PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 24

Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:51am EST

Dec 24 - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* A federal judge in New Orleans approved a $7.8 billion settlement between BP Plc and Gulf Coast businesses and residents over damages related to the 2010 offshore oil spill. ()

* Engineers at Motorola Mobility are hard at work on a sophisticated handset - known internally as the "X phone" - but the Google Inc unit is running into some obstacles in its effort to provide more potent competition for Apple Inc , said people familiar with the matter. ()

* Shanghai regulators gave Yum Brands Inc some shelter from criticism by China's state-run media of its food-safety practices, saying chicken sampled from the U.S. restaurant company's KFC arm complied with government limits on antibiotics. ()

* News Corp said the publishing company it plans to spin off incurred losses last fiscal year and in the most recent quarter. ()

* The court-appointed authorities liquidating various parts of MF Global Holdings Ltd agreed to settle long-running legal disputes, a three-way truce expected to help customers of the failed brokerage firm get their money back more quickly. ()

* Federal agencies are examining allegations that Regions Financial Corp improperly classified loans that went bad during the financial crisis, according to depositions filed as part of a civil lawsuit against the large southeastern U.S. bank. ()

* After spending the past two years increasing investments in Europe's high-end real-estate market, Norway's $682 billion oil fund is poised to hit the U.S. property market with deep pockets and an appetite for big-ticket deals. ()

* Congressional battle lines hardened Sunday over firearms restrictions, laying the foundation for what will likely be a fight over any proposed new gun laws. ()