PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - July 1

July 1 Tue Jul 1, 2014 1:43am EDT

July 1 (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.

* President Barack Obama said Monday he would begin using his authority to bolster border security and consider taking other steps on his own to change the nation's immigration policy, after angrily declaring that Republicans had finally killed off any chances for immigration legislation this year. (on.wsj.com/1mD0nIl)

* BNP Paribas SA agreed to pay nearly $9 billion and plead guilty to violating U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Iran and other countries, an unprecedented settlement that includes a year-long ban on the French bank's ability to transact in U.S. dollars. (on.wsj.com/1lu8A1m)

* The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 split said private companies can on religious grounds opt out of a federal health-care law requirement that companies provide contraception coverage for employees. (on.wsj.com/1sTdoqy)

* General Motors' compensation plan for victims of 2.6 million defective small cars would offer payments for any accidents in which the air bags in the cars failed to deploy, and may offer increased payouts to victims who accepted out-of-court settlements before the auto maker recalled the vehicles. GM also said it will recall an additional 8.45 million vehicles in North America from the 1997 to 2014 model years, most due to an unintended ignition key rotation. (on.wsj.com/1m4dNkF)

* Hewlett-Packard said it reached a settlement in three shareholder lawsuits related to its 2011 acquisition of software firm Autonomy, in another sign the personal-computer maker is seeking to put the costly deal behind it. (on.wsj.com/1r9Gksv)

* To fix Nestlé's sagging U.S. business, Paul Grimwood has been slashing the number of product variations, and deciding which brands need attention, like Lean Cuisine. (on.wsj.com/1nYkJNo)

* Argentina will send a delegation to meet with a court-appointed lawyer on July 7 as it tries to resolve a dispute with a small group of creditors that could see the South American country default for a second time in 13 years. (on.wsj.com/1vqrzzi)

* Salesforce.com Inc has recruited an executive from Autodesk Inc as its new chief financial officer. The San Francisco-based company, which offers online software to automate sales and other functions, said Mark Hawkins will start as finance chief on Aug. 1. He has served for five years as CFO of Autodesk, whose software is used for tasks that include designing buildings, cars and other consumer products. (on.wsj.com/V5M49A)

* Amherst Securities Group LP and Pierpont Securities LLC are set to merge in a deal aimed at creating a bigger player in underwriting and trading mortgage-related securities, businesses that some larger banks have retreated from in recent years. The companies plan to announce the tie-up on Tuesday morning, they said, declining to disclose terms. (on.wsj.com/1sTeF0K) (Compiled by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore)

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