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Aug 23 (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.
* The United States began refining its military options for possible strikes in Syria, officials said, and initiated diplomatic efforts to craft an international response to allegations that Syria's government killed over 1,100 civilians with chemical weapons. ()
* Canada's landlocked oil-sands producers have sought to access markets beyond North America in recent years, a quest that has taken on greater urgency as U.S. crude output booms. But with few direct outlets overseas, some have started considering Canadian crude exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast.()
* The Food and Drug Administration is considering a ban on online sales of electronic cigarettes, as part of a package of regulations the agency is readying for the increasingly popular devices, people familiar with the matter said. The FDA, which warned in 2009 that e-cigarettes could pose health risks, has been meeting with e-cigarette makers this week to hear their views on its proposed regulations for the industry. ()
* A Goldman Sachs banker has been charged with raping a 20-year-old woman while on vacation in the Hamptons, authorities said Thursday. ()
* Federal prosecutors expanded their allegations against a former SAC Capital Advisors LP trader at the center of one of the most lucrative insider-trading schemes ever charged, saying he spoke to a second doctor involved in an Alzheimer's drug trial at the heart of the case. ()
* The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is completing a road map it will use to develop rules aimed at taming the practice of computer trading, which has led to market disruptions such as Thursday's failure at Nasdaq OMX Group Inc and the 2010 "flash crash" that sent markets plunging in a matter of minutes. ()