December 4, 2013 / 5:29 AM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Dec 4

Dec 4 (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.

* In a ruling that could reverberate far beyond Detroit, a federal judge held on Tuesday that this battered city could formally enter bankruptcy and asserted that Detroit's obligation to pay pensions in full was not untouchable. ()

* At a picturesque century-old factory, Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell is the eighth in a long line carrying on the family name in the pencil business. Faber-Castell, the largest maker of wood-encased pencils in the world, illustrates how midsize companies - which account for about 60 percent of the country's jobs - are able to stay competitive in the global marketplace. ()

* The FDA allows the sale of some devices to treat small groups of patients without requiring proof that the devices work, or any rigorous study of the medical results. ()

* Testimony to Parliament from the top editor of The Guardian illustrated the aggressive investigative and spying tactics increasingly faced by news organizations. ()

* Newsweek, the struggling weekly magazine that ceased print publication last year, plans to turn the presses back on. The magazine expects to begin a 64-page weekly edition in January or February. ()

* The Illinois legislature on Tuesday ended a day of emotional debate and fierce back-room arm-twisting by passing a deal to shore up the state's debt-engulfed pension system by trimming retiree benefits and increasing state contributions. ()

* Jon Horvath has been positioned as a star witness for federal prosecutors in the insider trading trial of Michael Steinberg, his former boss at SAC Capital Advisors. But under questioning by the defense on Tuesday, Horvath, a former analyst at SAC, acknowledged having some memory lapses, potentially undercutting some of his credibility. ()

* Edward Lampert, the hedge fund manager who serves as Sears Holdings' chief executive, remains struggling retailer Sears' biggest shareholder. But his firm, ESL Partners, has cut the size of its stake, disclosing in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that it now owns 48.4 percent of its shares, down from 55.4 percent. ()

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