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PRESS DIGEST- Canada- Oct 8

Oct 8 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* The Canadian government has rejected another high-profile foreign takeover, quashing an Egyptian billionaire's bid to buy a division of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc because of unspecified national security concerns about the C$520 million ($504 million) deal. ()

* The number of aboriginal people with university degrees has nearly doubled over the past decade, yet the gap in education levels between aboriginal and other Canadians has only grown wider. New projections show that under current conditions the post-secondary attainment of aboriginal Canadians will not catch up to the rest of the population "any time soon". ()

Reports in the business section:

* Activist shareholder Carl Icahn has snapped up nearly 6 per cent of Talisman Energy Inc and hinted he may seek to push the Canadian oil producer to put itself up for sale or accelerate its restructuring plan. ()

* The president of General Motors of Canada Ltd is worried that ultra-cheap auto loans could be causing Canadian vehicle sales to spike just as home sales did during the U.S. housing bubble. Canadians are on pace to drive more than 1.73 million new vehicles off dealers' lots this year, breaking the record of 1.703 million, but that's a higher level than economic indicators suggest sales should be, Kevin Williams told The Globe and Mail's editorial board on Monday. ()


* Canadian security officials and mining companies were skeptical on Monday over claims Canada had spied on Brazil's mining and energy department, even as Brazil's president accused Canada of apparent industrial espionage. The Brazilian Foreign Minister summoned the Canadian ambassador to "transmit the indignation of the Brazilian government and demand explanations", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement that followed the revelations that were aired Sunday night on Brazil's Globo network. ()


* In a bid to rescue an economy in danger of slipping into recession, the Parti Quebecois government has launched a multibillion-dollar job creation effort anchored by a program that will offer Quebec's surplus hydroelectric power at below-market rates to corporate investors. ()

* BlackBerry Ltd is laying off 300 employees from its Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters this week, the first round of cuts as the struggling smartphone maker looks to reduce its worldwide staff by 4,500. ()