PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - June 30

June 30 Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:12am EDT

June 30 (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 extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is expanding its foothold in Syria after recent gains in neighboring Iraq, intensifying its clashes here against other Islamist rebel factions. (on.wsj.com/1sQ8xXl)

* Funds managed by Franklin Templeton Investments and OppenheimerFunds Inc asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico to block a new law that allows some public agencies to restructure their debt, arguing that only Congress is allowed to create bankruptcy rules. (on.wsj.com/1jB9WYr)

* After a series of high-profile data breaches and warnings, corporate boards are waking to cyberthreats, grappling with security issues they once relegated to technology experts. So far this year, 1,517 companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market listed some version of the words cybersecurity, hacking, hackers, cyberattacks or data breach as a business risk in securities filings, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. (on.wsj.com/1m1kfJe)

* Blackstone is quietly laying plans to start a hedge fund that will make big, bold bets, an effort it hopes will eventually rival some of the largest firms in the business. (on.wsj.com/V0fExi)

* The landmark settlement expected Monday between U.S. authorities and BNP Paribas SA began to take shape last summer, after bank executives flew to New York to share an embarrassing admission: The French bank had been processing potentially illicit dollar transactions with countries blacklisted by Washington years after the U.S. began investigating the lender. (on.wsj.com/TIB9BB)

* As soon as the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its long-awaited decision on securities class-action litigation last week, a fight brewed over who won the case. (on.wsj.com/1nWPeVo)

* A social-network furor has erupted over news that Facebook Inc in 2012, conducted a massive psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users. To determine whether it could alter the emotional state of its users and prompt them to post either more positive or negative content, the site's data scientists enabled an algorithm, for one week, to automatically omit content that contained words associated with either positive or negative emotions from the central news feeds of 689,003 users. (on.wsj.com/1nVk7IC) (Compiled by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore)

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