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PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Oct 12

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Oct 12 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in theWall Street Journal on Friday. Reuters has not verified thesestories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Japanese phone and internet company Softbank Corp

is in talks to buy a significant stake in Sprint Nextel Corp, the ailing U.S. wireless carrier said. A deal would offera multibillion-dollar lifeline that could help Sprint financefuture mergers of its own and better compete with its muchbigger and richer rivals.

* Vice President Joe Biden and Republican rival Paul Ryanengaged in a confrontational debate Thursday night that includedinterruptions, flippant asides and pointed accusations over awide range of economic, foreign policy and social issues.

* Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Co , the biggestcompany by value on the Greek stock market, will move itsheadquarters to Switzerland and switch its main market listingto London, in the biggest sign yet of southern Europeancompanies pulling away from the troubled region.

* Spanish officials voiced defiance on Thursday after acredit downgrade left the country's rating close to junk statusat two firms, saying the surprise move wouldn't affect theirplans to raise money on financial markets.

* A group of bondholders that specialize in buying debt ofdistressed companies has, among other proposals, offered toprovide between $1 billion and $2 billion in financing inexchange for big ownership stakes in a restructured AMR Corp.

* Best Buy Co is planning to match the prices ofinternet competitors such as Amazon.com Inc thisholiday season, even as it plays down its concerns over shoppersbrowsing gadgets in stores only to buy them for less online.

* Siemens AG said it is planning to cut costs andsimplify its business in an overhaul of Germany's flagshipindustrial group that may include asset sales.

* International Monetary Fund Managing Director ChristineLagarde said Greece should be given an extra two years to meetits budget targets, publicly wading into euro-zone officials'politically sensitive bailout discussions.

* A onetime Goldman Sachs Group Inc computerprogrammer has asked a state judge to throw out criminal chargesagainst him, saying he shouldn't be prosecuted a second timeover the alleged theft of the investment bank's secret computercode.

(Compiled by Bangalore Newsroom)

((Bangalore Newsroom, +91 80 4135 5800, within U.S. +1 646 2238780))

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