PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - March 18

March 18 Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:29am EDT

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March 18 (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.

* Surging prices for food staples from coffee to meat to vegetables are driving up the cost of groceries in the United States, pinching consumers and companies that are still grappling with a sluggish economic recovery. ()

* General Motors said it recalled 1.7 million more vehicles as Chief Executive Mary Barra stepped up her response to the company's vehicle-defect problem, announcing three new safety recalls and vowing to change the way the auto maker handles recalls. ()

* A feud has erupted among distillers Brown-Forman Corp and Diageo Plc over a seemingly simple question: When is a whiskey "Tennessee Whiskey"? ()

* WhatsApp will soon belong to Facebook but the messaging app maker says it won't approach privacy the same way as its soon-to-be-parent company. On Monday, WhatsApp updated its app, rolling out a new user settings screen dedicated to privacy. It also published a blog post promising not to change what data it collects from users, and how it collects it. ()

* General Electric Co's retail credit business is facing a pair of probes from federal regulators over possible violations of consumer financial laws, disclosures that were released in paperwork for a planned initial public offering of the business.()

* Langham Hospitality Group tapped on Monday a Ritz Carlton veteran as its new chief executive, part of the Hong Kong-based company's plan to expand its brands worldwide. ()

* Inc will begin shipping its long-awaited video-streaming device in early April, through its website as well as retailers including Best Buy Co and Staples Inc, said people familiar with the company's plans. ()

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