PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Sept 13

Sept 13 Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:31am EDT

Sept 13 (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.

* A secretive Syrian military unit at the center of the Assad regime's chemical weapons program has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the U.S. to track, according to American and Middle Eastern officials. ()

* Twitter said it has confidentially submitted paperwork to the SEC to begin the process for an initial public offering. Goldman Sachs is the lead underwriter. ()

* J.P. Morgan Chase, facing a host of regulatory and legal woes, plans to spend an additional $4 billion and commit 5,000 extra employees this year to clean up its risk and compliance problems. ()

* Bond-fund managers PIMCO and Blackrock bought more than a quarter of the debt offered in Verizon Communications' $49 billion bond deal, the latest sign of the growing strength of the large investment firms in global financial markets. ()

* British banks have spent about $1.2 billion on a plan that makes it easier for account holders to defect to rivals. The system will be rolled out on Monday. ()

* Dell Inc said its shareholders approved a $25 billion deal to sell the computer maker back to founder Michael Dell and a private-equity partner, capping a bitter, yearlong buyout effort and putting the company's success or failure squarely in Michael Dell's hands. ()

* A federal judge on Thursday confirmed AMR Corp's plan to exit bankruptcy-court protection through a merger with U.S. Airways Group Inc leaving a U.S. antitrust lawsuit as the deal's final, if formidable, barrier. ()

* U.S. Bancorp lowered its long-term forecasts for revenue and income growth, citing a slowdown in mortgage activity that has already begun. ()

* Walt Disney plans to nearly double its annual stock buyback, spending between $6 billion and $8 billion in the next fiscal year. The move comes as Disney is reaching the end of what Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo called "a huge capital cycle." Though he didn't rule out new acquisitions or investments, the company is now largely focused on the results of its recent spending. ()

* Hilton, the world's largest hotel chain, filed plans on Thursday to raise at least $1.25 billion through one of the most anticipated IPOs in years and one that would offer a crucial test of the hospitality industry's recent recovery. ()

* The U.K. government said it would sell a majority stake in state-owned postal service the Royal Mail through an IPO in the coming weeks, formalizing one of the biggest privatizations the country has seen for decades. ()

* The United Auto Workers union said it passed a key hurdle in its bid to organize workers at Volkswagen's sole U.S. factory, raising political pressures that are squeezing the German auto maker from both sides of the Atlantic. ()

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