PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Nov 12

Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:29am EST

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Nov 12 (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 GLOBE AND MAIL

* People in southeastern British Columbia are dying from prescription opioid overdoses at the same rate they're dying in drunk-driving accidents.

Across southeastern B.C., an average of 21 people are dying each year from overdoses of prescribed opioids such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydromorphone and fentanyl, the study showed. ()

Reports in the business section:

* Retailer Leon's Furniture Ltd is acquiring arch-rival the Brick Ltd for about $700 million in a friendly deal that is aimed at strengthening the merchants as they prepare for the next foreign retail invasion.

The agreement, which was announced Sunday evening, will see the country's two largest specialty furniture retailers team up amid a sluggish economy and weakening housing market, which has put strains on sales growth and forced the two big players to look for new ways to gain an edge. ()

NATIONAL POST

* Investors are looking for a compromise to keep the U.S. economy from sailing over the fiscal cliff. It's just not clear that the politicians in Washington are ready to deliver one.

With $600 billion in tax increases and automatic spending cuts due to take effect in January, investors say they would welcome an agreement that delays most changes until Congress can hammer out a long-term deficit reduction deal in early 2013. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* The next wave of real estate investment trusts south of the border is likely to be made of distressed properties bought by private equity investors so cheaply that they can be rented out and still produce good returns despite the high management costs. This asset class does not exist now among REITs, which, in terms of rental properties, has been restricted to apartment buildings. ()

* After 20 years at the helm, Rona Inc president and CEO Robert Dutton announced Friday that he is leaving the largest Canadian-based home improvement retailer and distributor.

Dominique Boies, the company's executive vice-president and chief financial officer, will take over as acting CEO while executive search firm Korn/Ferry International searches for a successor to Dutton. ()

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