Feb 25 (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. Congressional leaders are quietly considering a deal to avert a government shutdown next month - but at the cost of prolonging across-the-board spending cuts. Congress must pass a so-called continuing resolution by the end of March to keep funding government operations.
* The U.S. Justice Department packed its fraud lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s with details about more than 25 employees who allegedly put triple-A ratings on shaky bundles of subprime mortgages - or dithered on downgrading the securities as the housing market was collapsing.
* Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to nominate Asian Development Bank head Haruhiko Kuroda as the next governor of the Bank of Japan.
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, is expected this week to discuss selling up to 25 percent of its American arm, RBS Citizens, to the public within the next two years. That would set up RBS to eventually spin off the entire unit, said people briefed on the plans.
* Brokerage firm Knight Capital Group Inc plans to sell a bond-trading unit to Stifel Financial Corp, according to people familiar with the matter.
* Futures exchange CME Group Inc is set for a legal showdown with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a standoff that market experts say could become a regular event as new financial-market laws come into force.
* Barnes & Noble Inc’s chairman and biggest shareholder, Leonard Riggio, has expressed interest in buying out the retailer’s consumer-bookstore chain, raising the prospect that the company could be split in two, say people familiar with the situation.
* Hewlett-Packard Co Chairman Ray Lane and three fellow board members plan to meet with about 20 of the computer maker’s big investors Monday in hopes of heading off a campaign to unseat Lane and two other directors.
* Office Depot Inc said it received an offer earlier this month from its partner in Mexico to buy the office-supply company out of their joint venture. But Office Depot instead pushed forward with a merger with rival OfficeMax Inc and said it would now need that company’s approval before making a decision about the Mexican unit.