Sept 26 (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.
* Hedge funds and other money managers are flocking to small markets ranging from cocoa to coffee to cattle that have defied a broader plunge in raw-materials prices. These investors are betting on goods that are seeing demand soar as emerging-market countries become wealthier and their middle classes expand, increasing demand for products such as chocolate and hamburgers.(on.wsj.com/1vlJ9GU)
* Air France's plans to conquer European skies with a budget carrier have run into severe turbulence as its pilots insist on what they regard as an inalienable right: a generous contract. As of late Thursday - and 11 days into a strike that has forced Air France to cancel more than half its flights and caused a daily operating loss of about $25.6 million - management and pilots were still at loggerheads. (on.wsj.com/1wN485H)
* U.S. and European policy makers have hit a snag in their postcrisis efforts to coordinate on international rules for derivatives, which played a central role in the 2008 meltdown. The two sides are at loggerheads over the regulation of clearinghouses - entities that are supposed to help prevent a market-wide collapse by ensuring either party in a derivatives transaction would get paid if the other side falters. (on.wsj.com/1uL9koM)
* A group of hedge funds that sued Argentina in the U.S. has agreed to support a request by a Citigroup Inc unit to allow the bank to make an interest payment due Tuesday to holders of restructured bonds governed by Argentine law, people familiar with the matter said Thursday. (on.wsj.com/1n6l8Dy)
* A federal judge Thursday ordered Texas entrepreneur Sam Wyly and the estate of his deceased brother, Charles Wyly, to pay an estimated $300 million to $400 million for their role in a fraudulent offshore scheme. In May, the Wyly brothers were found liable on civil fraud allegations for using a system of offshore trusts to hide stock sales, leading to $553 million in profits. (on.wsj.com/1v71kRx)
* Federal regulators fined U.S. Bancorp $9 million and required it to return $48 million to customers over what it called illegal billing practices related to the bank's identity-theft products. U.S. Bancorp said "we regret that errors occurred" and that the problems were related to a vendor, Affinion Group. (on.wsj.com/1rxcder)
* Top-level discussions about the possible departure of Zhou Xiaochuan, the long-serving governor of the People's Bank of China, come as the likelihood is rising that the world's No. 2 economy may fall short of the government's annual economic growth target, 7.5 pct for 2014, for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of 1998. Many economists say Beijing may have to resort to more big-bang measures - such as a blanket interest-rate cut that, according to central bank advisers, has been fended off by Zhou - to rev up economic activity. (on.wsj.com/1BeuU7z) (Compiled by Ankush Sharma in Bangalore)