July 24, 2014 / 6:00 AM / 3 years ago

PRESS DIGEST- Wall Street Journal - July 24

July 24 (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.

* Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down Wednesday over separatist-held territory not far from the site of the Malaysia Airlines crash as international outrage over the tragedy has done little to slow fighting in eastern Ukraine. (on.wsj.com/1pc31qs)

* The Obama administration, Israel and other Middle East allies are refashioning an Egyptian cease-fire proposal to assure Hamas that Gaza's economic interests would be addressed if the Islamist group stops rocket attacks, senior U.S. and Arab officials said. (on.wsj.com/1sUzA2G)

* The largest public pension fund in the U.S., the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers is expected to cut its hedge-fund investments this year by 40 percent to $3 billion. Public pensions from California to Ohio are backing away from hedge funds because of concerns about high fees and lackluster returns. (on.wsj.com/1nWeo4p)

* A number of major banks are looking to simultaneously settle probes into allegations of foreign-exchange rate-rigging with the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority, according to people familiar with the matter. Banks like Barclays PLC and UBS AG are aiming to reach individual settlements with regulators that will be announced at the same time, these people say. (on.wsj.com/1oeuZ8p)

* The U.S. airline industry's newfound health is breeding something not seen in years: a flock of startups. Two fledging carriers already have taken off. One is a reincarnation of the old People Express Airlines. Others are still in various stages of incubation, hoping to raise sufficient funds and receive government clearance to take wing. (on.wsj.com/1jWkYwU)

* Gilead Sciences Inc's Hepatitis C pill, Sovaldi, notched $3.5 billion in second-quarter sales, catapulting Gilead into the ranks of the top-selling pharmaceutical companies.(on.wsj.com/1z5gIi5)

* The U.S. government has asked big banks whether it should issue bonds that mature in more than 30 years. The treasury department asked 22 primary dealer banks, which underwrite U.S. government debt sales, about possible demand for ultra-long-term sovereign bonds. (on.wsj.com/1tDbW8r)

* Cable magnate John Malone said in an interview that Twenty-First Century Fox has long been eyeing a takeover bid for Time Warner Inc and isn't likely to face competing bidders, pouring cold water on speculation that tech companies could emerge as rival suitors for the TV and movie company. (on.wsj.com/1z5upNS)

* J.P. Morgan Chase & Co has sharply pulled back from a popular mortgage-lending program this year, blaming Obama administration's zeal for litigation. (on.wsj.com/1pdsn7k)

* The Securities and Exchange Commission told Standard & Poor's Ratings Services that it could face an enforcement action for alleged securities fraud regarding six commercial real-estate deals in 2011, according to a Wednesday filing by S&P parent McGraw Hill Financial Inc (on.wsj.com/1lxLKXn) (Compiled by Rishika Sadam in Bangalore)

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