June 14 (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.
* Economists were encouraged by reports on Thursday that applications last week for unemployment benefits fell and that retail sales rose 0.6 percent in May from April.
* A top executive at Apple who was a close associate of Steve Jobs said on Thursday that he had thrown himself into negotiations with the major publishing houses as Apple entered the e-book market because "Steve was near the end of his life." ()
* Gannett Co Inc agreed to buy Belo Corp for about $1.5 billion in cash, in a deal that almost doubles Gannett's television operations. ()
* Institutional Shareholder Services, the proxy advisory firm, recommended that Clearwire shareholders reject a proposed takeover bid by Sprint Nextel worth $3.40 a share in light of a revised offer from Dish Network worth $4.40 a share. Clearwire's board has recommended that its shareholders also vote in favor of the Dish bid over Sprint's offer. ()
* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said cosmetics company Revlon had agreed to pay an $850,000 penalty to settle accusations that it deceived shareholders and its independent directors in connection with a failed takeover attempt by billionaire Ronald Perelman. ()
* Media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday filed for divorce in a New York State Supreme Court, saying his relationship with his wife of 14 years, Wendi, had "broken down." ()