PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - June 18

June 18 Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:44am EDT

June 18 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin clashed openly over Syria as world leaders began a summit, sharply underscoring deepening differences over the civil war.

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* Clearwire Corp, long the U.S. wireless industry's most embattled carrier, has emerged in recent months as its crown jewel. The company, which has teetered on the brink of bankruptcy, has drawn keen interest from Dish Network and Sprint Nextel Corp for its huge stockpile of spectrum. ()

* British prosecutors plan to file criminal fraud charges against former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes for allegedly trying to manipulate benchmark interest rates. ()

* Investor Daniel Loeb's hedge fund Third Point has boosted its stake in Sony to 6.9 percent, ratcheting up a campaign to convince the company to launch an IPO of its entertainment division.

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* China's big banks are pressuring the nation's central bank to free up funds to ease an unusual cash squeeze in the world's No. 2 economy. ()

* President Enrique Peña Nieto will seek to end a taboo of nearly eight decades by opening the state-run oil and gas industry to private investment and competition.

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* Tesla's Elon Musk has made a fortune disrupting the status quo in online shopping and renewable energy. Now, he's up against his toughest challenge yet: Local car dealers. The electric vehicle maker wants to sell directly to consumers, bypassing franchised automobile dealers. Dealers are flexing their considerable muscle in states including Texas and Virginia to stop him. ()

* The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts should give more scrutiny to pharmaceutical industry patent settlements that can delay the entry of generic drugs.

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* John Malone's Liberty Global is in talks with Germany's biggest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland, a move that could set off a bidding war with Vodafone Group . Liberty Global has been expanding aggressively in Europe. ()

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