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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

VT Fights Industry's Bid To Block GMO Law

November 17, 2014 3:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The state of Vermont is asking a federal judge to throw out a food industry lawsuit that seeks to block Vermont's new GMO labeling law from taking effect. Attorney General Bill Sorrell said on Monday that his office on Friday had filed legal papers at the U.S. District Court in Burlington...

McDonald's Refuses To Buy USDA-Approved GMO Potato

November 17, 2014 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.'s new genetically modified potato. But one of the company's oldest business partners — McDonald's — hasn't. The fast-food giant says it doesn't use genetically modified potatoes, the Idaho Statesman reported...

U.S. Pension Insurer Ran Record $62B Deficit In 2014

November 17, 2014 2:09 pm | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The federal agency that insures pensions for about 41 million Americans saw its deficit nearly double in the latest fiscal year. The agency said the worsening finances of some multi-employer pension plans mainly caused the increased deficit. At about $62 billion for the budget year ending Sept....

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Federal Ban Sought For Animal Testing On Cosmetics

November 15, 2014 4:07 am | by Frederic J. Frommer, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hoping to build off recent bans in Europe and India, opponents of animal testing for cosmetics plan to make a big push for a similar prohibition in the United States. The effort could be a tough sell in a Republican-controlled Congress. Virginia Democrat Don Beyer is expected to take the lead on...

NC Employers Avoid More Federal Unemployment Taxes

November 12, 2014 5:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

North Carolina businesses won't have to pay even higher unemployment insurance taxes beyond what's required while the state still owes the federal government money to pay jobless benefits during the Great Recession. The U.S. Department of Labor told Gov. Pat McCrory this...

House To Vote On Keystone, Landrieu Seeks Action

November 12, 2014 4:56 pm | by Donna Cassata, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Call it a high-stakes political poker game, with the Louisiana Senate seat the big prize. Three-term Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, facing an uphill fight to hold her seat in a Dec. 6 runoff, on Wednesday called for vote on approving the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL...

Biden Pitches Infrastructure Improvements

November 12, 2014 4:09 pm | by Michael Graczyk, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday renewed his call for improvements to the nation's infrastructure, particularly at ports, saying failure to make upgrades will mean missed opportunities for economic growth. "This is a passion of mine," Biden told several hundred people attending the annual...

Energy Company Fined For Uranium Spills

November 12, 2014 3:27 pm | by Mead Gruver, The Associated Press | News | Comments

An energy company has agreed to pay a $5,000 state penalty for two spills of uranium solution from pipelines at a new Wyoming mine. Over 20,000 gallons spilled July 17 at the Nichols Ranch in-situ uranium mine in Powder River Basin between Casper and Gillette. In-situ uranium mining...

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Obama's Bid For New China Ties Can't Quell Tension

November 11, 2014 5:28 pm | by Julie Pace, AP White House Correspondent | News | Comments

When Xi Jinping took the reins of a booming China two years ago, President Barack Obama saw an opportunity to remake America's relationship with the Asian power. But even after Obama's unusually robust efforts to forge personal ties with Xi, the two leaders are meeting in Beijing...

Obama Inflames Divisive Debate On 'Net Neutrality'

November 11, 2014 10:41 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Let's say President Barack Obama gets his way and high-speed Internet service providers are governed by the same U.S. regulations imposed on telephone companies 80 years ago. Depending on whom you listen to, the rules could unleash future innovation and...

USDA Approves GMO Potato

November 10, 2014 2:35 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of a potato that is genetically modified to resist bruising and to produce less of a chemical that has caused cancer in animals. Boise, Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. developed the potato, and it was approved by the...

Foundation Of U.S. Nuclear System Showing Cracks

November 10, 2014 2:19 pm | by Robert Burns, AP National Security Writer | News | Comments

The foundation of America's nuclear arsenal is fractured, and the government has no clear plan to repair it. The cracks appear not just in the military forces equipped with nuclear weapons but also in the civilian bureaucracy that controls them, justifies their cost, plans their future and...

