PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Aug 20

Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:24am EDT

Aug 20 (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.

* U.S. retailer Walgreen Co pressured its Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon and pharmacy chief Kermit Crawford to leave after a bungled forecast of pharmacy profits related to its Medicare prescription-drug business. (on.wsj.com/VEh0xC)

* Schools in Ferguson, Missouri, have canceled classes, business owners face broken windows and falling revenue, and police forces are strained after more than a weak of violent protests. (on.wsj.com/1kTuGAF)

* The U.S. military's recent success in weakening Islamic State extremists and pushing them away from a key dam in Iraq is creating momentum for a broader campaign that could take American air power to the militant group's heartland northwest of Baghdad. (on.wsj.com/1AwOGNh)

* The conflict in the Gaza Strip has brought the secretive guerrilla army of Hamas out of the shadows and into battle against Israel's military for only the second time. When the brigade's fighters are killed, Hamas street organizers eulogize them as heroes, posting images of them in fatigues and toting rockets. And families in the Gaza Strip are coming to terms with never-before-discussed identities of sons and neighbors. (on.wsj.com/1oYq8UK)

* Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said on Tuesday night that her administration will seek congressional approval to make payments on its international bonds in Argentina after a creditor dispute in U.S. courts led the country to default on some of its debt last month. The Kirchner administration will deposit payments on restructured bonds in an account at the central bank, Kirchner said on national television. (on.wsj.com/1pcmbAM)

* AT&T Inc is bringing its ultrafast Internet service to Apple Inc's hometown and a few miles from Google Inc's doorstep. The carrier plans to make Cupertino the first city in California to receive its up to one gigabit service U-verse fiber optic broadband service. Service in Cupertino would begin in coming months, AT&T said. (on.wsj.com/1n87NVE)

* Former Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer quit his post as a company director after 14 years, giving CEO Satya Nadella an even freer hand to reshape the company. Ballmer, fresh off his $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise, indicated that his duties as team owner, among other interests, wouldn't leave enough time to stay on Microsoft's board. (on.wsj.com/1vdJw5C)

* Standard Chartered Plc will pay a $300 million penalty to New York's financial regulator and impose measures to correct lapses in its anti-money-laundering procedures, the New York State Department of Financial Services said on Tuesday, as part of a settlement with the British lender. (on.wsj.com/1pIay4D)

* BHP Billiton Plc said it would spin off nickel, aluminum and other properties into a new company that could be valued at up to $12 billion, in what would be one of the biggest asset sales in mining history. (on.wsj.com/VCRpoo)

* South Korea's LG Chem Ltd has secured a deal to supply electric vehicle batteries to Audi AG, a unit of German auto maker Volkswagen AG. LG Chem didn't disclose details of the deal, but said the contract would help Volkswagen's efforts to revive the sluggish growth of emission-free vehicles globally. (on.wsj.com/1pJk9rA)

* Lear Corp is nearing a deal to acquire Eagle Ottawa LLC, the world's largest supplier of premium automotive leather, for more than $800 million, according to people familiar with the matter. (on.wsj.com/VEcPlu)

* Penske Media Corp, the owner of Hollywood trade publications Variety and Deadline, will acquire Women's Wear Daily and other fashion-industry publications from Conde Nast, the companies said Tuesday. The sale price is close to $100 million, said a person with knowledge of the deal. (on.wsj.com/1sTkkDE)

* Wells Fargo aims to double the size of its asset-management unit to $1 trillion over the next decade through acquisitions and more aggressive sales to big investors, according to executives carrying out the plan. (on.wsj.com/1sTjQNR)

* Citigroup Inc is considering the sale of its retail-banking business in Japan, where the U.S. financial giant has had a presence for decades as a leading Western bank, people familiar with the matter said. (on.wsj.com/1w5dTiN)

* Allergan Inc approached Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd and at least one other company about a potential acquisition, as the Botox maker seeks to fend off a $53 billion hostile takeover from Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. (on.wsj.com/Xy8EJx)

* Rockwell Collins Inc and other cockpit-equipment makers are developing technologies to combat a major source of frustration for airline passengers: flights that are canceled or diverted due to poor visibility at their scheduled destinations. Using computer-generated color images, and sometimes infrared-enhanced views of runways and their surroundings, Rockwell, Honeywell International Inc and other suppliers are seeking to reduce such schedule disruptions and lost revenue for carriers. (on.wsj.com/1oYjxcP)

* Canada's transportation safety agency said on Tuesday that inadequate Canadian government oversight and a railway company's "weak safety culture" were among a host of factors that led to last year's devastating oil-train derailment in Quebec. It also recommended even more measures to strengthen safety in a North American rail network dealing with a surge in the transportation of crude by rail. (on.wsj.com/1pJphMn) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bangalore)