last week, Wanxiang beat out Hybrid Technology, led by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, with a final bid of $149.2 million in cash and other considerations. The judge approved the asset sale at a court hearing Tuesday.

Europe At Origin Of Chronic U.S. Execution Dilemma

February 18, 2014 9:24 am | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

There's one big reason why the United States has a dearth of execution drugs so acute that some states are considering solutions such as firing squads and gas chambers: Europe won't allow the drugs to be exported because of its fierce hostility to capital punishment.

China City Closes Poultry Markets To Stop Bird Flu

February 18, 2014 8:31 am | News | Comments

The major city of Guangzhou in southern China closed its live poultry markets on Saturday for two weeks to halt the spread of the H7N9 strain of bird flu. The closure lasts through Feb. 28 "to strengthen work to control the spread of the H7N9 flu," the city government said in a one-sentence announcement on its microblog account.

U.S. Olive Oil Pushing Gov't To Test Imported Oils

February 18, 2014 8:04 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | News | Comments

The tiny California olive industry says European olive oil filling U.S. shelves often is mislabeled and lower-grade oil, and they're pushing the federal government to give more scrutiny to imported varieties. One congressman-farmer even goes so far as suggesting labels on imported oil say "extra rancid" rather than "extra virgin."

Science, Not Muscle, Driving Many Olympic Wins

February 14, 2014 2:19 pm | by Angela Charlton, Associated Press | News | Comments

Much as we'd like to, no one today can pretend that the Olympics — or any sport, for that matter — is just about exceptional physical ability anymore. It's about the marriage between exceptional humans and exceptional technology, a union in which technology is increasingly the breadwinner.

Toyota City To Earn 5 Times More Corporate Tax In Fiscal 2014

February 14, 2014 2:03 pm | News | Comments

The city of Toyota, where Toyota Motor Corp. is headquartered, is expecting over five times more corporate tax income in fiscal 2014 than the previous year, thanks to the leading Japanese carmaker's robust performance.      

Report: Engines Failed On Helicopter That Hit Pub

February 14, 2014 1:58 pm | News | Comments

A police helicopter that crashed onto a pub in Glasgow, killing 10 people, suffered double engine failure for reasons that remain unclear, investigators said Friday. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said in an interim report that the right engine on the Eurocopter EC135 Type 2 helicopter "flamed out and shortly after the left engine flamed out."

Eurozone Recovery Accelerates But Jobs Elusive

February 14, 2014 12:55 pm | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

The economy of the euro bloc grew 0.3 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, the Eurostat statistics office said Friday. That was slightly faster than expected and up from the third quarter's 0.1 percent. The recovery remains tepid, however, at least by global standards.

UK Authorities Reportedly Arrest 2 In Rolls Probe

February 14, 2014 11:33 am | News | Comments

Britain's Press Association says U.K. authorities have arrested two people as part of an investigation into the dealings in Asia of the engine maker Rolls-Royce PLC. The arrests come after the fraud office announced in December that it had opened a criminal investigation into bribery and corruption allegations at the defense and aerospace group.

Iranian Satellite Case In N.Y. Takes Complex Turn

February 14, 2014 10:42 am | by Eric Tucker, Associated Press | News | Comments

Since his plea, the federal government has approved for export to Iran the very products he was convicted of helping ship, his lawyers say. Then federal prosecutors in New York told a judge after the sentencing hearing that they had mistakenly exaggerated the equipment's capabilities.

Renault Earnings Slashed By Over Half In 2013

February 14, 2014 10:36 am | News | Comments

Renault says its earnings were more than halved last year even as car sales began to rebound, as heavy restructuring costs ate into the French car maker's profits. The maker of the Twingo and Clio hatchbacks said that plans to revamp its product lineup beginning in the fall and expansion in the developing world will help it lift revenue $68 billion by 2016.

Oreo Maker Mondelez Sees Cookie Troubles In China

February 14, 2014 10:24 am | News | Comments

Mondelez reported a fourth-quarter profit Wednesday that fell short of Wall Street expectations as the Oreo maker struggled with cookie sales in China. The company, which also makes Cadbury, Chips Ahoy, Ritz and Trident gum, said its core revenue for the final three months of the year rose 2.5 percent, primarily as a result of higher volume.

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