White House Wants Greater Regulation Of Internet Providers

November 10, 2014 2:03 pm | by Anne Flaherty, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Internet providers shouldn't be allowed to cut deals with online services like Netflix or YouTube to move their content faster, and should be regulated more like phone companies, President Barack Obama said Monday in an announcement that was swiftly rejected by industry. The Federal Communications Commission...

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Obama: Stronger Ties With China Will Bring Jobs

November 10, 2014 1:57 pm | by USA Today | Videos | Comments

President Obama delivered a speech at an economic summit in Beijing on Monday, saying he wants the United States and China to strengthen ties that could lead to more jobs. He said the U.S. welcomes the rise of a prosperous and stable China...

Showdown Looms As CA Discusses Pesticides

November 10, 2014 12:18 pm | by Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press | News | Comments

With organic food growers reporting double-digit growth in U.S. sales each year, producers are challenging a proposed California pest-management program they say enshrines a pesticide-heavy approach for decades to come, including compulsory spraying of organic crops at the...

Why Many Aren't Celebrating Low Unemployment

November 10, 2014 9:46 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The unemployment rate no longer seems to reflect America's mood. Friday's strong jobs report showed that the jobless rate — the most closely watched gauge of the economy's health — is down to 5.8 percent. A year ago, the rate was 7.2 percent. Five years ago, it was 10...

Schumer Calls For Review Of Car Safety Screening

November 9, 2014 9:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. Sen Charles Schumer is calling for a top-to-bottom review of federal safety screening for defective car parts. He is citing the recall of millions of vehicles equipped with Takata Corp. passenger air bags that can explode with too much force and send shards of metal into the passenger...

Job Gains Top 200K For Ninth Month

November 7, 2014 2:15 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Three days after voters registered their sourness about the U.S. economy, the government said Friday that employers added a solid 214,000 jobs in October, extending the steadiest pace of job growth in nearly 20 years. In addition, a combined 31,000 more jobs were added in...

Labor Department Suing For Steelworker Pension Funds

November 7, 2014 12:30 pm | by Matt Stroud, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The federal labor department is suing to protect West Virginia steelworkers who may have lost millions in retirement savings because investment managers hired by Severstal Wheeling failed to properly oversee the plan. "This case underscores the department's commitment to hold...

Manufacturers Urge Obama To Intercede In Port Dispute

November 7, 2014 10:24 am | by National Retail Federation | News | Comments

A diverse coalition including retailers, manufacturers, farmers, and other supply chain stakeholders sent a letter to President Obama urging the government’s immediate involvement in contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse...

NC Panel Discusses Revisions To Fracking Rules

November 6, 2014 3:05 pm | by Jonathan Drew, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The North Carolina panel developing rules on hydraulic fracturing agreed Thursday that regulators should have the explicit ability to halt work if there are violations at a drilling operation. Three members of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission who presided over public hearings on...

NRA Blocks Ban On Serving Dog, Cat Meat In PA

November 6, 2014 1:47 pm | by The Colbert Report | Videos | Comments

Thanks to pressure from the National Rifle Association, people remain free to dine on dogs and cats in Pennsylvania. Stephen Colbert of "The Colbert Report" explains how Pennsylvania butchers selling dog and cat meat brought upon a House bill designed to outlaw the human consumption of common household pets...

IN Panel Projecting Stronger Economy For 2015

November 6, 2014 12:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana University economists projected Thursday that the number of people working in the state will return to its pre-recession peak next year. The panel from the Kelley School of Business released its annual economic forecast, saying Indiana is expected to see slightly less economic growth than...

GOP Eager To Move On Keystone XL

November 6, 2014 12:02 pm | by Donna Cassata, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Republicans' resounding victory gives them an opportunity to push legislation that's been bottled up in the Democratic Senate, from targeting elements of President Barack Obama's health care law to constructing the Keystone XL oil pipeline to rolling back environmental regulations. Democrats suffered...

100K Workers Protest Belgian Labor Reform

November 6, 2014 11:43 am | by Raf Casert, The Associated Press | News | Comments

One of Belgium's biggest postwar labor demonstrations brought about 100,000 workers to the capital on Thursday to protest government free-market reforms and austerity measures that they claim undermine Belgium's vaunted welfare state. For two hours, the demonstrators peacefully...

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