PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - July 23

July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:03am EDT

July 23 (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.

* SAC Capital Advisors gave employees a 46-page memo that is a detailed rebuttal to the U.S. government's allegations that Chief Executive Steven Cohen failed to take proper steps to prevent insider trading at his firm. ()

* Private investment funds, facing diminished returns in some other areas, have piled into the business of lending to struggling companies. ()

* Nonprofit community groups called worker centers are helping to unionize workplaces, but they have more freedom than unions, which are constrained by national labor laws. ()

* The landing gear of a Southwest Airlines jet collapsed after it landed at New York's La Guardia Airport, injuring more than 10 people onboard and temporarily closing one of the nation's busiest airports. ()

* The U.S. housing recovery has created opportunities for investors and helped growing families trade up to bigger homes. But one group that has been lagging behind the pack: first-time home buyers. ()

* The Heritage Foundation, long a stately think tank that sought to define conservative thinking for Republicans, now is often challenging the establishment GOP, making waves in the process. ()

* Panther Energy Trading was fined for alleged manipulative trading in commodity markets, in the commodities regulator's first use of new enforcement powers it got under the Dodd-Frank law. ()

* Detroit's municipal unions stepped up protests against proposals to slash worker benefits as part of the city's bankruptcy, but they face an uphill fight. ()

* A cadre of House conservatives is trying to force lawmakers to vote on cutting off funding for a controversial NSA program that collects information about phone calls made by millions of Americans. ()

* A federal judge temporarily blocked a new North Dakota state law banning nearly all abortions, saying it clearly violates constitutional protections to the procedure. ()

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