PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – April 12

April 12 (Reuters) – The following were the top stories in
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified
these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The Japanese government raised its assessment of the
month-long crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
to the highest severity level by international standards-a
rating previously conferred only upon the Chernobyl accident.

* Bank of America Corp’s internal auditors are
reviewing why two top finance and accounting executives weren’t
consulted before the bank disclosed to investors that a dividend
increase had been rejected by regulators

* White House officials have opened the door to a deal with
Republicans that would allow the U.S. to increase its ability to
borrow, potentially easing worries in financial markets that the
country might default on its debt.

* Top U.S. Federal Reserve officials sent a clear signal
that the Fed is unlikely to follow the European Central Bank in
lifting interest rates from rock-bottom levels soon, playing
down the idea that soaring commodity prices will lead to broader
inflation.

* Just when deal-making has snapped back to life, the
nation’s two main antitrust cops are locked in a series of
increasingly tense feuds over which agency should take the lead
in big cases.

* Patrick Pelata resigned as Renault’s chief
operating officer, as the French car maker attempted to close
the book on an embarrassing episode in which it falsely accused
and wrongfully fired three senior managers for alleged corporate
espionage.

* Hopes are fading for a far-reaching settlement between
regulators and banks over improper home foreclosures as some
regulators press ahead to reach their own settlements with banks
that others involved in the talks deem weak.

* Aluminum maker Alcoa Inc swung back to a profit in
the first quarter, due to improved sales and higher prices in
most major markets, and plans to increase production in the
first half as prices are expected to continue to rise.

* The owner of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear-power
plant said it wouldn’t seek license renewals for its two
reactors until new studies of the area’s vulnerability to
earthquakes can be conducted. Pacific Gas & Electric Co had
applied for a 20-year license extension for the plant, which
sits on California’s earthquake-prone central coast.

* Rising commodity prices are posing risks to the global
recovery just as many nations are grappling with government debt
and wounds from the financial crisis, the International Monetary
Fund said Monday.
(Compiled by Tenzin Pema; Bangalore Equities Newsdesk +91 80
4135 5800; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780)

PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – April 12