PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - June 20

June 20 Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:55am EDT

June 20 (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.

* U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed could start winding down its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program later this year, setting up a high-stakes test to see if the economy and markets can begin to stand on their own. ()

* The UK is considering splitting the Royal Bank of Scotland into two banks: one housing the lender's healthy assets and the other, its pile of troubled loans and securities, a move that underscores policy makers' frustration. ()

* Economic sanctions against Iran have made it hard for Iranians to do business abroad. But Iranian businessmen are flocking to Georgia, a U.S. ally in the Caucasus region, to pursue profits. ()

* Microsoft Corp was recently in advanced discussions with Nokia about a purchase of its device business, in a marriage that could have reshaped the mobile-phone industry. ()

* Four large U.S. banks have failed to comply with key elements of a landmark $25 billion mortgage settlement, an independent monitor said Wednesday. Bank of America Corp , JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup Inc and Wells Fargo each failed to meet at least one of 29 standards for providing timely and accurate relief to homeowners at risk of foreclosure, said Joseph Smith, the independent monitor responsible for overseeing the settlement. ()

* Goldman Sachs lost out on an advisory role in one of the most significant deals this year - the sale of Smithfield Foods to China's Shuanghui International Holdings - because of its investment in the Chinese company, according to people familiar with the matter. ()

* A hearing this week on whether to substantially reduce former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling's 24-year prison sentence comes amid a growing debate about the rules for punishing white-collar criminals. ()

* Microsoft said on Wednesday it will loosen some unpopular new policies it had earlier announced for its upcoming Xbox One videogame console. The software company said it would no longer require its Xbox to connect to the Internet each day, nor would it restrict how its videogame discs are traded, resold or rented. ()

* Clothing chain Men's Wearhouse terminated its founder and public face, George Zimmer, from his position as executive chairman. Zimmer said he was being silenced after expressing concerns about the comapny's direction. ()

* Alcatel Lucent SA plans to rework its balance sheet and significantly tighten its focus to a handful of core businesses, in an effort to return the telecommunications-equipment maker to profitability, the company said. ()

* Nike Inc is encouraging developers to build apps for its FuelBand digital bracelet by giving them aggregate data from customers. Nike's data-sharing venture is part of a larger shift at the sportswear giant to think more like a technology company. ()

* Smaller-jet makers Embraer and Bombardier have drawn attention with contrasting order books at the Paris Air Show, with Bombardier yet to snare any orders for its coming CSeries jets. ()

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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