March 1 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Bank of America is working on sweeping changes that would require many users of basic checking accounts to pay a monthly fee unless they agree to bank online, buy more products or maintain certain balances.
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that despite some good news on the job front, the recovery has been "uneven and modest."
* New York securities firms will pay employees $19.7 billion in cash bonuses for 2011, down sharply from 2010, and cut 4,300 jobs in the last nine months of the year.
* Around the world, mobile carriers are testing new plans that slice up the Web into limited offerings and exclusive deals they hope will bring marketing advantages or higher profits.
* A former security chief convicted of lying to investigators about the April 2010 explosion that killed 29 men at a southern West Virginia coal mine has been sentenced to three years in prison.
* The European Central Bank handed out 529.5 billion euros ($712.81 billion) in cheap, three-year loans to 800 lenders, the central bank's latest effort to arrest a financial crisis now entering its third year.