PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Oct 25


Oct 25 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in theWall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories anddoes not vouch for their accuracy.

* A flurry of recent attacks by al Qaeda-linked militants inIraq - strengthened by their alliance with jihadist fighters inSyria - is threatening to undo years of U.S. efforts to crushthe group. ()

* Activist investor Carl Icahn boosted his investment inApple Inc by 22 percent to 4.73 million shares, andcontinued to push for a massive $150 billion buyback at thecompany, according to a letter he sent to Apple Chief ExecutiveTim Cook. ()

* Former employees at USIS, the company that didthe background check of Edward Snowden, the leaker ofnational-security information, say they were pushed to speedthrough background checks amid a corporate culture that maderevenue the top priority. ()

* Outrage over alleged U.S. monitoring of German ChancellorAngela Merkel's personal cellphone spread across Europe onThursday, threatening to complicate an array of America'strans-Atlantic interests. ()

* Twitter set its price range for its initial publicoffering at $17 to $20 a share, in a deal that values thecompany at up to $11.1 billion. ()

* Highly rated issuers sold more than $12 billion of bondsThursday, taking advantage of robust investor demand and thelatest tumble in market interest rates to stock up on cash. ()

* The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is consideringsoftening the decades-old 25 percent foreign-ownership limit onTV and radio stations, paving way for new investment. ()

* The slowdown in mortgage-refinancing activity is hittingtowns across the U.S. as banks such as Bank of America,Wells Fargo and Citigroup eliminate thousands ofjobs to cope with declines in home lending. ()

* Inc shares soared Thursday inafter-hours trading after the online retailer reported its thirdloss in the past year. Investors were focused on a big jump inquarterly sales, which exceeded analysts' forecasts. ()

* The Chief Executive of Southwest Airlines Co hinted Thursday that the carrier could soon start charging forchecked baggage if the flying public comes to accept the feesthat other airlines charge. ()

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