March 28, 2008 / 6:07 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - March 28

March 28 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The bloody protests that have roiled Tibet reveal a deep split between everyday Tibetans and the Tibetan elite who cooperate with the Chinese. This rift was visible in Lhasa when monks disrupted a carefully orchestrated visit for foreign reporters.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N) is hiring Terri Dial, who runs Lloyds TSB Group Plc’s (LLOY.L) U.K. retail-banking unit, to head the U.S. consumer business amid a reshuffling. The hiring is part of a broader reshuffling of Citigroup’s structure.

* The Federal Reserve’s first auction of funds to Wall Street elicited tepid demand. European central banks injected more funds into their banking systems to ease end-of-quarter pressures.

* James Cayne, chairman of Bear Stearns Cos Inc BSC.N, sold 5.7 million of the company’s shares at a price of $10.84 apiece, according to regulatory filings — creating just $61.3 million in paper profit.

* The resurgent violence in Iraq is threatening nascent efforts to enlist foreign companies in developing its immense oil wealth, a goal U.S. President George W. Bush pushed as crucial to rebuilding the country.

* Google Inc’s (GOOG.O) short-term outlook has grown increasingly murky in the wake of new data showing weakness in the number of consumers clicking on the Internet giant’s search ads, the source of nearly all of the company’s revenue.

* Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS.N), which is seeking federal approval to spin off a unit that processes data for major mortgage providers, warned that its business could be harmed by heightened government inquiry into the U.S. lending crisis and new regulations that may result.

* Technology firms, which traditionally shunned debt and were thought to be relatively immune to a credit crunch, are seeing their earnings dented by holdings of auction-rate securities.

* ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG.N) is shedding its volatile commodities-trading business while the getting is good. The maker of Slim Jim meat sticks, Hebrew National hot dogs and Chef Boyardee pasta said it agreed to sell to Ospraie Management LLC its highly profitable trading-and-merchandising unit, which places hedges against swings in the cost of ingredients and energy.

* The technology and financial sectors led a stock-market decline Thursday following worrisome developments at Oracle ORCL.O and Google Inc (GOOG.O), raising concerns about the broader economy that outweighed generally benign government data on gross domestic product and jobless claims.

* After a panel flew off the wing of one of its aircraft in midflight last week, U.S. Airways Group Inc LCC.N discovered improper maintenance had been performed on the wings of seven of its Boeing 757 planes, people familiar with the matter said. Also maintenance issues led to more canceled flights for AMR Corp’s AMR.N American Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N).

* Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has agreed to pay $28 million in cash and stock to Countrywide Financial Corp CFC.N President David Sambol as an incentive for him to stay with Bank of America after its planned acquisition of the mortgage lender.

* Xerox Corp (XRX.N) said it will pay $670 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit over alleged accounting misdeeds, while its former auditor, KPMG LLP, will pay $80 million.

* Harvard University has picked Jane Mendillo, chief investment officer of Wellesley College, to run the nation’s largest college endowment.

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