PRESS DIGEST -Wall Street Journal - Aug 28

Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:28am EDT

Aug 28 (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.

* The most recent background check of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was so inadequate that too few people were interviewed and potential concerns weren't pursued, according to a federal review following his leak of some of the nation's most closely guarded secrets. ()

* Neiman Marcus Group Inc's owners, seeking a possible alternative to an initial public offering of stock they have been planning for the department-store chain, are asking potential bidders to submit takeover offers next week, people close to the situation said. KKR & Co LP, CVC Capital Partners Ltd and a team of Ares Management LLC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are circling Neiman, the people said. ()

* BlackBerry Ltd is considering spinning off its messaging service into a subsidiary that would operate with more independence, according to people familiar with the matter. ()

* A federal judge said on Tuesday that she plans to narrow the scope of the U.S. government's proposed oversight of Apple Inc after finding the technology company liable in July for fixing the prices of electronic books, saying she doesn't want to stifle its ability to be innovative. ()

* Wal-Mart Stores Inc told workers this week that it will begin offering health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of U.S. employees next year. The extension of health benefits marks a major change for the country's largest private employer of 1.3 million U.S. workers, which has been targeted by gay-rights advocacy groups for failing to do so. ()

* The U.S. government has used the merger-approval process to increase its influence over the telecom industry. The leverage has come from a series of increasingly restrictive security agreements between telecom companies and national-security agencies that are designed to head off threats to strategically significant networks, according to a review of the public documents and lawyers who have negotiated the agreements. ()

* Johnson & Johnson said it is making two changes in its senior leadership aimed at strengthening its presence in the increasingly important China market and at bolstering growth in its consumer segment. Jesse Wu, currently world-wide chairman of its consumer segment, will become chairman, Johnson & Johnson China. Lynn Pendergrass, who will come from Hewlett-Packard Co , will replace Wu at the troubled world-wide consumer division. ()

* Akorn Inc has agreed to buy Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co for $640 million in cash, a deal that allows the niche pharmaceutical company to diversify its retail offerings beyond ophthalmics. ()

* Amazon.com Inc announced on Tuesday that developers can allow physical goods from its website to be purchased through just about any Android app. That means users could buy an actual calendar to hang on their wall while using a calendar app, or spices from a recipe app. ()

* Las Vegas Sands Corp and federal prosecutors reached an agreement Tuesday to resolve a money-laundering investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles. ()