PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Feb 28

Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:41am EST
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Feb 28 (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.

* With across-the-board spending cuts set to begin in the United States on Friday, the White House and congressional Republicans are poised to let the deadline pass, each calculating that their hand in negotiations only grows stronger if they scorn a quick compromise.

* The probe of potential insider trading ahead of this month's $23 billion buyout of H.J. Heinz Co has widened, as regulators and criminal investigators scrutinize what they see as suspicious purchases of stock in the ketchup maker, according to people familiar with the inquiries.

* The European Union reached a preliminary deal on a measure that would forbid bonuses that exceed a bankers' fixed salary in the latest effort to curb what is seen by many as corporate and banking excess. Flexible pay could increase to twice fixed salary, but only with explicit shareholder approval.

* Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe moved a step closer to having a proponent of his aggressive monetary easing policies, Haruhiko Kuroda, become head of the Bank of Japan after the cabinet submitted its nominee for the top job to parliament.   Continued...