PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - July 30

July 30 Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:17am EDT

July 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 European Union and the United States adopted broad economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday to punish Moscow's unbending stance in the Ukraine conflict. (on.wsj.com/1klsySg)

* Members of Argentina's banking association, known as Adeba, are working on a last-minute plan to help the country avoid default, according to people familiar with the idea. The association's plan, which hasn't been completely hashed out among the banks, would entail buying the legal claim and paying off the holdout creditors who are suing Argentina in U.S. courts for full payment on bonds the country defaulted on in 2001. (on.wsj.com/1ppxMuZ)

* For months, U.S. President Barack Obama said there were limits to his power to protect people living illegally in the U.S. from deportation. Now, he is considering broad action to scale back deportations that could include work permits for millions of people, according to lawmakers and immigration advocates who have consulted with the White House. (on.wsj.com/1xwAdxe)

* Israeli forces pounded Hamas symbols of control and Gaza's only power plant in one of the heaviest bombardments in the three-week conflict, trying to raise pressure on the Islamist group to accept Israel's terms for a cease-fire. (on.wsj.com/UJEGje)

* A little-known U.S. telecom company has hit upon a creative strategy that could help the industry shield billions of dollars from tax collectors. In a development that caught Wall Street by surprise, Windstream Holdings Inc was cleared by the Internal Revenue Service to reclassify most of its copper and fiber-optic lines as real estate, which could enable it to cut millions of dollars from its annual tax bill. (on.wsj.com/1lbOMkc)

* Drug makers and researchers are increasingly concerned that online chatter could unravel the carefully built construct of the 'blind' clinical trial. (on.wsj.com/XcHfMP)

* The slow progress in Sprint's pursuit of T-Mobile is in part tied to the public nature of the deal. With all the details out, there isn't as much pressure to make an announcement. (on.wsj.com/1oIWU0G)

* Twitter Inc quieted its doubters, at least for now, over its ability to jump-start shrinking user growth in the shadow of larger rival Facebook Inc. The social media company posted strong results across the board. (on.wsj.com/1zrH3ah)

* New York's Department of Financial Services is pushing to install monitors inside the U.S. offices of Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays PLC as part of an investigation into possible manipulation in the foreign-exchange market. (on.wsj.com/1s0BInK)

* McDonald's Corp could be treated as a joint employer with its franchisees in labor complaints, according to a National Labor Relations Board legal determination that could have far reaching implications. (on.wsj.com/UJ2vb6)

* China confirmed it is investigating whether Microsoft Corp broke its antimonopoly laws, the latest sign of growing commercial and policy tensions between the U.S. and China that are roiling technology companies in both countries. (on.wsj.com/1klEvHD)

* FedEx Corp pleaded not guilty Tuesday in San Francisco federal court on 15 charges related to transporting painkillers and other prescription drugs that had been sold illegally. (on.wsj.com/1klFjfA) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bangalore)

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