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PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - March 11

March 11 (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.

* GM faced new pressure from a powerful member of Congress to explain why it took nearly a decade to recall 1.6 million vehicles for faulty ignitions linked to 13 deaths, even as the auto maker hired a high-profile lawyer to lead its investigation. ()

* Although officials in Washington and Kabul often accuse Pakistan of being an unreliable ally, its army has lost roughly twice as many soldiers in the conflict with Taliban fighters as the U.S. ()

* Malaysian authorities said Monday that no debris from a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner had been recovered despite a massive air and sea search under way for passengers and remains of the plane. ()

* The investigation into passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines flight who were traveling with stolen passports has drawn attention to a thriving market for illicit documents and the disparity in aviation security across the globe. ()

* Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently rejected a U.S. proposal to resolve the dispute over Ukraine that had been put forward by Secretary of State John Kerry over the past week, according to senior Russian and U.S. officials. ()

* Investors who put cash into municipal bonds, a popular strategy for those seeking safe, tax-free bets, are paying about twice as much in trading commissions as they would for corporate bonds, according to a study for the Journal. ()

* Chiquita of the U.S. and Fyffes of Ireland are merging to create the world's largest banana company, in an all-stock deal valued at about $1.07 billion. ()

* Virtu Financial Inc, one of the largest high-frequency trading firms, is seeking to raise $100 million in a public offering of its stock, according to a securities filing. ()

* Sprint Corp Chairman Masayoshi Son said in a television interview Monday that he would like to buy smaller rival T-Mobile US Inc, confirming his interest in a deal that would combine the country's No. 3 and No. 4 wireless companies and likely face heavy scrutiny from regulators. ()

* Longtime rivals Nasdaq OMX Group Inc and NYSE Euronext are joining forces in a bid to reclaim trading volumes from smaller competitors, according to people familiar with the matter.

The two firms are pushing for a controversial rule to be added to a pilot program under consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission to widen tick sizes, or the increments between price quotes, for certain companies. ()

* EBay Inc formally rejected the two board nominees backed by activist investor Carl Icahn and reiterated its opposition to his proposal to spin off its PayPal subsidiary. ()