July 18, 2014 / 4:45 AM / 3 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - July 18

July 18 (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.

* A Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew crashed Thursday in the battle-torn east Ukraine region of Donetsk, where U.S. intelligence agencies say it was struck by a ground-to-air missile. The U.S. agencies are divided over whether the missile was launched by the Russian military or by pro-Russia separatist rebels, who officials say lack the expertise on their own to bring down a commercial airline in midflight. (on.wsj.com/1mZNwEO)

* The White House late Thursday said the United States is "shocked" by the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight near the Ukraine-Russian border and blamed Russia for fueling tensions that may have led to the disaster. (on.wsj.com/1tccimf)

* SoftBank Corp said Friday that Google Inc Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora will join the company in October as vice chairman and chief executive of SoftBank Internet and Media. (on.wsj.com/1tYxssg)

* Microsoft said it plans to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs and take charges to earnings of up to $1.6 billion over the next year to streamline its operations following the recent acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business. (on.wsj.com/1wCkRXL)

* Twitter Inc is expected to unveil as many as four new metrics later this month that it hopes will illustrate its reach beyond the 255 million users that log in at least once a month, according to people familiar with the matter. (on.wsj.com/Wgx0Xb)

* The Justice Department charged FedEx with transporting prescription painkillers that the United States said had been sold illegally. (on.wsj.com/1qMBRJ7)

* Federal energy regulators said parts of a proposal to beef up the electric grid's security were inadequate and asked for revisions from the industry group that wrote it. In an unusual move for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency on Thursday told the group that it should correct weaknesses in its proposed plan. The commission said to consider broadening the definition of equipment and facilities deserving protection and asked the group to allow the federal government to designate additional facilities eligible for increased security. (on.wsj.com/1rlC3mm)

* The U.S. Department of Justice is suing energy company Entergy Corp for failing to submit required proof of its affirmative-action programs. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans Thursday, alleges Entergy has refused repeated requests from the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. (on.wsj.com/1zOYJOf)

* Sotheby's plans to lay off a "modest" number of its global workforce by the end of the year as it takes a harder look at its operations, according to a statement issued by the auctioneer on Thursday. (on.wsj.com/1zOZ5nX)

* Airbus and Boeing padded their deep order backlogs with $115.5 billion in jet deals at the Farnborough air show. Airbus beat Boeing in the annual air-show bragging-rights contest, recording deals for 496 jets compared with the 201 plane sales that Boeing made. Airlines typically get big discounts, and several of the deals still need to be finalized. (on.wsj.com/1p1DvH5)

* A New Zealand court stalled Danone SA's legal action against Fonterra Co-Operative Group, saying it was best to wait for the outcome of a separate international-arbitration hearing. The French food maker is seeking compensation for costs incurred last year when it was forced to recall baby-milk products following a food-safety scare associated with dairy products supplied by Fonterra. (on.wsj.com/1p1DAL2)

* Investigators are examining nearly four dozen hedge funds, asset managers and other investment firms to determine whether they violated insider-trading rules after receiving a tip from a Washington research firm. (on.wsj.com/1latqU4) (Compiled by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore)

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