PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 18


Dec 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.

* Russia lavished Ukraine with a bailout package worth at least $20 billion on Tuesday, trumping the West in a Cold War-tinged struggle that keeps the former Soviet republic in Moscow's orbit. ()

* Inflation is slowing across the developed world despite ultra-low interest rates and unprecedented money-printing campaigns, posing a dilemma for the Federal Reserve and other major central banks as they plot their next policy moves. ()

* A five-year battle between the largest U.S. bank and one of its regulators escalated Tuesday when JP Morgan Chase & Co sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp over the messy 2008 purchase of Washington Mutual Inc's banking operations. ()

* First-year enrollment at U.S. law schools plunged this year to levels not seen since the 1970s as students steered away from a career that has left many recent graduates loaded with debt and struggling to find work. ()

* Xiaomi Inc, the startup that has rattled China's smartphone market with its fast-selling handsets, is looking to tap its international fan base for help as it tries to expand abroad, according to its new American executive. ()

* Private-equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP backed out of a deal to acquire LightSquared Inc, the telecommunications firm in bankruptcy proceedings, amid uncertainty over when federal regulators would clear the way for the company to build out its wireless network, said people familiar with the matter. ()

* Frontier Communications Corp agreed to buy AT&T Inc's landline telephone, broadband and TV operations in Connecticut for $2 billion in cash, expanding its base of operations and shoring up the ability to pay its dividend. ()

* The world may be anxious to welcome Microsoft Corp's next chief executive. The company's board isn't in a rush. John W. Thompson, the Microsoft director leading the search, said in a blog post Tuesday that the board doesn't expect to name a new CEO until next year. ()

* After fighting over everything from arcane spectrum rules to telecom mergers, Dish Network Corp and Sprint Corp are showing signs of becoming friends. Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. cellphone carrier by subscribers, and Dish, a satellite TV company, said Tuesday they will work together to test a fixed wireless broadband service in Corpus Christi, Texas, beginning in the middle of next year. ()

* A coming vote for control of the board of Telecom Italia SpA could finally dispel confusion over the strategy of the telecommunications company, allowing it to pursue an investment plan to address Italy's "hypercompetitive" telecom market, Chief Executive Marco Patuano said in an interview. ()

* China's Wanda Cinema Line Corp is expanding its partnership with IMAX Corp signing on 80 new IMAX theaters in a deal that would make China the big-screen company's largest market. ()

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