December 17, 2013 / 6:05 AM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 17

Dec 17 (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 federal judge ruled the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records “almost certainly” violates the Constitution, setting up a larger legal battle. ()

* The Energy Department blocked about 2,200 attempts this year by users seeking to get data from its websites in ways that endangered equal access to the agency’s widely followed economic reports. ()

* The effects of the week-old Volcker rule are being felt thousands of miles from Wall Street as small and midsize banks begin to sell debt. Other institutions are looking for new ways to finance muni bonds. ()

* U.S. securities regulators are seeking more than $1 million in fines and other payments from Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs trader found liable for defrauding investors. ()

* The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is moving to force overseas financial firms to comply with certain U.S. rules, a move likely to stoke criticism the U.S. is bidding to become the de facto global financial regulator. ()

* SAC Capital portfolio manager Michael Steinberg’s fate could come down to what jurors think about a two-minute phone call. ()

* Lured by low costs, bond issuers in developing countries are poised to sell a record amount of euro-denominated debt this year. ()

* At the height of the holiday shopping season, Inc employees in Germany said they would continue strikes at local logistics centers this week as their supporters in the U.S. staged a protest at the online retailer’s headquarters in Seattle on Monday to highlight the workers’ grievances. ()

* Boeing Co’s board authorized a 50 percent increase in its dividend and $10 billion to repurchase its shares over the next several years, efforts to satisfy shareholders who have pushed for the company to return some of its soaring earnings to investors. ()

* A California Superior Court judge in San Jose ordered three paint companies to pay $1.1 billion into a fund to be used to clean up hazards from lead paint in hundreds of thousands of homes in the state. ()

* The Federal Communications Commission said it has withdrawn a proposal to relax the longstanding ban on owning multiple media outlets in the same market. ()

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