March 18 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 U.S. Justice Department trustee overseeing the
bankruptcy case of American Airlines parent AMR Corp
on Friday filed court papers objecting to certain employee wage
increases, as well as a proposed $19.9 million exit package for
AMR's chief executive, which are part of AMR and US Airways
Group Inc's merger plan.
* The Philippines this weekend launched its bid to become
Asia's third gambling hub with the opening of the Solaire, a
$1.2 billion casino. Asia is battling the United States for
supremacy in the global gambling market.
* U.S. regulators are investigating whether high-frequency
traders are routinely distorting stock and futures markets by
illegally acting as buyer and seller in the same transactions,
according to people familiar with the probes.
* The Pentagon overrode a politically charged protest from
Kansas defense contractor Beechcraft Corp and will work with
Sierra Nevada Corp and the defense unit of Brazil's Embraer SA
on a $427.5 million contract to build 20 planes for
the Afghan air force.
* Many workers who were offered a sum of money to spend on
healthcare opted for lower-priced plans that required them to
pay more out of their pockets for healthcare.
* Verizon Communications is proposing to shake up the
pay-television business based on a simple premise: it wants to
tie the fees it pays to carry TV channels to how many people
actually watch them.
* Directors of Transocean Ltd are urging
shareholders to reject a campaign by activist investor Carl
Icahn to increase the offshore-oil-rig company's dividend and
name three new members to the board.
* Toronto-based generic-drug maker Apotex Inc has added an
extra dose of tension to a drug-industry case involving patent
settlements between brand-name companies and generic rivals to
delay the potential introduction of copycat pills.
* Booming coffee demand in India is prompting companies like
Lavazza SpA, Nestlé SA and Starbucks Corp to
set up shop in the traditionally tea-drinking subcontinent,
offering growth when returns are harder to come by in more
developed markets. Rising consumption in India also is likely to
pressure coffee prices.
* The Securities and Exchange Commission is filing
significantly fewer civil fraud cases this year, as its efforts
to punish misconduct related to the financial crisis start to
* Volkswagen AG's China unit said it would
voluntarily recall cars suspected of having substandard
direct-shift gearbox systems, following scrutiny from China's
national state-run television broadcaster and after receiving a
notification from China's quality watchdog.