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PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Oct 31

Oct 31 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* While the secretary of health and human services apologized profusely for the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama traveled to Massachusetts to offer a forceful defense of the law. ()

* Advocates of the digital currency bitcoin say it is ready to emerge from its fringe status and become a common method of retail payment. ()

* The Federal Reserve said it would keep its campaign of asset purchases and low interest rates intact. The central bank's statement contained no surprises, and the stock market barely budged. ()

* Facebook profits doubled in the third quarter, and the social network reported that mobile ads now accounted for about half its advertising revenue. ()

* Unbeknown to Google and Yahoo, the National Security Agency and its British counterpart have tapped into the search engines abroad, where data collection faces less oversight. ()

* PricewaterhouseCoopers said on Wednesday that it had agreed to buy consulting firm Booz & Company, bolstering its advisory business, a chief source of growth for the firm. ()

* Investors now have an opportunity to bet directly on diamond mining, as the Russian government moves to spin off a 16 percent stake in Alrosa. When shares start trading Thursday afternoon on the Micex stock exchange in Russia, it will provide an opening to a long-cloistered and once highly secretive business. ()

* The staff of a U.S. attorney's office plans to recommend that the Justice Department sue Bank of America over the packaging and selling of mortgage-related investments before the financial crisis of 2008, the firm disclosed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. ()

* The bankruptcy filing by petroleum company OGX was a stunning fall for entrepreneur Eike Batista, who was once a symbol of Brazil's rapid rise as a global economic power but more recently has come to represent a Brazilian elite that views itself as above the rules that govern the most of the country. ()

* The Brixmor Property Group Inc sold more shares than it had expected in its initial public offering, reflecting strong demand from investors for commercial real estate. ()