Feb 20 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Unless the Justice Department and BP reach a last-minute settlement, the British oil company will return to court on Monday to face tens of billions of dollars in civil claims from the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that could cripple the company for years to come.
* BHP Billiton said on Tuesday that Chief Executive Marius Kloppers would retire this year after almost two decades at the company.
* After Facebook Inc and Twitter announced that they were breached by sophisticated hackers in recent weeks, Apple Inc said it had been attacked, too, in a rare admission for the technology giant.
* A federal judge said he was leaning toward the hedge fund manager David Einhorn's contention in a lawsuit that Apple Inc violated securities regulations by improperly bundling several shareholder proposals into one matter.
* Days away from another fiscal crisis and with Congress on vacation, President Obama began marshaling the powers of the presidency on Tuesday to try to shame Republicans into a compromise that could avoid further self-inflicted job losses and damage to the fragile recovery. But so far, Republicans were declining to engage.
* First centered on Britain and Ireland, the scandal over beef products adulterated with horse meat escalated across continental Europe on Tuesday after Nestle SA, one of the world's best-known food companies, said it was removing pasta meals from store shelves in Italy and Spain.
* The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a criminal inquiry into suspicious trades placed ahead of the $23 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz, a person briefed on the matter said on Tuesday.
* Nickelodeon designed its first app as a noisy, colorful smorgasbord of animated clips, music videos and games. But there's very little actual television.
* A freewheeling and almost entirely one-sided argument at the Supreme Court indicated that the justices would not allow Monsanto's patents for genetically altered soybeans to be threatened by an Indiana farmer who sused them without paying the company a fee.