PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - July 9

July 9 Wed Jul 9, 2014 1:09am EDT

July 9 (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 is seeking $3.7 billion in funding and legal changes to stem the surge in children and families illegally entering the United States, creating new tensions within his party as he works to confront a crisis that is overwhelming the government's ability to hold young migrants. (on.wsj.com/1jnW60X)

* Israel stepped up its attacks in what it called the beginning of a prolonged assault on Palestinian militants and their infrastructure in the coastal enclave. (on.wsj.com/1xPSRlO)

* Medicare allowed $1.7 billion in 2010 payments to clinical laboratories for claims that raised red flags, according to a report to be released Wednesday, the latest example of how the federal insurance program for the elderly and disabled is susceptible to misspending and abuse. (on.wsj.com/1ncG2P0)

* The Justice Department and Citigroup are close to a deal for the bank to pay about $7 billion to settle allegations the bank sold shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis. (on.wsj.com/TRFG4t)

* NorthStar Realty Finance Corp is in exclusive talks to buy Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II, a large owner of senior housing, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals and other properties, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. The cash-and-stock deal, which would value the real-estate investment trust at $3.5 billion to $3.7 billion, isn't final and could still fall apart. (on.wsj.com/1xPMbEq)

* Federal prosecutors suffered the first defeat in their half-decade-long crackdown on insider trading Tuesday with the acquittal of Raj Rajaratnam's younger brother, a bracing reversal after a string of 81 convictions. (on.wsj.com/VVXtcK)

* The SEC said a Utah accounting firm and two of its partners botched the audits of a chicken company based in China that faces allegations of defrauding investors. Child Van Wagoner & Bradshaw of Salt Lake City, Utah, along with partners Russell Anderson and Marty Van Wagoner, was deficient in its 2009 and 2010 audits of Yuhe International Inc, a Chinese provider of broiler chickens, the SEC said. (on.wsj.com/TRAy0d)

* Amazon, amid tense negotiations with Hachette, proposed letting the publisher's authors keep 100 percent of the revenue from their e-books until a contract is reached. Hachette rejected the proposal. (on.wsj.com/1zog0gP)

* The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is pressing retail brokers for details about how they route customer orders amid mounting concerns some brokers might be sending orders to venues that provide the highest payments but not the best price for investors. (on.wsj.com/1r6P5Bu)

* A combative, at times emotional Donald Sterling said in court testimony Tuesday that he is fighting a $2 billion deal to sell the Clippers because he believes the basketball team will be worth more money once its television contracts are renegotiated. (on.wsj.com/1lSG0qt)

* Google Cloud Platform offered two terabytes of free storage for a year, through one of its partners, a startup called Panzura. The move highlights the battle among Google , Amazon and Microsoft to provide companies with remote storage, computing power and other technology services, which reduce companies' need to buy and run their own equipment. Some industry insiders predict storage will soon be free. (on.wsj.com/1qhLTSb)

* After another attempt to take over Newmont Mining Corp failed in April, many investors have lost patience. They are urging the miner to either rekindle this year's aborted deal with No. 1 Barrick Gold Corp, or break itself up. (on.wsj.com/1xQ5oFX)

(Compiled by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore)

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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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