Feb 19 The following are the top stories in the
Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and
does not vouch for their accuracy.
* BP already has agreed to pay more than $30 billion
in fines, settlements and cleanup costs for the 2010 Deepwater
Horizon explosion and oil spill. Now it is placing a big bet
that by going to trial next week, it can hold down the cost of
one of its last major potential liabilities for the disaster.
* OfficeMax Inc and Office Depot Inc are in
advanced talks to merge, people familiar with the matter said,
as the retailers of pens, paper and desks try to fight off
tougher competition from rivals like Staples Inc and
* Reader's Digest Association and six affiliates filed for
Chapter 11 protection late Sunday night, the publisher's second
bankruptcy filing in three-and-a-half years and another example
of the pressures on media companies still relying on their print
* Google Inc has been developing plans to launch
retail stores in the U.S., said people familiar with the matter,
in another sign the company is studying Apple Inc
playbook for building a consumer-electronics brand. The stores
would likely sell Google-branded hardware, these people said.
But it isn't clear when or where any stores would open, and one
of the people said the Internet giant might not move forward
with the plan this year.
* The heads of Macy's Inc and J.C. Penney Co Inc
are set to clash this week in a New York state court in
a rare public donnybrook between the department-store chains as
they jockey over their partnerships with Martha Stewart Living
* Amazon.com Inc said it had cut ties with a German
security firm amid claims that its guards intimidated and
harassed temporary immigrant workers that the guards were
assigned to oversee for the Internet retailer.
* Arms sales by the world's largest weapons makers fell in
2011, representing the first decline since the mid-1990s as
austerity measures and a reduced U.S. presence in Iraq and
Afghanistan hit military spending.
* Protesters clashed with police at Madrid's international
airport as ground staff and cabin crews for Spain's Iberia
Lineas Aereas de Espana SA began 15 days of strikes to
protest plans to lay off 3,800 staff.