PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Feb 11

Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:43am EST

Feb 11 (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 U.S. military has revised plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan to allow the White House to wait until President Hamid Karzai leaves office before completing a security pact and settling on a post-2014 U.S. troop presence, officials said. ()

* Most employers won't face a fine next year if they fail to offer workers health insurance, the Obama administration said Monday, in the latest big delay of the health-law rollout. The Treasury Department, in regulations outlining the Affordable Care Act, said employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers won't have to comply with the law's requirement to provide insurance or pay a fee until 2016. ()

* House Republican leaders tried Monday to build support for raising the federal debt limit by linking it to a reversal of planned cuts in some military pensions, working to overcome vocal opposition from conservatives in hopes of bringing it to a vote Wednesday. ()

* 400 workers at H.J. Heinz Co's Idaho plant have become casualties in a cost-cutting campaign that is the talk of the food industry. Although Heinz had been considered one of the industry's leanest organizations, the Brazilian lead investors, private-equity firm 3G Capital, believe they have identified plenty of fat. ()

* Billionaire investor Carl Icahn gave up his fight Monday to force Apple Inc to boost its share repurchase program by $50 billion. ()

* Nokia, whose mobile-device business will soon be bought by Microsoft, plans to introduce this month a smartphone powered by a version of Google's Android mobile software, according to people familiar with the matter. ()

* KKR & Co is shuttering two funds for individual investors, a move that comes less than two years after the buyout firm launched them. ()

* The executive in charge of BlackBerry Ltd's instant-messaging tool, BBM, has left the company, creating a hole in one of the smartphone company's core offerings. Andrew Bocking, executive vice president in charge of BBM, "has made the decision to leave" the company, according to a BlackBerry spokeswoman. ()

* Rackspace Hosting Inc Chief Executive Lanham Napier stepped down from the Web infrastructure provider he led for nearly eight years, following a sharp slowdown last year that sank its stock. ()

* In a move to end misconceptions, General Motors Co said Chief Executive Mary Barra will be eligible for a $14.4 million pay package this year, a 60 percent increase over the compensation awarded to her predecessor Dan Akerson. The pay disclosure was in response to ongoing reports in both the mainstream media and on social websites accusing the Detroit auto maker of paying Barra less than Akerson. ()

* A leading bitcoin exchange Monday blamed a long-unresolved technical issue for its decision to abruptly halt customer withdrawals last week. ()

* The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is preparing to ease restrictions on swaps trading overseas, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could shift some trading abroad as banks and other firms look for ways to circumvent tough U.S. rules. ()

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